The Online Research Journey of Rental Prospects4 min read
Consumer profile data collected from property websites for Boyd Homes’ rental communities across Virginia reveals an important story about a rental prospect’s online journey to find an apartment and ultimately lease.
“We look to see if there’s any way along the line where we could do something a little differently. For example, we know from our data that people look at the floor plans the most,” says Stephanie Drake, Marketing Manager for Boyd Homes. “In knowing that information, we can decide what we can do to enhance the floor plans that they’re looking at the most.”
Knowing that the floorplan page attracts the most online visitors and the floor plan assessment converts the most online leads, Drake says the company is looking to upgrade the section soon by adding an augmented reality tool that will allow prospects to take a personalized virtual tour of the property.
Repeatedly Engage Rental Prospects During Research Journey
Boyd’s data along with PERQ’s own industry analysis show most prospects conduct several months of online research before leasing an apartment or condo, so property management companies should find innovative ways to re-engage consumers as they repeatedly go online to search rental options.
“Roughly half of our website traffic is 90 days out from renting when you combine our communities’ data, so we look at ways we can keep them in the pipeline,” Drake says. “Our data shows these people need to be contacted up to seven times before they convert.”
Property management companies must regularly engage with prospective renters looking at apartments online and give them all of the information in one place that they need to make a decision, such as reviews on businesses in the surrounding area, a personal expense calculator and pre-qualify assessment.
Highly Engaged Leads Convert the Best
PERQ research shows the more experiences a prospect interacts with on a website, the more likely they are to convert. Of the prospects who scheduled a tour on a multifamily website, 72% went through at least one other experience and 58% went through at least three total experiences.
“If a prospect engages with multiple experiences, we are winning the hardest part of the digital battle. It means they are not likely going to leave to visit a competitor’s website,” says Caleb Bartlett, digital sales and media manager at Nolan Real Estate. “We have increased the likelihood of them taking that next step in the sales cycle.”
Follow Renter Journey to Get Ahead
Nolan Real Estate leverages the customer timelines they receive for each online lead through their interactive website experiences to nurture prospects and customize their lead follow-up strategy. Leasing specialists can see every time an online prospect returns to re-engage with the website, even if the prospect uses multiple devices. They are able to see exactly how the prospect responded to questions in the online assessments that ask about their moving timeline, budget, priorities and desired amenities.
“We teach each and every member of our team to utilize the consumer information that we are able to gather through our website and PERQ overlay,” Bartlett says. “Prospects tend to be very specific with their needs. If we can properly utilize all of the information they’ve provided, we believe we are already three steps ahead of where we would be without it.”