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Marketing Automation Crucial to Increasing Revenue for Multifamily Communities

Asking an onsite team to track, nurture and follow up on leads without the use of technology is an exercise in futility. Staff simply do not have the time or resources for efficient lead management.   This is particularly true in the digital age. Renters expect immediate engagement through digital, mobile-based mediums. In fact, 88% of renters want to be reached via email, and 50% want to be texted.   The role of marketing automation in effective lead management. Many view marketing automation as a tool that only benefits marketers. In actuality, marketing automation is critical in the implementation of effective, best-in-class lead management. As such, it benefits leasing teams just as much as marketers.   Because marketing automation helps align leasing and marketing teams around a centralized database of renter information and integrated processes, both teams can work together to attract, engage and convert leads to leases. Leasing agents can spend more time on prequalified leads, closing leases instead of following up on leads that are premature. Then, not-yet-ready leads can instead be funneled into an automated marketing program designed to nurture renter interest until they’re further along in their search process and ready to engage with leasing. This approach creates efficiency across the entire funnel, accelerating demand and conversion.   Marketers who leverage marketing automation are more successful at generating a steadier stream of active leads for leasing. Additionally, this approach can improve conversion ratios by two to three times. Higher conversion rates mean greater spend efficiency and revenue c......
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Interesting Facts!

• Studies showed the longest term residents found their apartment through a referral

• Communication Skills are: 7% Verbal, 93% Listening

• 80% of Sales are lost because the salesperson does not ask for the sale!


• Studies showed the highest turnover referral source was a Locator

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5 Things Leasing Associates Can Do to Be Top Performers

5 Things Leasing Associates Do to Be Top PerformersOver the last few months I’ve had a number of conversations with multifamily executives about important areas of focus for their operations. It doesn’t take long for the subject of sales to come up in conversation. As we’ve shared over the last few years on this blog, sales in multifamily represents a unique challenge. Traditional approaches to improving sales are neither appropriate or effective. While it’s an important focus, I’ve seen first hand how operators, managers and leasing associates struggle to uncover and understand what it means to improve sales performance in this industry. Several years ago we shared the seminal research study on sales performance done by CEB, that became the bestselling book The Challenger Sale. We’ve highlighted the study as the model to apply to leasing when designing and implementing a leasing sales performance improvement program. In the challenger model, CEB highlights three things that top performers do continuously, that average and bottom performers either only do occasionally or don’t do at all. The study showed that top performers teach, tailor their presentation and take control of the process. When I explain this to executives, a common question I get is how this applies to leasing associates. Top leasing associates, or “challenger” associates, regularly do these five things: 1. They Ask Questions and Understand Before Advocating or "Selling" While all leasing associates have been taught the importance of asking questions, most associates behave in what we call the ask - answer - tell - ask - answer - tell mode. What this means is that when they......
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Tiny housing making big impact on combating homelessness in America

The fight to end homelessness in this country is a massive undertaking. About 3.5 million Americans experience homelessness each year, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. Alleviating this problem in a meaningful way will surely require a multi-faceted effort involving federal, state and local governments, non-profits and the private sector. Here's one possible component of the solution to this giant issue: tiny homes. Across the U.S., organizations are using tiny houses and apartment homes, which typically range from 100 square feet to 500 square feet, to provide shelter for the homeless. For instance, the nonprofit American Family Housing recently opened Potter's Lane, a 16-unit community in Midway City, Calif., to house homeless vets. The property features 480-square-foot apartment homes made from energy-efficient shipping containers. Across the country, in Newfield, N.Y., the nonprofit Second Wind Cottages, relying heavily on donated materials and volunteer labor, built a community of 12 tiny homes that house homeless men. Residents pay rent as they are able to help defray the community's operating expenses. Other examples of similar communities include the Tiny House Village in Seattle and the Community First! Village in Austin, Texas. Advocates of these developments note that they are comparatively cheap to build, and constructions costs often are further mitigated through the use of materials and labor supplied for free by area businesses and residents. Can the multifamily industry incorporate tiny apartment homes for the homeless into their communities? It's certainly something to think about. With its ample resources and......
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Lessons Learned: Conducting a Pricing Review

Lessons Learned: Conducting a Pricing ReviewWeekly or bi-weekly pricing review calls are a great forum to learn more information on why a property is or isn’t leasing. But sometimes when helping teams the answer isn’t as simple as just “the price”. You may be surprised what may arise as part of these regular communications. Here are three lessons learned from leading these pricing review calls:  1. Managing the Fear is Very Important: One of the main reasons for having a pricing call is to help the operations team understand your revenue management system’s pricing recommendations. Additionally, these calls assist in soliciting important feedback from the sites.  However, it’s not quite that simple. The natural side effect of these conversations is that the emotions of the operations team come through, and it’s up to the revenue manager to help manage these responses and not overreact. When a revenue management system sees opportunity, the price can rise to a level that feels uncomfortable for the field. Managing the fear by explaining the data behind the system can help, but oftentimes it’s not just relaying the numbers- a good pricing manager needs to be part motivational speaker to achieve that support. Of course, as time goes on and teams learn to trust the pricing recommendations, the opposite problem may arise. Be careful that your teams don’t get too overconfident, as overriding a revenue management system upwards can be just as detrimental as overriding the price downward.   2. Over-Amenitizing Amenities are often initially established with a piecemeal approach. On the pricing calls, we look at pricing h......
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Google Adwords: Apartment Lead Generation with Message Extensions

When it comes to gathering leads through Google Adwords some of the more popular conversion KPI’s are calls and emails. Times are changing with the rise of mobile and texting.

