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]

The Art of Using Email Campaigns for Apartment Lease Renewal

The Art of Using Email Campaigns for Apartment Lease Renewal

[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]Automated email campaigns for lease renewal can help property managers and leasing agents convince tenants to re-sign. However, the email should be less of a mass, boilerplate message, and rather should capture information and inspire engagement to make the renewal process even easier.

 

For most property managers, the end goal to any form of marketing is likely a signed lease. But once you’ve taken someone who’s a curious, potential lead and transformed them into a happy tenant, the sales cycle isn’t suddenly over. That lease will eventually expire, and if you’re not actively working to keep that unit filled, you could be staring down the barrel of a whole host of vacancies.

 

While apartment renewals are currently at an all-time high of 55.1%, property managers must continue to nurture their tenants. Automated email campaigns for lease renewal can engage your tenants, encourage interaction and, hopefully, secure another year of rent payments.[/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_1531335860247{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

When to Send Automated Email Campaigns

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]You’ve probably used email before, perhaps to let tenants know about upcoming work around the property or as a gentle reminder to pick up after their pets. In fact, these may even be automated with one-touch send functionality. However, a discussion about lease renewal may require a bit more finesse than a blanket statement delivered in a mass email.

 

In keeping in line with your website’s interactive feel, it best to view an email campaign for lease renewal as the beginning of a discussion. Katrina Greene, the Senior Property Manager of Sheehan Properties in Indianapolis; Columbus, Indiana; and Louisville, Kentucky, first sends an email 120 days prior to the renewal date.

 

Instead of coming straight out and asking for the renewal, Greene says she prefers to simply send an interactive survey. This, she says, can help get the ball rolling on a potential re-signing.

 

“That’s our first signal from them on how we’re doing and what kind of aggression we have to take to get that person to renew,” she explains. “It also tells us what their plans are for the future. Sometimes we’ll find out that they already know they’re going to have a job transfer or that they are planning to buy a house or actively looking for a house. It’s a two-fold approach, because it gives us an idea of what we can expect in turnover that month, but it also indicates what the likelihood is that we can get this person to resign. If we can’t get them for a full renewal, it also tells us what’s the likelihood we can get them for at least a couple months more.”[/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_1531335902816{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

Make Email Campaigns for Lease Renewal Personalized

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Once Greene receives the completed survey, she and her team of leasing agents use the information to restart the signing process, similarly to how they did when the tenant first visited their site. Interactivity –  even within your automated emails – will continue to build quality into the lead by providing you with engaged feedback that can help to determine sales techniques. But are these tenants the same as a new lead who hasn’t yet moved into your community?

 

Beth Roberts, Property Manager for Englert Management Corporation, says that though there are similarities, the approaches are still different. “We strive for a high level of customer service regardless of who it is,” she says. “But the interactions are different for a tenant than a potential lead. If I’m going to use email, I want to be more personal. We know more about the tenants, so it’s easier to get them to come in to the office and talk to us.”

 

“We strive for a high level of customer service regardless of who it is.”

— Beth Roberts, Property Manager

 

Greene mirrors these sentiments, explaining how you can use not only the results of the survey, but their current living situation as leverage. “If we’ve already done our job, we’ve been selling them every day of their tenancy, so it’s more of a review of what we did and what we accomplished.”

 

“We have a bit of an upper hand when it comes to people already living onsite,” Greene says. “It’s easier to convince someone to stay by selling them on their great year here. You can show them this is what they’ve been able to participate in, or show them how you brought them value, or even what we do that competing properties don’t do. It’s different than selling people something they think they’re going to get. If we’ve already done our job, we’ve been selling them every day of their tenancy, so it’s more of a review of what we did and what we accomplished, more so than on a prospect where you’re just trying to convince them to pull the trigger and come to you even though they really don’t know what it’s going to be like.”[/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_1531335999333{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

Don’t Overuse Email Campaigns for Lease Renewal

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]If you’ve ever signed up for a rewards program at a clothing store, you’ve probably had some experience with being over-emailed. Communications via email can be a convenient and efficient way to stay in touch with a customer, but it can become easy for consumers to stop paying attention when there’s an avalanche of updates in their inbox.

