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Maximizing Your CRM

Maximizing Your CRM
It seems that technology is evolving minute by minute, and the multifamily industry has a front-row seat to these ever-changing advancements.  This rapid acceleration of technology has brought about a wealth of innovative new tools and solutions – from resident referral platforms and text message marketing to AI and automation – that operators are utilizing to improve the customer experience. With apartment leasing and living becoming more tech-driven and digital-centric than ever before, operators must stay on the cutting edge of technology to find new ways of enhancing, optimizing and automating their leasing strategies.  Customer Relationship Management systems (CRMs) have become a key foundational element to successful leasing strategies and customer service within the industry’s new tech-focused environment. While CRMs can certainly help convert leads, they are really designed to capture data and only do so much when it comes to leasing and renewals. CRMs are not built to automate and optimize the lead-to-lease conversion process. However, the latest wave of multifamily technologies is maximizing the CRM by leveraging its data to convert leads to leases through automated lead development with an unmatched level of personalization. Too frequently, prospects have to reach out to leasing agents multiple times to get a response, and prospects will often contact five to seven different communities and hear back from only one or two. This generally means the first property to respond will land the lease, and the others left money on the table.  Adding a lease conversion automation tool to an existing CRM helps manag......
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Revisit Your Technology Architecture

Digital transformation has been a buzzword since the mid-2000s. It was primarily lip service and a concept that was included in future roadmaps but not next year's budgets. The pandemic rocked the world and changed everything. There is now no such thing as "business as usual." What is real estate management digital transformation? Leveraging technology, it is putting residents at the center of the universe and defined by specific business outcomes. It is capturing new revenue streams and markets. It is using technologies that differentiate the way products and services are delivered and supported. It is delivering digital operational infrastructure services such as analytics, reporting, and mobility, to enable agility and foster innovation across the organization. Many companies are taking a hard look at where they now stand, how they got there, and where they want to focus next. As part of this introspection, executives are realizing technology truly is crucial and imperative for their business success. There are three reasons to revisit your current technology architecture to become more agile, to use technology strategically, and to achieve a more flexible cost structure. 1. Agility Wins What became clear to many executives is most successful companies had adopted digitalization prior to 2020. First-moving companies saw the value of implementing modern technology that can "move with the business." As a result, they coped better with the pandemic challenges than those that didn't. Leaders in other industries were flexible and able to acknowledge and accept reality as it was. They quickly adapted to address......
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Custom 3D Modeling: When To Know If It Is Right For Your Property (Free Estimate Tool)

We often times get asked how much does it cost to add virtual tours, 3D floor plans, or photo-realistic renderings to our property's portfolio. To help with this question we've made a tool. When it comes to 3D modeling there are typically two types of vendors: Custom 3D Modeling/Rendering Firms & Out-Of-The-Box Solutions (like floorplanner.com or 3dplans.com). While the Out-Of-The-Box solutions are often times cheaper, you dont always have the ability to accurately represent your space. These solutions are often limited in terms of finishes, selections, materials, furnishings, etc. Custom 3D modeling on the other hand allows you to control every square inch of your unit or spaces design, ultimately better representing what they will look like when construction is complete. Here are three ways to tell if custom 3D modeling is right for your team. Your Property Is Still Being Built/Under Construction We have found that this is the best time to add custom 3D Modeling assets to your portfolio. Why? Because it is quite literally impossible to showcase your spaces any other way. Custom 3D modeling gives you the ability to the match finishes, furnishings, materials, fixtures, and more that your team has decided to use months before construction has been completed. Once these assets are created you are free to add them to ILS, like apartmets.com, Zillow, and more to start building out your pre-leasing lists. Renovations & Additions Much like the point above, it is extremely hard to show something that is being built or is not yet......
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6 Infrequently Asked Questions About Multifamily PPC

