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Lead Management in a Hyper-Connected World

When it comes to lead management, most apartment operators have fairly rigid standards.


Respond to all emails within 24 hours. Manage automated responses to all digital inquiries. Secure a call center that handles all after-hours calls.


But in today’s information-obsessed, instant-gratification world, that simply isn’t enough. Twenty-four hours is far too long to wait for a response. That prospect will reach out to several additional communities in that time, and the longer you wait, the further you fall on their consideration list.


Today’s Generation Z and Millennial prospects expect real-time communication options such as texting and online chat. It’s all about mobile access and speed. They can book a hotel or make a restaurant reservation at 2:37 a.m., so they expect to be able to book a tour of an apartment community at their convenience.


It’s a real challenge for many apartment operators to meet that increasing demand for immediate feedback. The more effectively a community can provide real-time answers, the better chance it has of securing leases.


Here are a few ideas to consider:


Equip leasing agents with company-issued mobile phones: Leasing teams still have to tour prospects, attend community events and solve resident complaints. But empowering them with company-issued cell phones will increase their ability to engage with prospects in real time while managing those other duties.  Just because a leasing agent is away from their desk doesn’t mean they’re tied up in a face-to-face interaction with a prospect or resident. The ability to follow up with a quick text response while away from their desk might make the difference in securing the prospect.


Leverage a mobile-friendly lead management solution: Time and convenience are two of the most important factors in the current rental climate. That’s why leasing teams should have a way to efficiently manage their leads on a single integrated platform that supports mobile devices. Different types of software platforms provide automated lead scoring, organize all prospect interactions and track prospect behavior in a mobile app. Pick one and empower your leasing teams to manage leads from the palms of their hands.


Have lead management teams available 24/7: Apartment hunting is not a 9-to-5 process. It can happen at any time – even the middle of the night – and prospects want immediate answers. Having a live agent on an around-the-clock basis to respond to incoming phone, text and email leads could result in several additional leases throughout the year. Every property manager should explore hiring a text and email enabled call center to at least manage requests that come in after hours.


Re-examine lead-generation strategies: The changing landscape of prospect behavior is forcing multifamily operators to revisit lead-generation tactics to determine whether they are attracting the optimum number of prospects. Working with ILSs that keep pace with how today’s renters search for and interact with communities is becoming even more important. Social ads and other strategies such as PPC and display campaigns should be evaluated in a similar manner. Make sure to use platforms that generate the best ROI. All of these methods can be integrated into an effective marketing mix for lead generation, as long as they are continually monitored and evaluated regularly.


As the preferences of renters change, lead management strategies must follow suit. The more you can keep pace with the changing habits of these hyper-connected generations, the more successful you’ll be in attracting them to your communities.

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