In the multifamily industry, regional managers often talk about all of the website leads that get ignored — up to 50% in some instances. Properties and management companies are wasting their digital marketing dollars to generate website traffic to increase leads when leasing specialists aren’t following up.
With an automated and personalized lead nurture solution, properties have stopped wasting their money and actually see the return on their investment. “This is going to be a game changer,” admitted Heidi Jehlicka, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Employee Development at The Bainbridge Companies, when she first heard about it. She jokes that the most common automated email in the multifamily industry has been the “out of office” email.
While marketing teams often write email campaigns, it’s up to a leasing agent to personalize each of those emails before they’re sent. That typically isn’t the option when it comes down to a leasing agent’s time, who is already strapped by daily demands.
Properties who use lead nurture say it drives traffic back to the website, helping them to maximize the return on each of their digital marketing channels and tie those visitors back to tours scheduled and leases.
In fact, 13% of tours are directly tied to PERQ’s lead nurture solution, which is powered by artificial intelligence. Nurtured leads who re-engage with your website, on average, are 7x more likely to schedule tour than visitors from other traffic sources.
“We can focus on a lot of other things instead of manually nurturing and chasing leads, like taking care of the customer, having better tours as well,” Jehlicka says.
As visitors come to a property website, they want to narrow down their choices to decide if a community is right for them. Properties that use website conversion tools, such as assessments and quizzes, do just that while also collecting valuable data about each online visitor.
Once someone goes through the PERQ experiences on our website, they’re far more qualified and serious than someone who hasn’t.
Mary Herrold, Senior Director of Marketing at Redwood Residential
Leasing specialists learn the best time of day a visitor prefers to be contacted (nationally, 48% say morning, btw!), how they prefer to be contacted, number of bedrooms and bathrooms they want, and what features are most important. They then leverage that data in a call, text or email.
“You’re able to touch on so much more when you know about that prospect,” says Chris Berry, Senior Regional Manager at First Communities Management, adding that it’s much better than just an impersonal email. “It’s a waste of time to send them a cookie cutter response. Really think about it and put those responses into action.”
Mary Herrold, Senior Director of Marketing at Redwood Residential, says no one is nurturing leads that are further out and not quite ready to rent, but it’s a must and what makes a company stand out from the rest. “Once someone goes through the PERQ experiences on our website, they’re far more qualified and serious than someone who hasn’t,” she says.
Still, Herrold admits that a successful way to nurture a lead must absolutely include a phone call. Using those lead details only helps you to personalize your communication to each customer to get them to tour and lease, she says: “Our website gets them all the way to the door, figuratively and physically. Pick up the baton and run with it, get it to the finish line. Speed the lead.”
Almost 60% of rental prospects say they are 90 days from when they want to move in, according to the 2019 Multifamily Field Guide, and 23% are still a month out. Those leads who don’t get contacted or don’t feel like they’re connecting with their community find another property that will.
Watch: How the Marketing Cloud Helps You Better Understand Your Rental Prospects.
Communities that use the automated lead nurture solution keep their property top of mind for rental prospects. For up to 90 days after engaging with their website, rental prospects receive automated emails based on the actions they took online. The emails drive them back to the community website, where they continue to explore the property and pick up where they left off on the site.
Just like a leasing specialist, the Lead Nurture solution leverages the AI and the data collected about each visitor, analyzes past activity and behavior to serve up the next best email to entice them to schedule a tour.
“That’s been great,” says a client with 51 properties across the U.S. using PERQ’s solution, who asked us not to use their name. “The messages with offers have converted. I had an instance not too long ago where a person came in to tour within 28 days from the initial lead nurture email. The third email had an offer. They printed it out, came to the office and said, ‘I want a tour and here’s the email I got. We wouldn’t have gotten them otherwise.”
After a visitor schedules a tour, the lead nurture solution automatically sends a confirmation via text message, and one reminder on the day of the tour, to increase show rate and ultimately signed leases.
“Just because you book a tour doesn’t mean they’re actually going to come in for a tour,” Herrold says. “Confirm it and give people the sense that you are going to have the apartment that’s right for them.”
While your team is focused on leads ready to tour and lease now, Lead Nurture drives traffic back to your site — maximizing the investment you made to drive and acquire website visitors in the first place. Teams who use lead nurture say they have more time to be available for their residents, more time to give tours and can personalize their conversations much better with the valuable lead data.