What is multifamily PPC (pay per click)? How does it work? What is a conversion? Multifamily PPC is a very complex and often misunderstood component of a successful apartment marketing strategy. But let’s skip past all the humdrum, and answer the questions you really want to ask, but rarely do.   I’ve heard it’s cheap. Is that true? The nature of multifamily PPC is that you can spend as much as you want. So if you’re looking to go low-budget, that’s technically possible. The real question is one of ROI (return on investment). Maybe you can spend 10 cents to make $10, or you can spend $1,000 to make $100,000. Which would you prefer?   I’ve heard it’s expensive. Is that true? See above. Your budget drives your cost, up or down.   I just got this card in the mail for free AdWords. Can’t I just do it myself? Absolutely! It is definitely possible to do Google AdWords on your own. However, working with a digital marketing agency brings the benefit of experience. An agency can integrate AdWords into a broader apartment marketing strategy which may include other media. That leaves you to do what you’re skilled and experienced in: running your business!   What’s the biggest mistake I can make in multifamily PPC? The biggest pitfall in multifamily PPC is throwing money blindly at bids with no consideration of landing pages. In all online advertising campaigns, landing pages play an obvious role in the magic alchemy that changes traffic into profit, but ma......
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Your Website is No Longer Your Most Strategic Marketing Asset.

Welcome to The Local Search Economy.  Google My Business (GMB) is upstaging your community website. This spells trouble for a few reasons:  You’ve invested (and continue to invest) time and money in your website. Users form first impressions based on your GMB profile, then decide whether to visit your website. You depend on your website to generate leads and leases.  So, what’s going on?  Things change rapidly in a digital-first world. Google introduced GMB in 2014 and since then has steadily evolved the platform and its localized search algorithm. GMB is now a critical part of local search for any business with a physical location and an ideal solution for apartment marketers.  Consider the following six points: GMB is Free. Setting up a GMB profile for a physical location is free and helps ensure your communities can be found on Google search and Google maps while prospects are actively searching.  The Rise of Zero-Click. 65% of Google searches end without a click to another website, with users' queries resolving directly from the search results page. Prospects can call, get directions, view your offers and other info, right from your GMB profile. Catch prospects where they are and provide them with what they need to choose your community.   Google is (Still) Eating The World. Google dominates the global search engine market share, handling more than 92% of all search queries globally. And Google's local search algorithm favors signals from GMB profiles that are complete and consistently updated. Optimizing your GMB profile is you......
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Cybersecurity Playbook for Multifamily Housing I.T. Enterprises

The U.S. multifamily property management industry encompasses 40 million multifamily units valued at $3 trillion. More than 800,000 people work as employees of the management industry, while tech and service vendor companies employ hundreds of thousands more. And the industry is growing, requiring 4 million more units by 2030 just to keep up with demand. (Source: https://www.forbes.com).   Say you’re one of those hundreds of thousands who has just been given the reins of an I.T. infrastructure in multifamily housing property management, and you don’t know where to start from a cybersecurity perspective. Well, this is your lucky day, because we’re here to take you from zero to hero in a few easy steps. Okay, well, they’re not that easy, and there are significant costs involved, but hopefully you will come away enlightened and prepared to justify your cyber budget to executive management.   Step 1: Identify Critical Data. And determine where it is: on premises, in the cloud, with a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, and elsewhere. For example, a typical company might host its own Microsoft Exchange Server, or else it might be using Microsoft 365 online or Google Workspace. The corporate file server may be in the data center, or in AWS or Azure, or maybe it’s hosted with DropBox. Corporate finance might be hosted on-premises or in the cloud with Oracle NetSuite or Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM with SalesForce or Pipedrive, property management and customer payments with RealPage, Yardi, or Entrata. Don’t forget social media, websites, and other places that I.T. might ......
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My POV as a Renter: The Dilemma of Looking in an Active Market

As a renter who falls into the category of looking over 6 months out, I can confidently say that it’s the properties that stay in touch with me that end up being the ones I tour at. Here’s my story as a renter and I hope you’ll take the time to read it.   Surprising data collected by PERQ shows an interesting and growing trend in renter behavior: 20% of rental prospects are much like me and looking to move 6+ months out from when they begin their search for their next apartment. From the perspective of the leasing agent, that’s a lot of people who might be considered what many call “looky lous”, or casual online shoppers.  But, they are actually high intent shoppers that are qualified leads. These shoppers are more organized with their search process and have a better understanding of what they want and what they don’t want. These renters will be the perfect lead in just a few months. There are several reasons why we are looking now instead of closer to their move-in date. First is increased rental volume. With COVID-19 causing us to spend more time in our homes and living spaces, we felt the shortcomings of the spaces we were living in and a desperate need to start fresh in a new space caused a shift in rental activity. In fact, data collected by USPS shows that 27% of temporary movers moved in the first six months of the pandemic. That’s a lot of rental activ......
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Community-Wide Connectivity Powering Post-Modern Tech Stacks

