Is Your Property Management Software Delivering Quality Leads?

Is Your Property Management Software Delivering Quality Leads?

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521226682387{padding-top: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text]Multifamily property managers often wonder if there are web tools or software they can use to better generate or manage quality leads. We talked to some seasoned leasing pros to see what tools they use to get the best leads possible, at all stages of the apartment shopping process.

 

As a property manager, you’ve probably invested a fair amount of time into property management software and online marketing. And if you’re using the right tools, your website is not just for pretty pictures and floorplans. It also has the ability to engage with customers and transform curious apartment seekers into bona fide leads.

 

So how do you know if you’re partnering with the right company? It’s all about whether or not your property management software is delivering quality leads.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521237406917{padding-top: 15px !important;padding-bottom: 15px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1531361483112{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

What is a Quality Lead?

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Generally, one might assume that “ready to buy” is the most vital component of a “quality lead.” But if a visitor is interacting with your website, perhaps even filling out contact forms and including a phone number and price range, they may still be a year away from ending their current lease.

 

Derek Hoover, leasing manager at TWG Management, LLC in Indianapolis, elaborated on how confusing this can sometimes be. “Shoppers who are just starting their journey are looking for the most information as possible,” he says. “They’ve thought about the questions and thought about the answers, but that doesn’t mean they’re ready to sign.” Englert Management property manager, Beth Roberts also agreed with this sentiment, saying “People who give you the most information are sometimes the ones who are looking the furthest out.”

 

Though not every apartment hunter is going to be ready to lease the second they see your multifamily property website, it’ll still be quite beneficial to gather information on their wants, needs and lifestyle. The more information you have on a prospective resident, the more likely you’ll transform a casual window shopper into an intrigued and informed buyer, even months down the line.

 

“What I want is the most information they’re willing to give me,” Hoover says. “A quality lead gives specific details as to what they’re looking for, so we can actually have things prepared when they or we reach back out, instead of having to ask questions again to get all that information.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521237414253{padding-top: 15px !important;padding-bottom: 15px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1531361507900{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

What Web Tools and Software Deliver Leads?

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Quality multifamily leads are all about renter information, both in terms of quality and quantity. But even the best-looking lead might not be only reaching out to you. “If someone is filling out a guest card, they’re not just doing it for me.

 

They’re doing it for twenty other apartments,” Hoovers says. Roberts agreed, but observed that often, filling out the guest card gives room for certain audiences to express details about their situation that can help property managers fit their needs better.

 

Robert has also received  good responses to the new 3D floorplans Englert implemented on their websites. Like a model home or unit, the floorplans have small icons of “staged” furniture to help shoppers visualize what the apartment would look like furnished, even before they see the space themselves. “Getting many good pictures of the interior to help them visualize is essential,” Robert adds.

 

As customers engage with your site, they can and should be given the opportunity to not just learn more about your property, but to learn more about what they want and need.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521237423302{padding-top: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 15px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text]Hoover noted that while many apartment websites are simply “floor plans, pictures, and a phone number,” the standouts in the industry feature more personalized experiences, for both for the visitor and the property manager.

 

“Having a more interactive website is just far more helpful.”

 

“Many sites allow potential renters to schedule a tour or find out if they qualify. But the more you’re providing people the tools to find the answers on their own, the longer they’re on your website, and the more likely they are to stay interested.

 

“We use PERQ [at TWG Management, LLC], and they’re able to create quizzes that have very specific, unordinary questions, like ‘Are you looking for the finer things in life?’ or ‘Do you want to spend more money on fun or necessities?’ which increases the shopper’s curiosity, and also their sense that we are interested in them as people — which of course, we are,” Hoover said.

 

Capturing a ready lead in the housing market can be a nuanced and complicated puzzle. However, the right property management software can help you get more qualified and engaged leads from your website.

 

From virtual tours, to quizzes, to 3D floorplans and pre-qualifying calculators, lead generation software for property managers is making great use of the web technology available today.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

How Multifamily Properties Get Better Online Leads

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]Before making a big decision like renting an apartment or townhome, consumers conduct research online. Give renters the information they seek online, while delivering multifamily property managers detailed leads on each website visitor who interacts with the site.

