Equipping Your Leasing Team to Provide the Best Customer Service

Equipping Your Leasing Team to Provide the Best Customer Service

[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]In the past 10 years, data has become a necessity in sales and marketing, not only for attracting buyers, but for retaining customers as well. In this episode of The Bridge Podcast, Andy and Muhammad talk with Desiree White and Colin Cloud, members of NE Property Management’s marketing team, and discuss how to train and align the marketing and sales teams to use data to personalize the leasing experience and provide the best customer experience. 

 

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Right now, leasing teams have more data than ever before to assist in getting more tours and leases. Through website interactions and analytics, you can find out personal information about the renter that allows you to truly customize the renting experience. “The lead is no longer a cold call,” White says. “Make the renter feel like they are truly being helped… you don’t need to act like you are selling it to them.” 

 

If you want to learn more about how NE Property Management is personalizing the renting experience and utilizing data to drive sales, along with how they’re training their teams, check out this episode of The Bridge podcast now. 

 

The Bridge is available wherever you get your podcasts including, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, and Spotify. You can see all of the episodes, on your podcast app of choice by visiting this link

 

Connect with us 

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Additional Multifamily Resources

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Why Apartment Managers Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Test Innovative Digital Marketing Ideas

Why Apartment Managers Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Test Innovative Digital Marketing Ideas

[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]Fear of making a misstep is common in many industries, and the multifamily rental space is no different. However, embracing digital marketing strategies, including innovative tools and techniques, will only generate better quality leads and help you increase revenue.[/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]It’s no secret that the world of digital marketing rapidly changes. There are always new tools, new methods and new techniques for getting the most out of your online interactions with consumers looking to find a rental property.

 

With all of that in mind, it’s understandable for a property manager to be intimidated or overwhelmed by an ever-changing digital world. In order to compete in today’s market with other properties, you’ll need to embrace new digital marketing ideas. After all, it’s better to try and see what works best for your property, than to continue to not try anything at all and let your competitors gain the advantage.[/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_1531282509155{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

The Only Constant is Change

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]It’s already expected for your apartment complexes to have a presence online. Whether it’s your own website or a social media platform, customers want to research and engage with you independently on their own time. But, with other companies doing the same thing and interacting online, the challenge then becomes how to maximize those interactions and get the most out of your online presence as possible.

 

Jeannette Cox, who sits on the Board of Directors for the National Apartment Association, says digital marketing success comes from understanding how the consumer wants to shop and giving them features that will encourage them to remain focused on your brand.

 

“With people doing so much more online and wanting less verbal communication, the more tools that a marketing company has online to help customers visualize and go through the experience independently, means they have people stay on those sites longer,” says Cox, who’s also the Vice President for Oddo Development in Kansas City, Kansas. “I think any time you can use interactive tools like room planners and 3D tours, it’s realizing what consumers are wanting. We do still feel like it’s the leasing agent that makes the deal, but we can see that these tools are what bringing people in. We’re finding that almost everyone in the office or coming in for a tour has spent quite a bit of time on the site beforehand.”[/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_1531282525446{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

Use Digital Marketing to Get Better Leads

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]One of best aspects of working in a rapidly changing digital space is the sheer amount of opportunities available to an apartment manager. Advances in technology and software today can help improve property websites so that they’re more engaging, providing you with more leads that are also better quality.

 

Technology like PERQ’s online guided shopping can help guide visitors on your website so they’re getting a more personalized experience. For example, interactive quizzes or assessments on your website can help potential renters find out more about what they want out of an apartment.

 

Simultaneously those visitors are revealing more information about themselves that leasing agents can then use to help them follow up with the lead. Shoppers should also be able to unlock special rates and discounts by offering up key bits of contact details, making those call-to-actions a bit softer.

 

But even further than that, these tools can give you a keener understanding of your position as a company and as a brand. Jeannette Cox explains that online innovation is best harnessed by focusing on both single lead generation and broader marketing trends.

 

“Our tools do a pretty good job of giving some transparency on customer info,” she says. “We can look and say ‘okay, this contact came to us through this channel, these are the parts of the site they took most interest in, this is their contact information, this is how long they were on the site.’ But also, we can take a look at larger data points like our bounce rate or lead conversion. The details on reporting are really extensive, so we can look at individual customer data or on a larger scale across trends to understand the performance of our branding and what opportunities we have.”