 

The same can be said for interacting with tenants. If you’re planning on using automated emails for a lease renewal campaign, you may want to rethink how you’re using email on a larger level. Roberts says that while they do use emails for occasional updates, they’ve found that, “the more we use it, the more likely someone is to ignore it.” Greene feels the same way, and thinks critically about which communication techniques work best for specific messaging.

 

“I think there’s definitely such a thing as too many emails,” Greene says. “If we’re not always offering valuable information that’s pertinent to them, they’re going to make an assumption about what’s coming in to their inbox and stop looking at our emails altogether. We operate on a less is more model, and then use other platforms to connect. I think if you’re relying on any one platform with any given customer, it will lose its effectiveness. The automated emails are best for specific lease renewal reminders.”

 

To that end, after you’ve set up your automated lease renewal campaign with an interactive survey, you can follow up periodically leading up to a tenant’s renewal deadline with emails reminding them about what they need to do to re-sign, and by when.

 

Automated emails for lease renewal can be an easy way to begin the conversation with a tenant about resigning their lease. Though there may be different variables at play, your tenants are still leads who need to be engaged with your product to sign their name to a dotted line again.

 

If you choose to utilize automated email campaigns for lease renewal, your communications work best when they capture vital lead information and prepare both you and your staff for the continuing sales cycle.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

How PERQ is Leading the Way to Connecting Consumers with Brands

How PERQ is Leading the Way to Connecting Consumers with Brands

[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]Since the founding of PERQ in 2001, we have seen many changes in the landscape of consumer engagement. The idea of online shopping was just starting. It was certainly not a given that one day it would dominate how consumers buy. Fast forward to today, and consumers average 5 hours a WEEK shopping online. In fact, our first reaction anytime we want to buy anything is to get online and research.  If we are happy with our research, then we buy.[/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_1521237423302{padding-top: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 15px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text]This ability for the consumer to research and educate themselves has led to a significant change in the consumers’ expectations when it comes to engaging with brands. Mainly, the consumer expects to be in control of the sales process.  More specifically, they don’t want to talk to a salesperson and certainly don’t want to get ‘sold.’

 

Allow Consumers to Guide Their Own Shopping Process

 

Consumers expect the tools on a brand’s website to make it simple for them to narrow down their choices from the seemingly unlimited options available. In Amazon speak, this is the ‘you may also be interested in’.

 

Consumers shop on their own time, in the comfort of their home, and in a buying journey that is very much specific to them. The tools used to navigate this online buying process are called ‘guided shopping’. This technology makes the research of seemingly endless options simple while continuing to personalize the options and narrow down the choices until the consumer has landed on what they want.  They have sold themselves.

 

At PERQ, our guided shopping software is built for a very specific niche of businesses who sell high priced goods, have consumers who are spending more time researching and educating themselves online, yet still, want to buy face-to-face.

 

These types of businesses include automotive, furniture, and multi-family. These are big consumers purchases where the consumer wants to research and educated themselves in the comfort of their home, but when it comes time to ‘buy’ they want to touch and feel the product to confirm and validate the opinion they developed online.

 

Engage Consumers so They Feel Like They’re in Control

 

The research and education piece is where PERQ comes into play. Smart, Connected, and Interactive Experiences engage consumers regardless of where they are in the buyer’s funnel.  These experiences include assessments to help narrow down choices, calculators to determine payments, credit applications to ensure approval, and appointment schedulers to finalize the sale.

 

Our technology brings the business’s website up to the expectations consumers have today when it comes to shopping thanks to likes of the big retail brands like Google and Amazon.

 

It turns your website into your best salesperson by delivering great recommendations based on the consumer’s desires. But, it very much leaves the consumer in control. It takes all that wonderful product a brand has and delivers the right request by asking questions to the consumer like: Should I buy new or used vehicle? What type sofa is right for me? What amenities are close to this new apartment?  Those answers deliver the consumer to the product page on your website using one very specific use case.

 

But beyond the tools, PERQ’s technology also takes care of some of the common-sense things that we all take for granted when shopping on a big retailer’s site:

 

  • The site remembers me if I leave and come back.
  • The site never asks me to enter the same information twice.
  • The site personalizes to me the more I engage with it and delivers different calls to actions based on my behavior.