 

For many multifamily property websites, a static “Contact Us” form is the only way a potential renter can request more information about available apartments, amenities and pricing. These forms force online visitors to either pick up the phone to speak to a leasing specialist or submit their name and phone number and then wait for a leasing office to call them.

 

Visitors who fail to reach out through the contact form leave property managers with no way of knowing who visited their website. That prospect likely moved on to a competitor’s site to do more research.

 

“Educating and engaging our consumers better on our website has streamlined our leasing process in ways I couldn’t have imagined”

— Casey Rusk

 

Multifamily properties can gather more leads and higher quality lead information by implementing website technology that guides consumers through the apartment shopping process. With the help of interactive tools like a personal expense calculator or floor plan assessments, properties can also capture valuable lead data from website visitors.

 

“Educating and engaging our consumers better on our website has streamlined our leasing process in ways I couldn’t have imagined,” says Casey Rusk, regional manager at Watermark Residential. “The renter has much more information at their fingertips, so the leasing process is faster.”

 

Interactive Experiences Capture Quality Website Leads

 

Leasing specialists gather detailed lead information every time a website visitor interacts with an online tool, which they can use to close the deal when the new renter tours the property. “There’s more information captured, so it’s a better lead,” says Mark Avis, president and CEO of Regency Multifamily, which features PERQ software on more than a dozen multifamily property sites.

 

For Watermark Residential, the interactive feature “What floor plan is right for you?” garners the most interest from prospective renters. Rusk says online visitors who engage with that planning tool and any other interactive experience on Watermark’s websites give the property managers valuable information in return, such as the renter’s preferred price range, pet information and desired features.  

 

“We’re getting a lot more information on leads, like what kind of floor plan they prefer, their price range, when they need to move, which is information we weren’t getting before.”

 

Sandy Carmin, director of property management at Englert Management Corporation, says the floor plan assessments are also really popular on their multifamily property websites. However, it’s pricing and special offers that get the most clicks.

 

“We’re getting a lot more information on leads, like what kind of floor plan they prefer, their price range, when they need to move, which is information we weren’t getting before,” Carmin says. “It’s very helpful.”

 

Website Leads Increase With Engagement

 

By capturing data from every online visitor, a multifamily property website can convert anonymous website traffic into high-quality leads. PERQ multifamily clients convert up to 200 percent more website traffic into known leads and see an average lead increase of 550 percent.

 

“We’ve seen an incredible increase in website leads since implementing PERQ in mid-December,” says Casey Rusk. In just over three months, Watermark Residential’s website leads jumped by more than 300 percent.   

 

Our research shows that if you help potential renters research and narrow down their choices, they’re likely to spend three times longer on a multifamily website, which builds trust and an increase in converted leads. The more guided online shopping experiences they engage with, the more likely they are to book a tour of a multifamily complex.

 

“Definitely, leads have increased a lot,” Sandy Carmin says. “After doing a lot of research on our websites, we find people are a lot more committed when they come in for a tour.”

 

“After doing a lot of research on our websites, we find people are a lot more committed when they come in for a tour.”

— Sandy Carmen

 

Englert Management’s five multifamily properties all experienced a lift in leads since installing the interactive leasing software that guides people through the apartment shopping process. While most of the properties started with less than 10 website leads per month, they now receive an average of 30 leads a month.

 

Carmin points to the online tour scheduler as one of the biggest improvements in Englert Management’s leasing process. Every interactive website experience links to the tour scheduling tool, which allows visitors to set an appointment online and then automatically add the tour time to a leasing specialist’s calendar.

 

“Because they now have the option to schedule a tour on our site, we’ve also seen an increase in the number of people who actually make an appointment to tour the properties,” Carmin says. “There wasn’t an online option before — they had to call or email.”

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How Property Managers Can Appeal to Millennial Renters

How Property Managers Can Appeal to Millennial Renters

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521224734716{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text]It’s pretty common to hear people blaming the millennial generation for “killing off” various industries. Throughout every decade, there’s always been a younger generation that has encountered some sort of criticism. After all, younger generations (regardless of decade) grown up surrounded by newer forms of technology that make their lives easier. These shortcuts are often viewed by older generations as “lazy,” and therefore, they’re viewed as “entitled.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521224734716{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text]Regardless of how people feel, it’s only natural for Millennials to  expect newer forms of technology (smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc.) to improve every aspect of their lives —  whether they’re driving, working, or shopping.

