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Doubling Down on Digital: Tools We Can't Live Without

Doubling Down on Digital

 



A few weeks ago I got to host a lively chat about digital tools — not only for marketing, but also for personal productivity, well-being, managing leads and enabling teams. Guests Dalia Kalgreen, Director of Marketing for
Unified Residential Management, and Katrina Greene, CAM, NALP Trainer, and Senior Regional Property Manager at Sheehan Property Management, shared what works for them personally and professionally with regard to favorite tools, digital or not. You can see the full chat over on YouTube but I wanted to also share a quick recap here, starting with a list of our favorite tools:

 

  • Notes app
  • Daylio - a mood journaling app
  • Snip and Sketch - a tool to quickly markup screenshots
  • Peloton - The wildly popular fitness bikes & classes
  • Text - a simple way to stay in touch
  • Calm - One of the best guided meditation app we never knew we needed
  • Chat - A simple and easy way to manage prospects onsite… especially when paired with A.I.
  • Virtual Tours  - The boom of tools available for multifamily sites has been a lifesaver
  • QR Codes - They are making a comeback, especially for self-guided tours!
  • iPhone - Easy to use for quick, high quality, video shoots.

  

Tools exist to help people do their jobs more effectively or more efficiently. Well-being impacts productivity and the group agreed that during this unexpected period of a pandemic, tools can help alleviate the stress that accompanies the unexpected and better enable team members operating outside the norm in the virtual environment the past few months.

 

When providing teams with new digital tools, Dalia believes transparency is everything and knowledge is power. The adoption of tools by the team begins with training. “Training starts with explaining why a certain tool was brought in and how it should be used,” she says. “If the tool provider doesn’t offer initial training, I will actually train them alongside my co-partner.”

 

Dalia added that she hosts weekly open-hour training for their whole company. “Using something one time doesn’t really capture all the questions that may come out. We keep an open line of communication to understand if there is a hiccup in the process.”

 

 

Pandemic Forces New Focus on Digital Tools

Katrina reflects on how just prior to the pandemic she felt like they were underutilizing their technology. Once the pandemic limited in-person engagements that changed. “We really didn’t add much, but definitely everybody got the kick in the pants to start using what we had,” she says.

 

When deciding what tools to invest in, Dalia relies on her experience and perspective from starting as a leasing agent to where she is today, alongside information from onsite colleagues. “I look for redundancies and try to find tools that might eliminate those – what I call ‘time robbers’ – just take that all away. And that's where we then look to invest in tools. So the minute the pandemic hit, the first thing I did was virtual tours.”

 

When asked about old tools rediscovered along the way, Katrina reflects on the fact that QR codes were everywhere several years ago yet people struggled to use them effectively. “We already had the content,” she says. “We needed a channel to get people to it, when we couldn’t bring them in the door due to COVID. We were immediately reproducing QR codes like crazy.”

 

Using Digital Tools to Increase Leads

The marketing department strives to bring quality leads to the leasing team. When measuring a tool’s success, Dalia believes the proof lies in the lead data. “The success of the tool is determined by the success of the lead – is the lead qualified?” she asks. “How many leads came in, did they tour, either virtual or in-person, and then did they submit an application?”

 

Katrina not only looks at lead volume, but she also digs into what her agents did with those leads. “Did they send three text messages, did they email, did they ever pick up the phone and call, and offer diverse information or send the same information over and over?” she shares. “Even with tech, converting leads is an art form. There’s always the path the agent chose to take with the lead to factor.”

 

Even with access, the desire to learn and use tools begins with the individual. “Ask for training. Don’t sit and wait for it to come to you,” Katrina says. “It’s probably been there and accessible, but you have to grab it.”

 

When it comes to utilization, Dalia embraces the accountability technology brings to the workplace. “Everything that is done through technology is dated and time-stamped for accountability on what everyone has done,” she says. Training, utilizing, and accounting for efforts with digital tools result in better experiences for both the customer and the company.

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