 

This is all done without a website overhaul or changes to your existing sales process.  Again, we take your great website, full of wonderful content and product, and turn it into your best salesperson.

 

Over the past year alone, we have had 1.5 million consumers engage with businesses through our technology, and the results are fantastic.  We know because we take the consumers engaging on your site and match it with your sold data.  This gives you unprecedented insight into where your website traffic is coming from, what consumers are shopping for on your website, and last but not least, the ROI of your website.

 

Consumers aren’t going back. Connecting the online world with brick and mortar stores is a must in today’s retail environment. Make sure you educate and see for yourself how guided shopping technology works.  Click here to schedule a demo.

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How to Inspire Online Apartment Shoppers to Book a Tour

How to Inspire Online Apartment Shoppers to Book a Tour

[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]Your mom probably told you that you can’t please everyone. But certain features of your multifamily property website can make it more likely that online apartment shoppers will show up to explore your residences in person.

 

A multifamily property’s website and online materials educate and entice potential new residents, but their clicks and research don’t always equal high occupancy rates. At the end of the day, most residents only lease once they’ve had a great apartment tour and seen the place they will call home. So how can you be sure apartment shoppers researching your digs online end up booking a property tour?

 

The answer lies in an interactive website. Using today’s most innovative web tools, you can implement a style that sets you apart; use research tools that help apartment shoppers get information easily; add calls to action that capture renter information and remembers them and the details they provided during their online visit; and provide special offers that incentivize tours. These tools only bring results when used strategically.[/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_1531352065807{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

Give Apartment Shoppers a Reason to Book a Tour

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Drawing apartment shoppers into your website means giving them a full look at the apartment itself, and the building as well. “On the website I try to make sure my pictures are really vibrant and colorful,” says Beth Roberts, property manager for Englert Management Corporation that oversees properties across the Midwest. “We have lots of inside pictures, and we do have a video tour.”

 

To translate online browsers into onsite visits, Roberts advises property managers to consider how their website is serving potential customers in each phase of exploring their residential options.

 

For those just learning about your brand, your website’s look and feel can attract them to your vibe or send them running for another option. As a result, your site must stand out among the maddening crowd.[/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_1531352298031{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

Make Apartment Shoppers Feel at Home Online

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Your leasing agents are, above all else, your best closers. They’re warm, inviting, and know exactly how to make a potential renter feel right at home.

 

Your website can have the best quality photos, dynamic floor plans, or even the most engaging content to keep a customer interested, but it’s unlikely they’ll be comfortable putting down a deposit without having a physical walkthrough of the property, especially because remote leases are more binding than those signed after a tour.

 

However, your website still has the ability to act like a leasing agent, as it can keep visitors engaged and focused on what you have to offer. Interactive features like 360° tours, assessment quizzes that help online shoppers choose a floor plan right for them, and videos help to inform apartment shoppers still doing research.

 

Even non-visual tools, like a prequalification check, online application, and tour scheduling will encourage visits, and they represent opportunities to share details like temporary discounts on application fees or the amenities at your property.

 

George McCabe — a renter in Denver, Colorado, who recently found a great apartment after first searching on the web and then taking a tour — agreed with this sentiment wholeheartedly. He most appreciated the websites that offered an in-depth preview of the real space and the building’s common areas. This allowed him to come to the tour ready to focus on details.

 

“I have a lot of musical equipment, so it’s important to know there’s enough electrical outlets to plug everything in.” McCabe says. Every resident will have similar unique needs, desires and concerns about their apartment, which is why tours are so essential. But if they don’t know much about the property from your website, they might forget to consider those small necessities, leading to unhappy tenants in the long-term.[/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_1531352230262{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

Guide Online Apartment Shoppers with Interactive Tools

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If you want your website to bring qualified leads through the leasing office door, it has to engage online apartment shoppers in exploring what life would be like at your multifamily property. Here are some helpful, interactive tools from PERQ to help guide visitors to a tour:

 