 

When it comes to apartment hunting, Millennials want the same quick, ease of access they’ve come to expect. They want to find the right information from rental properties quickly and easily. Considering the majority of your prospective renters will likely be Millennials, your rental property website should cater to them. Here’s how:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521237414253{padding-top: 15px !important;padding-bottom: 15px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1531792181473{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

Have A Clear And Uncluttered Layout

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]It shouldn’t come as a surprise that millennials will likely start looking for apartments online. Jordan Corrigan, a 34-year-old recent apartment hunter in Rochester, Minnesota, confirmed that the web is the number one place to find rental listings, as well as anything else he may need to purchase.

 

Cluttered and confusing layouts will look untrustworthy or give off an out-of-date vibe. Make sure that your site has an easy-to-understand display with menus and navigation that makes sense.

 

“Cluttered and confusing layouts will look untrustworthy or give off an out-of-date vibe.”

 

A poorly laid out website might have some younger residents running for the hills.ls.In the past, Corrigan has had difficult with different websites, especially when jumping from platform to platform, being left uncertain of where to click to find the next bit of info.

 

“Some (websites)  list the information in one place, others might only show a little bit of info.” Corrigan says.  It’s hard to find a resource that has all your housing options in one place. You have to look all over to find the information you need.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521237423302{padding-top: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 15px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1531792279576{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

Make Information Easy To Find

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]If a millennial is used to being able to find the closest Thai restaurant or best nearby in a few seconds, they’re going to get fed up if they’re unable to locate basic apartment information like price or floorplans. Corrigan was recently seeking out apartments online and had a frustrating experience for this very reason.

 

“I’d like to be able to see the inside of it easily without having to physically go there,” he said. “I want to know the layout and the condition of the property before I decide to head in for a tour. I also want to easily find the basic information: floor plan, square footage, amenities, and price. I shouldn’t have to search around for that.”

 

Aside from basic efficiency, one reason millennials may desire easy-to-find information may come from an inherent distrust of brands. A study performed by the McCarthy Group says that 84 percent of millennials do not have faith in traditional advertising. They see businesses as misleading and untruthful, so any difficulty they have in locating basic apartment details may come off as a ploy to deceive them.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521237406917{padding-top: 15px !important;padding-bottom: 15px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1531792286939{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

Go Mobile

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]This is the generation of swipe. No longer are customers tethered to their PC or laptop, as they have unlimited computing power sitting, in their hand. There’s a good chance an apartment hunter may have foundd out about your property while lounging on the couch or waiting in line at the grocery store. In fact, 63% shop directly from their smartphones daily, and many are using them to comparison shop.

 

Sites that are not mobile friendly often have links or buttons that seem to be “broken.” This is due both to compatibility issues, in which certain browsers don’t read your site correctly, as well as your site’s design simply not properly displaying your page on a smaller screen. Luckily, there are plenty of free tools to confirm that your site will fully load, such as with this handy Google app.

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Give Them Chances To Save

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Recent studies show that millennials are most sensitive to price points than any other influencing factor. With the bottom line being at the forefront of so many young adults’ minds, anything that tells them they can save big bucks by choosing your apartment is going to be good news.

 

Implementing interactive tools like PERQ that allow them to unlock special offers and savings will give you an advantage over your competitors. Additionally, any features like the ability to pay rent online or submit paperwork will help to save them big bucks and hopefully get them interested in a potential tour.

 

“Special offers and savings will give you an advantage over your competitors.”

 

Positioning your site to be appealing to the millennial crowd may sound like a fair amount of work, but in reality, it’s just a task of making your materials sleek, helpful, and easy-to-find. By focusing on your layout and design, being upfront and transparent, and giving your younger users a chance to save, you’ll be sure to be sure to get more Millennial renters through the doors of your multifamily property.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

How Property Websites Can Help Guide Apartment Shoppers

How Property Websites Can Help Guide Apartment Shoppers

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521226682387{padding-top: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text]Deciding on the perfect apartment isn’t always an easy task and not something that most people take lightly. If apartment shoppers do not feel confident that your apartment community will be able to check off all the boxes on their new home wish list, it’s likely they will move on and choose another community that can do so.