Google recently released a new Ad Extension to help with enticing searchers to text your community, so you can engage with them via text at your convenience.


 Here is how the process works:

1.      Users click on your text ad extension and sends a text

2.      Users get an automated text back acknowledging their text

3.      Messages are then downloaded in a spreadsheet

4.      You follow up with your new potential resident asap

Google Adword’s newer ad extension is focused to help you reach more potential residents while keeping your cost per acquisition low. There is strong data showing how users are more willing to text a community vs. calling or emailing nowadays. You can auto respond quickly to acknowledge them while they start their journey down the conversion funnel till they lease!

If you have any questions about Google Adwords for Apartments, feel free to send me a message!

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9 Tips for Implementing Successful Change Management

9 Tips to Implementing Successful Change ManagementCompanies spend a lot of time, effort and energy introducing new initiatives into the organization (often referred to as a rollout), some with more frequency than others. Before starting a ‘rollout’ it’s very important to remember that what you’re doing is introducing a change. And, more importantly it’s important to realize that change is not easy to introduce (or sustain), and it certainly doesn’t happen on its own.  Have you ever participated in a conversation with other leaders where the topic of conversation is focused on frustration about a new initiative that the teams are not embracing? Often the solution for that problem is a request for more training since the belief is that the teams didn’t ‘get it’ the first time. However, if you dig deeper you will probably discover that the root cause of the problem isn’t that the teams didn’t understand the training, the reality is that the initiative wasn’t introduced with an intentional change management approach. As a result, the teams (for one reason or another) are still doing things the old way.  Change does not happen in isolation – it impacts the whole organization (system) around it, and all the people touched by it. In order to manage change successfully, it is critical to focus on the wider impacts of the changes. Take time to consider the tangible impacts of change (the process and technologies impacted) and most importantly the associates (on-site or in the corporate and/or regional offices) who are impacted by it, as well as their journey toward working an......
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The Role of Business Intelligence in Multifamily

The Role of Business Intelligence in MultifamilyAs more apartment operators are embracing data and analytics, and desire making data-backed decisions, (rather than by mere observation or gut) the focus and discussion on Business Intelligence in general and BI software specifically is continually increasing.  Having moved past the hype of “Big Data” and more to the realities of how much we can accomplish in our industry, I’ve seen that by mastering the “little data,” many more operators invest real dollars in BI initiatives. Unfortunately, we have also seen the road littered with BI projects that have failed—with hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars wasted on projects with disappointing results. So what truly separates successful BI projects from mediocre ones (or, worse, from those that end up in the scrap bin)? As the interest and importance of this question has gained increasing relevance, the search for answers has grown as well. I recently provided a perspective on this topic in a three-part series that appeared in Multifamily Executive. Business Intelligence Fuels Operational Excellence, Collaboration Part 1 of the series shares how to determine the right approach for your operation.  Far too often BI decisions are delegated to the IT department. On the surface this can make sense, since so much of BI execution revolves around IT. However, this tends to lead to significant challenges with BI adoption and ultimately dissatisfaction. It’s crucial that the business operations team works in collaboration with IT to design the requirements for your approach to BI as well as determine the tools best suited to deliver on those requ......
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Ways to Maximize the Value of Your Renewal Policies

Ways to Maximize the Value of Your Renewal PoliciesMost companies wisely set renewal policies by month and by property. Certain times of the year may call for different strategies and you’ll want to consider property performance as part of the overall renewal strategy. However, it can be a quite subjective practice to set renewal parameters. There are a few guidelines to keep in mind when doing so: 1. Don’t be afraid of minimum increases. There is an accepted notion that a lease renewal will include some type of rent increase. Even if residents are above current market, not trying for an increase (even if a nominal one) can leave money on the table.  2. Consider the cost of turning a unit. While the ideal situation may be to move everyone to market, giving a slight discount to market for current residents can help you in a few ways. It recognizes if the current resident moved out, the replacement rent would not be exactly equal to market rent as you would have to incur turn costs, marketing costs and potential vacancy loss. It also helps adjust for any forecasting error, since most renewals are computed off of a forecasted market rate that is sometimes more than 90 days out. I typically recommend adjusting your forecasted market rent 1-2% to account for this. 3. Shy away from capping increases. If you want to be more conservative in your renewal strategy, consider adjusting your capture rate rather than simply adding an increase cap. Doing so adjusts for how far below market the resident is. A straight per......
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#1 Question Salespeople Should Ask in Every Sales Presentation

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