How to improve lead to lease conversion
Everything you need to know to see growth where you need it most.
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For multifamily property management companies (PMCs), lead to lease conversion is an essential key performance indicator, or KPI. Lead to lease conversion lets you know how well your marketing funnel is performing and, when managed properly, can help ensure your marketing spend is being used wisely.
There are a lot of factors that can impact your lead to lease conversion numbers. These include the quality of leads that are coming in from different lead sources, how engaging and interactive your website is, the follow up process you use with prospects, and the onsite team, to name a few. With lead to lease being an essential KPI for PMCs, trying to improve it is a high priority.
These days, PMCs that want to improve their lead to lease conversion have a variety of leasing artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to help them. Leasing AI can help multifamily teams navigate through those rough waters. When it comes to investing in the right tech, leasing AI has started to make waves in the multifamily and property management world. There are a few to choose from that all promise amazing results, but which is the best fit for your property’s needs and budget?
In the category of leasing AI technologies are AI chatbots that are geared toward multifamily. AI chatbots can be either natural language or rule-based which can impact the overall experience for the online visitor who is interacting with it. If you’re interested in learning more, check out this article that digs deeper into the difference between chatbots and what to look for when the time comes to invest.
Also in the category of leasing AI technologies are technologies that create website experiences. An engaging website and better follow-up are key to growing your lead to lease conversion.
Many PMCs leverage multiple point solutions to create various experiences on the website — chatbots to online tours, etc. A common problem they have when they do this, though, is the website becomes cluttered and the prospect’s experience is negatively impacted because they can’t easily find what they are looking for in a digital lease. Technologies like PERQ enable the use of multiple interactions on the website all organized in a hub and integrated, to cut down on some of the negative impact that occurs when you want your website to do more.
In addition, there are AI leasing assistants and AI nurture technologies and other types of AI technologies. More on that later, for now let’s dive into website conversion and how to sift through all the online leads so onsite teams can focus their time and energy on qualified leads that are ready to talk, tour, or lease.
More Leads Doesn’t Mean More Leases
Consumers’ shopping behavior has changed a lot over the last few years due to evolving technology from online businesses and the COVID-19 pandemic. With in-person shopping shut down for a few months in 2020, people began to feel more secure doing their shopping completely online; from groceries to even buying and selling a car. There’s more technology being used by other businesses now to automate their processes and enhance the online shopping experience. Why not use this technology for multifamily leasing?
Study after study has shown that rental activity has been increasing. The pandemic ushered in more remote lifestyles and renters have been spending more time in their homes. The result? A dramatic increase of online leads for multifamily properties everywhere, but not all of these visitors are ready to move immediately.
Some of these are just “looky-loos” in the words of Dalia Kalgreen, Director of Marketing at Unified Residential. The “looky-loos” are casual online visitors who tend to be looking pretty far out from when they would need to move and are not ready for a rental lease agreement. PERQ data shows that about 20% of renters in 2021 looked 6+ months out from their moving date. This is an increase from previous years and likely reflects people’s new comfort with online shopping for apartments, coupled with the supply and demand issued created when everyone tries to move at the same time. This creates a problem for multifamily teams. There are more leads than ever, yet they aren’t converting keeping lead to lease numbers low.
The increase in leads has led to customer relationship management (CRM) systems becoming overcrowded. CRMs are databases that house lead data for onsite salespeople. While CRMs delete old guest card data, it doesn’t have a way to understand which leads are of quality. Onsite teams can’t waste time pursuing and nurturing leads that aren’t ready. If your current technologies can’t differentiate the not ready from the ready, it becomes harder for the onsite team to do their jobs efficiently.
One of the ways PERQ’s automated lead management solution works is by integrating with your multifamily website. Through the AI Assistant, interactive experiences, and the chatbot, it collects data from online visitors’ during their time on your website — from what they were looking at to what they’ve been talking about with the chatbot. With this data, PERQ automatically nurtures and follows up with leads and only hands off the quality leads that are ready to talk to a leasing specialist, book a tour, or even sign a lease contract.
PERQ also gives the onsite team access to all of the data it has collected including the conversations it has had with the lead. Onsite teams can use this information to tailor their conversations and the tour to fit what the lead is interested in.
While more leads don’t always mean more leases, an important factor in improving lead to lease conversion is the follow-up and lead nurture that helps to move prospects along their journey in increase their quality.
How To Follow Up On A Prospect To Lease an Apartment
Following up on a prospect to lease an apartment can be difficult. You don’t want to bombard their inbox with messages, but you also don’t want them to forget about your property. It’s a fine balance. PERQ’s automated lead nurture capabilities are designed with this worry in mind. It knows when to pull back and when to send messages.
The AI Assistant and interactive experiences collect better data, which in turn allows for better follow up that is more geared toward what the prospect is looking for in an apartment. It doesn’t feel generic or robotic, it’s more personalized to the prospect.
It’s important to also think of the actual content in nurture messages. Curating and creating blog posts on what it’s like living in your community can be used for more than just SEO purposes. This content can be sent to prospects in a cadence to show them a fuller picture of life in your neighborhood. PMCs that have student housing in their portfolio have begun using TikTok and Instagram Reels more to spread brand awareness. They also create videos on moving tips, different floor plans, decor DIYs and more.
These videos can be reused in both your automated nurture messaging and follow up from the onsite team. PMCs can put themselves in a box when it comes to what follow up messaging should say. It can and should be more than just about the unit they were looking at. While you are selling a specific unit to someone, you are also selling the entire neighborhood as well. For out of state prospects this is especially helpful in getting them to see the location and how the property fits into the local scene.
The Importance of Personalizing Automated Lead Nurture
Studies show that renters look at several property websites during their search. That means there are other PMCs that have data on the prospect and can use it in their nurture messaging. The difference is, not a lot of automated lead nurture tools allow for personalization or the kind of data they are able to collect on the prospect isn’t as insightful.
Prospects will have other properties besides yours in their inbox trying to get them to come in and tour. To stand out, personalization becomes even more important. This is why curating content and reusing it will help your property stand out in prospect’s inboxes.
PERQ handles the automated nurture messaging which can be customized to use this content. The onsite team handles the follow up with those who have already toured and they can further personalize this messaging too. One way the onsite team can do this is by sending a video tour of the unit and some links to blogs about the neighborhood that are relevant to what they had discussed. This kind of personalization elevates the experience at your property and really makes it stand out.
With PERQ’s AI lead management platform, you can customize your follow up and lead nurture messaging to be in your brand voice and brand colors. To the right is a sample follow up email to prospective clients in that property’s brand colors and voice. By using more personalized data, brand colors and voice, the nurture messaging comes across more put together and professional. This kind of personalization from automation is a driving force behind today’s consumer buying habits. They expect automation and instant gratification because that is what other businesses and retailers have been doing for the last few years.
Lead to lease conversion is affected by how impactful your nurture is. When you give the prospect what they want, when they want, you put your best face forward and have a better chance of converting that lead. With other PMCs fighting for prospect’s attention in their inboxes, personalization will set you apart.
PERQ is built to improve your website performance and gather the kind of data that personalization needs. To learn more about how PERQ can do this for your properties, schedule a demo with one of our specialists.