3 Multifamily Best Practices for Online Rental Prospect Follow-Up
You spend a lot of time, money, and resources on marketing your apartment communities. Whether you focus your marketing efforts online, offline or a mix of web-based and traditional strategies, successfully converting your hard-earned leads into leases requires that you are ensuring consistent, quality follow-up across your portfolio. Great customer service should begin with your online tenant portal, and here are three best practices to continue that positive experience in the follow-up from your leasing team:
Move Quickly – Online apartment leads expect immediate answers to their questions and it’s critical that you deliver on that expectation, because your competitors already are. Don’t settle for the “throw everything at the wall and hope it sticks” auto-reply email. While there is a place for such emails (although don’t send them the pet policy if they don’t have pets) in your lead follow up plan, it doesn’t replace one-to-one, direct follow up from a living, breathing, and smiling representative of your community. To speed up response rates ensure that your team has a solid collection of follow-up email examples at their disposal, but don’t just copy and paste, spend a few extra minutes personalizing the email and modifying the language so it doesn’t sound like a canned response.
Bonus Tip – Automate Contact Center Updates – If your property management organization is making use of a contact center to support lead follow-up, making sure the contact center representatives are aware of any updates to your community’s availability, pricing, amenities and other critical property information can be difficult and time-consuming. Using a secure and always current web portal puts the most frequently changing community information at the fingertips of your representatives automatically.
Get on the Phone – Making a phone call to your online leads should be the first attempt at contacting your potential new resident, immediately after your initial email reply. But don’t stop there! Quite often people that submit an online guest card or reservation for a specific available apartment prefer to conduct their correspondence via email, but don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because they prefer email, they aren’t as serious about your community. The convenience of being able to read and reply at the time and location of their choosing is critical to today’s busy apartment residents, and trumps your desire to get a hot prospect on the phone so you can wow them with your phone closing skills. With that said, when you do get a prospect on the line, be sure to ask them how they prefer you communicate going forward.
Many multifamily property managers are making use of text messaging to communicate with residents and even rental prospects. While being flexible and adapting to the communication preferences of your customers is always advisable, you should first get permission before texting a potential resident. Nobody likes an unsolicited text from a number they don’t recognize, so be sure to let those that do want to hear from you via text know what number they should expect to hear from.
Focus on the Call to Action – As you work with your prospective customers to move them through the sales pipeline to a new lease, don’t forget the age-old adage, “Always be closing!” Are you including a link to check available apartments in your email signatures? What about linking to your online rental application? If you’re using an online leasing system, you can easily provide a portal for your prospects to view currently available apartments, or even search for a specific apartment to reserve at their convenience. Additionally you can direct your customers to your fully branded online portal so when they are ready to pull the trigger on their new home, they can conveniently submit their rental application and even pay the application fee and deposits!
The key to successful multifamily leasing is to provide the information your customers need, when and where it is convenient for them and at the ideal point of engagement. Put simply, give your prospective residents what they want, when they want it, and make it easy to do business with you, and you’ll reap the rewards in the form of healthy occupancy rates and satisfied customers from the moment they receive their keys.
Market Insights: Impact of COVID-19 on the Multifamily Industry, July 2022
Multifamily industry data July 2022 The MRI Software Market Insights team continues to track the trends of the multifamily industry. This report looks at data from the 2020 pandemic era through July 2022 and provides year-over-year comparisons. The multifamily sector has seen a strong rebound from the effects of COVID-19, but the busy summer 2022 … Continued