Community-Wide Connectivity Powering Post-Modern Tech Stacks
A new era of apartment leasing and living is upon us. From self-service leasing and smart home technology to the industry-wide adoption of PropTech, technology is empowering residents, onsite teams and operators alike while creating operational efficiencies.  While these technology features and solutions can really take apartment communities to the next level, a lot of these tools need a robust internet foundation to run smoothly. Apartment communities probably have WiFi, but it’s typically isolated to certain parts of the building, whether it’s the leasing office or designated common area spaces. Unfortunately, a lot of smart home technology isn’t confined to these spaces and is present throughout the community. Here are some technologies that could be optimized with community-wide WiFi to run smoothly and the benefits for operators: PropTechThe majority of apartment tours used to be standard agent-led tours. The emergence of nontraditional tours, such as self-guided, virtual and video tours, has changed the technology needs for apartment communities. The industry has made it clear these various tour options are here to stay. Self-guided tours also integrate other types of proptech into the overall experience, like wayfinding technology, interactive maps, virtual viewing, access control, ID verification and chat functionality with leasing agents. Self-guided tour and access control technologies have become a foundational component of running agentless tours. Seamless connectivity can help power proptech and self-guided tours to work in all areas of the community. Otherwise the prospect will find themselves offline and in need of assistance. This causes issues for both the prosp......
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From Browser to Resident: Attracting Multifamily Property Tenants on Social Media

It’s safe to say the tenants you’re targeting have scrolled through social media channels as they woke up this morning, then again at lunch time, traffic stops, drive-thru lines, and more. They’ll continue to shift their attention back to social platforms while taking a break from work, standing in line at the grocery store, watching the news, or brushing their teeth as they prepare for bedtime. For multifamily property managers, social media channels present a can’t-miss opportunity to attract and sway your ideal tenants — if you get the tone and content mix right.   Below you’ll find six ways to make prospects feel seen, educated, inspired or entertained by your social media presence. Mix and match them often to see engagement rise.   1. Humanize your property   You may have heard the adage that people prefer to do business with people, not faceless corporations. When marketing your property, putting a human face and personality on your brick and mortar is an instant rapport builder that helps you stand out from competing properties.   Balance sterile snapshots of empty kitchens or pristine landscapes with warm faces and personal stories, featuring residents, local staff, and more.   A few ideas: Featuring a pet of the month. Resident stories or testimonials, conveying their experiences in their own words. Staff spotlight including personal quirks that make them relatable to readers (e.g., hobbies, favorite spots in the neighborhood, favorite part of their job). Light-hearted content borrowed with permission from tenants (e.g., TikToks, videos or photos shot......
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Are You Paying Too Much for Your Website?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.    Yes, a multifamily website can be expensive, but you don't always need to break the bank to have a beautiful and responsive web design.   Since a website is a service rather than a product, it can be difficult to put a price on it. What is the price you are willing to pay for something that will help you attract new leads, retain current residents, and ultimately add to your bottom line?    Priceless, right? But no one really wants to give their first-born child just to have a great website.   Also, just because something has a high price tag doesn’t mean that it’s better either. Does a name brand watch tell time better than a $10 one from Wal-Mart? While one may look nicer than the other (and will not turn your wrist green), it still functions the same as the other.   Of course, I am not saying you need to only buy off-brand products or that you can find a Rolex watch for $10. What I am saying is that you need to do your research when looking for a web design firm or developer to work with, because some companies will promise you the world (but will turn your wrist green) while others promise too little and charge too much.   Here are some of the questions you need to ask yourself when researching a new web design for your property:   Is the site ......
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