 

With over 70% of apartment shoppers researching apartments online, it’s important that an apartment property’s website be able to give potential renters all of the information they want to know about your community and guide them through the apartment shopping process.

 

There are several key factors that potential renters take into consideration when deciding whether or not to lease an apartment. A recent survey administered by national apartment management firm, Village Green, found that the top three criteria potential renters use to evaluate a property are:

 

  • Rent price – 85%
  • Location – 81%
  • Community environment

 

The first two are rather obvious: the monthly rent price must be within budget and the apartment should be close to work, family, or whatever the potential renter deems important. Community environment is a factor that often gets overlooked, but it’s actually extremely important to potential renters. People want to know if the apartment community and surrounding area will have what is needed to fulfill their interests and hobbies.

 

“Rent was obviously super important,” says Lilly Iffert, a new renter at the Providence of Old Meridian, a Buckingham property in Carmel, Indiana. “We had a strict rent budget that we didn’t want to exceed, so we’d check the floorplan prices online before ever scheduling a tour.” Joining Lilly in her search was Elizabeth Weinewuth.

 

“It’s important that an apartment property’s website be able to give potential renters all of the information they want to know about your community.”

 

Not long into their apartment search, however, Iffert and Weinewuth quickly realized that there were several other expenses that must be factored into their monthly payments. “This is our first apartment,” explained Weinewuth, “so we learned really fast that there are a lot more things to consider than you would think. The other monthly costs you’re going to have in the apartment like utilities, cable, trash – these are all things you’re going to be paying monthly in addition to the rent.”

 

“[Those other costs] started to be the first thing we’d ask leasing agents about on a tour,” continued Iffert, “we wanted to make sure that the total price we’d be paying monthly wasn’t going to be over our budget.”

 

Iffert and Weinewuth are not alone in this question. Determining what the monthly expenses will be, in addition to the rent payment, is likely just as important as the actual rent price. This is a question that leasing agents are asked on nearly every tour or initial phone call.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521226682387{padding-top: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text]perq_multifamily_funnel[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column][vc_column_text]Because of this, one of PERQ’s new tools in their online guided shopping platform is a Personal Expense Calculator that allows residents to calculate their estimated monthly costs for a specific community. This tool pulls in a community’s estimated costs for expenses like: utilities and trash, along with estimated costs for optional amenities like Cable and WiFi, storage, pets, etc. The more a property management website can act like a leasing agent and answer consumers’ questions, the more engaged and interested a potential renter will become.

 

Another new tool in PERQ’s online guided shopping platform designed to answer prospective renter’s questions,  is the Community Fit assessment. With this feature, a consumer answers questions about their interests as well as the places they desire to have near their community. The tool even pulls data from Yelp to show activities and places near the community that are relevant to the potential renter’s interests.

 

We showed our recent renters these new tools for property websites, and asked if they would have been helpful during their recent apartment hunt.

 

“The personal expense calculator is awesome!” says Iffert. “That would’ve
saved us a lot of time and effort we spent asking [leasing agents] all of the possible expenses and calculating our potential monthly expenses on our own.”

 

Weinewuth has quite a bit to say about these tools as well! “I like how it shows the costs of optional amenities too. It lets you see what the property has to offer and how much you’ll have to pay for the extra stuff. That would’ve been huge since all properties have different amenities and different costs.”

 

Both Weinewuth and Iffert loved the Community Fit feature as well, and agreed that it would have been extremely helpful with their search.

 

“Moving from Illinois to Indiana, I knew close to nothing about Carmel prior to moving,” says Weinewuth. “I obviously wanted to find a property that was close to work, but there was more that factored into our location search than just that. When we narrowed it down to a few properties we liked, I used the addresses to search what was nearby each property. It would’ve been awesome to have something like that directly on the [property] website.”

 

These new features provide significant benefits to both the property and prospective residents They create a better, more meaningful engagement between the two. Today’s world is dominated primarily by online shopping, so it’s essential that property management companies have websites that stand out and can create a guided online experience for consumers.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]