 

According to Cox, brand recognition is unquestionably the name of the game. “You can’t be sure where people will find you, whether it’s on a third-party site or social media or directly on your page. The more accurately your brand is represented, the higher lead generation you’ll have.”[/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_1531282543965{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

Say Farewell to Fear in Digital Marketing

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]If your company has experienced even moderate success over several quarters or fiscal years, it can be quite easy to become complacent. You may find yourself wondering, “Why should I change things up if I’m doing okay?”

 

The fact of the matter is that your competition may already be implementing these types of innovative marketing tools, and in doing so, changing the landscape without you even knowing it.

 

Turning away from attempting new strategies is another way of letting fear control your business, and your customers may find themselves gravitating toward websites that are more engaging. In Cox’s mind, it’s not about the way you like to do things, but rather about listening to what the customer wants.

 

“I think people are afraid of change. For some who have been in the business a while – even industry leaders – they have been successful at this prior to the focus on online marketing. They’re used to the traditional practice of selling over the phone, but newer generations don’t shop that way. There may be a bit of ‘I don’t know what that [technology] is,’ but the customers are ready to use it.”[/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][/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]

Additional Multifamily Resources

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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 Interactive Multifamily Software Increases Tours and Leases

How Interactive Multifamily Software Increases Tours and Leases

[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]Creating a connected online consumer experience helps property managers capture valuable consumers in the apartment research phase, resulting in more tours and ultimately more renters.

 

As digital marketing becomes more efficient, it’s important for apartment companies and leasing agencies to take a moment and ask what their website can actually do for them in terms of increasing the actual number of tours and leases signed.

 

Today, more than 80% of digital ads are ignored. Instead, visitors to your website are craving marketing experiences like quizzes, calculators, and other tools. Interactivity is now crucial to engage with with prospective residents. Here’s some insight into just what interactive web features are driving that increase in tours and leases for your multifamily property:

 

Go Beyond the Guest Card

 

In the world of multifamily rentals, the work of websites to generate leads has often been static. Prospective residents would be offered a “guest card;” which is essentially your traditional, run-of-the-mill static lead form. It has fields for a customer to enter their contact information and maybe answer some questions about potential move-in date or desired floor plan.

 

Derek Hoover, leasing manager at TWG Management in Indianapolis, says guest cards, or static lead forms, just aren’t effective. “We need to be able to capture more information about our potential leads,” he says.

 

Since implementing interactive experiences (like quizzes and pop-up promotions) onto their websites, Hoover quickly realized just how ineffective those guest cards truly were. “For every 50 leads I now get with more interactive features, I only get one person using our guest card,” Hoover says.

 

Get the Whole Scoop

 

It’s important to note that not all leads are equal. The more your digital marketing experiences can provide information about your product/service offerings, the more prepared they’ll be to ask questions and talk about their needs.

 

“In this day and age, people don’t want to pick up a phone,” Hoover says. “If they don’t need to call us to find out if they prequalify, what our floor plans look like, or to schedule a tour, our job is easier and so is the process for them.”

 

As Beth Roberts of Hunter’s Point Apartments puts it, “PERQ’s experiences give us a much better picture of the client. ” She stresses the benefit of having more information about leads before following up with them. “I don’t have to be vague when I follow up because I know what they’re looking for. Them going through the interactive experience means I know they want a two bedroom and they can move in 90 days,” Roberts says.

 

Go with the Flow

 

Just getting emails, names and phone numbers through the traditional guest card isn’t as effective as understanding the flow of traffic to your website. How are people finding out about your services and where are they coming from?

 

If you’re generating a ton of leads through sharing interactive experiences via Facebook, then perhaps you need to increase your marketing spend on that particular social media platform.

 

For Hoover, the added value in working with PERQ is access to this type of information. “Through working with PERQ, I was finally able to understand how to interpret our website traffic — something I hadn’t thought much about before, but can now include in my marketing strategy,” he says.

 

Web design is constantly evolving, and forward-thinking marketing teams must stay on top of trends in order to reap the benefits. A truly engaging, interactive website puts multifamily properties steps ahead of the competition when it comes to attracting leasing leads.

 

In addition to having an interactive website, a connected experience makes potential renters feel more appreciated, more informed, and more prepared to lease, while collecting data to hone future strategy at the same time.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]