  • New Customer Welcome: Welcomes new visitors to your property website and guides the consumer to the specific part of the website that they are interested in.
  • Expense Calculator: Gives an estimated living expense for an apartment community. Displays amenities that are included, additional expenses like utilities, and can calculate add-ons, like parking, storage or pet fees.
  • Right Community for Me:  Collects consumer interests for activities. Yelp data is used to show activities and places unique to a city and a certain area within a city to help a renter choose the best community.
  • Floor Plan Assessment: Gives consumers insight into which floor plan might be right for them at the property, while the property collects a valuable lead.
  • Pre-Qualify Assessment: Allows a consumers to see if they pre-qualify before going through the application process. It asks a series of simple questions that guides either a result of “Yes, you pre-qualify” or “A leasing agent will be in touch with you to discuss you pre-qualification status.”
  • Tour Scheduler: Lets consumers book a tour directly on your website. Has the ability to plug directly into leasing agents’ calendars and show only the times to consumers that they are available.
  • Exit Intent: Provides a special offer to a consumer who have not yet converted to a lead before they leave the property’s website.

 

Each of the interactive experiences engages and guides your property website’s online visitors in a unique way and helps you get online apartment shopper lead information that makes your leasing agents’ jobs easier, too. Make your website exciting and watch the rental waiting list grow.

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Additional Multifamily Resources

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3 Steps to Guide Apartment Shoppers Online

3 Steps to Guide Apartment Shoppers Online

[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]Most apartment shoppers online begin their journey on your property website. So how do you capitalize on this controlled environment and move more leads closer to signing a lease? You do so by understanding your sales funnel, what works best on your site and converting online interest into tangible sales.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”parallax” header_style=”light” parallax_content_width=”full_width” text_align=”center” full_screen_section_height=”no” background_image=”28348″ section_height=”200″ parallax_speed=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1521230775859{background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: cover !important;}”][vc_column][vc_empty_space height=”55px”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1522950688655{padding-right: 25px !important;padding-left: 25px !important;}”]

3 STEPS TO GUIDE APARTMENT SHOPPERS ONLINE

[/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]Apartment shoppers online who visit your multifamily property’s website bring their own background and personality: where they come from, where they’ve lived, or even a new addition to their family. These traits influence what information they are looking for online to help them in the decision-making process on where and even when to rent.

 

Some online apartment shoppers might be willing to sign on the dotted line after seeing a few photos and the right price, while others are still trying to determine their budget, the right location for their lifestyle, the right floor plan and if they can even get pre-qualified.

 

But for almost every renter in the modern multifamily residential market, your property’s website and other online resources will be their first exposure to your building, a place they might call home. Getting an apartment shopper’s attention online in that moment is critical to becoming their first residential choice. It’s the key to harnessing the power of your site’s ability to help them down the path of discovery, research and willingness to buy/rent — the online conversion funnel, so to speak.[/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 css=”.vc_custom_1521237198580{padding-top: 15px !important;}”][/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]Property managers and leasing agents looking to improve the conversion funnel for apartment shoppers online should think of these three important steps as they examine their websites to determine if they’re really engaging consumers throughout the process.

 

To get some more in-depth information of the online experience, we spoke to Katy Schmidt, property manager for IronWorks apartments in Indianapolis, as well as George McCabe, a renter in Denver, Colorado, who recently found a new apartment online.

 

Here’s a summary of what happens in the discovery, research and buy phases, plus some tips on how to turn strangers on the Internet into happy members of your multifamily apartment community.[/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_1522950765054{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

1. Apartment Shoppers Online in the Discovery Phase

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]unique-apartment-website-300x300These browsers are the apartment shoppers online who are only just discovering your multifamily property. Maybe they’ve driven by the apartment community, or know the name, but they likely don’t know very much about what the residential experience looks like.

 

Customers in this phase will be most interested in the high-level information on the site, especially photos or other graphic elements. This is where an eye for web design will play its greatest role.

 

Visual elements such as cascading, vibrant shots of the buildings and grounds, captioned or headlined with statements about your building’s culture, neighborhood and style, will catch their eye and imagination as they start to consider what life would be like within your walls. According to Schmidt, anything that can set your website apart from the rest is going to help.

 

“Anything that’s cookie cutter or similar to the competition is going to drive people away. We try to create our websites to look a little different than the rest. Our building is unique, and we want the site to reflect that,” Schmidt says.

 

Renter Enticement Tip: Calls to action in the form of a new customer welcome, and special offers on application fees or credit checks will catch the prospect’s attention as they browse early, and might reassure them that if they proceed, they won’t face fees just to explore.[/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 css=”.vc_custom_1521237198580{padding-top: 15px !important;}”][/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_1522950888727{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

2. Apartment Renters Online in the Research Phase

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]If your site has convinced apartment renters online, they’d at least consider getting an apartment in your multifamily community, their minds will turn to the nitty-gritty details of apartment living. This means they’ll want comprehensive floorplans, in-depth accounts of all included amenities, rent and utility rates, and even resident reviews.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner row_type=”row” type=”full_width” text_align=”left” css_animation=”” css=”.vc_custom_1521232210156{padding-top: 25px !important;}”][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][blockquote text=”If your site has convinced apartment renters online, they’d at least consider getting an apartment in your multifamily community,” show_quote_icon=”yes” text_color=”#2c2c2c” quote_icon_color=”#871d5a” width=”90″ border_color=”#871d5a”][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1522950924189{padding-left: 25px !important;}”]Any missing details, hard-to-find information, or general issues with site navigation can still send these once-interested customers bouncing to a competitor, so be sure your site is powered by a reliable design and marketing team, and contains all the relevant information an in-person leasing agent would share. McCabe agrees, explaining how important those small pieces were to him as a potential renter.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1522950933794{padding-top: 25px !important;}”]“I definitely like to see pictures; that’s really important,” he says. “If there’s a place that doesn’t have pictures, I’ll probably just skip over it.”

 

Renter Enticement Strategy: During this period, consumers will be telling you – or, rather, your site – what they need and want. Give them a unique and memorable outlet to do so with interactive floorplan assessments that reveal what unit best fits their needs. If the visitor is about to leave, your website should automatically offer up a special offer to try to entice them back into exploring your site even further.[/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 css=”.vc_custom_1521237198580{padding-top: 15px !important;}”][/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_1522951028923{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

3. Apartment Shoppers Online Ready to Buy

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Apartment-Shoppers-Online-Tour-300x300In this phase, your website will have already answered the majority of the online apartment shopper’s preliminary questions. The previous step of the funnel should have adequately satisfied the customer’s questions, and doing so will make sure they’re more ready to rent before getting there.

 

“We have 18 different floor plans so educating them prior to the visit helps us streamline the sales approach,” Schmidt says.

 

Prospective renters online will want to book a tour, or maybe even submit an application to rent without visiting. These tenants will need a sense of total security and competency before signing or paying online. Be sure you have an adequate payment portal if your site offers such a feature.

 

Make it easy for apartment shoppers online to book a tour easily online with a click of a button to confirm a day and time that works for them, along with the best way to reach them. It should help to convert more visitors than your typical static lead form. A leasing agent or property manager should then follow up with a quick email or phone call to confirm the day and time and find out if there are any other questions they need answered in the meantime..

 

Renter Enticement Strategy: At this phase, the renter is already at the bottom of the funnel, but multifamily property managers have a great opportunity to immediately start building renter loyalty through cool incentives like a contest drawing for new applicants, or discounted rent if they apply within a certain time frame.[/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 css=”.vc_custom_1521237198580{padding-top: 15px !important;}”][/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]The truth is, renters might visit an apartment’s website several times before they’re finally ready to take a tour or fill out a rental application. Just as you would be in person, your site must be patient with and responsive to the apartment shopper’s decision-making process, and remember them when they return.

 

Interactive, connected experiences should help to lead each apartment shopper online down the path of their own choosing, never showing them the same calls to action where they already gave you information, and addressing visitors by name if they gave their contact information to your site previously.

 

By giving potential apartment renters an engaging experience that’s helpful and makes them remember your community, they’ll move themselves to your doorstep and hopefully have a new doorstep in your apartment community to call their own.[/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_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Additional Multifamily Resources

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