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Automation: The Future of Apartment Leasing

Automation: The Future of Apartment Leasing
Automation has become a hot topic within multifamily. As its functionality has proven to be an asset to modern leasing strategies, its use is only going to ramp up. After all, automation technology simplifies and maximizes the leasing process for both customers and onsite teams. It has not only enhanced, but future-proofed apartment leasing and is now a key integration within CRMs. As more and more consumers have been making big-ticket purchases online, like new cars and homes, virtual content and automated communication with customers has helped apartment operators streamline the entire leasing process from the very first touchpoint. This has also made a customer’s decision to sign a lease easier than ever before. In the age of virtual and self-service leasing, operators have been trying to utilize multiple tools and technologies to efficiently convert an influx in online leads to leases. Automation coupled with CRMs has been one of the most influential tech combinations when it comes to attracting, engaging and retaining new residents. Using CRMs with an integrated automation solution allows onsite teams to leverage valuable customer information and preferences to develop specific, personalized follow ups. Automating time-consuming tasks, like initial requests for information on pricing, availability and tour scheduling, engages customers earlier in the leasing process, alleviates onsite burden and helps convert more leads to leases.  Leasing teams can get the most out of a CRM by operationalizing it with automation. Automation performs tasks that provide necessary information for customers and responds to their requests for more information. I......
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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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Have You Considered Adding Leasing Automation to Boost Your NOI?

We’ve all seen it. Many of us have lived through it first hand. If there is one thing that goes without saying, it is that the property management industry is constantly evolving and that means so too are the ways in which teams engage with their prospective renters. With each new generation comes a new set of obstacles to overcome. None so important as the current expectation that leaves the next generation of residents hyper-focused on things like efficiency, flexibility, and immediacy.   This has led to an insurgence of proptech tools and solutions along the way, however the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has certainly sped up the digitization process for many management companies even though they existed in an industry that was already headed this direction well before we needed to be reminded just how long to wash our hands. While the idea of self-showings and digital access technology first made headway among our cousins in single-family property management, it’s time to talk about how these same methods can help enhance the experience for both multifamily prospects and property managers alike.     There are numerous benefits to unaccompanied tours including the reduction of market time for vacancies by allowing for a more flexible leasing process, a more rigorous pre-qualification of prospects with the typical identity verification process that’s incorporated, and most importantly, the time saved for both leasing agents and prospects who don’t have to wait until they can each find time to tour the vacancy you’ve got available. With the v......
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Making the Most of Your Marketing Budget

It's a stat that should haunt the dreams of multifamily marketing directors everywhere. According to an Anyone Home study, to replace a lost property website lead, operators have to spend 4.25 times the dollar amount it took to attract the original lead. Think about all of the time, effort and money it takes to design and implement the right marketing campaign to attract the right prospects. Multifamily marketers typically spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on generating digital leads for their communities. But when operators mismanage leads, they waste that effort and expense and force marketers to spend even more money. Simply put, to make the most out of their marketing budgets, operators need to have systems in place that allow their communities to respond quickly to prospects and that enable leasing associates to focus their time on the activities that convert leads. So Many Lost Leads Unfortunately, too many operators are positioned to lose too many leads. Consider that Anyone Home data shows the average apartment property misses a whopping 56 percent of its inbound leasing phone calls. A lot of these missed calls happen because overextended associates are handling one of their many other critical responsibilities, such as taking prospects on tour or tending to the needs and concerns of current residents. That’s not to mention the 15 and 20 percent of calls that take place when the community is closed. Self-service is the New Customer Service You could solve this problem by chaining one associate to their desk......
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Automation is the Key to Improving Employee Efficiency and Increasing Visits and Leases

If you’re a midsized property manager or apartment owner, you probably employ between 50 and 100 leasing agents. Combined, they probably communicate with more than a thousand prospects a day.     According to our internal data, 42 percent of those communications are about scheduling tours or rescheduling tours. While it may seem that this metric confirms that leasing agents are properly asking for tours, it also confirms that leasing agents are spending entirely too much time doing what most industries have already automated.   What if you could reduce the time your agents have to spend to scheduling tours? What if your leasing agents had that time back to sign leases and contact new leads? Maybe, just maybe you’d close even more leases and delight residents enough for them to renew their leases in greater numbers no matter the rent increase.   Yet, many owner/operators are hesitant to adopt automation tools like self-scheduling and self-guided tours based on three main misconceptions.   Misconception #1: Prospects want more human interaction, not less It seems logical. You’ve spent a lot of time, money and effort hiring good people with customer service skills. You know from being in business for decades that relationships garner sales. You personally like to interact with people when making large transactions.   But you’re not the customer. Today’s prospective renters, mostly millennials and members of Generation Z, generally want less human interaction. The more they can do on an app on their smartphone, the better. Of course, those prospects......
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A 'Humans + Machines' Virtuous Cycle in Multifamily

Introduction Automation is a term that has been thrown around a lot lately in multifamily (a lot of times by yours truly: See exhibit A).  Furthermore, I have pushed the idea of a 'Humans + Machines' workforce where humans and machines work together to create new workflows, but that is just the beginning. Adding a digital workforce to work alongside your team is the basis for a virtuous cycle of success. From increased NOI to attracting more owners to managing more properties, the digital workforce can change multifamily's economics.     What is a Virtuous Cycle? A ‘Virtuous Cycle’ is when one success leads to another, and then another, in a repeating loop. Before we jump into the Multifamily Virtuous Cycle, let’s take a look at Netflix’s Virtuous Cycle.     Netflix Virtuous Cycle Here is the Netflix Virtuous Cycle as explained by Netflix CFO David Wells:     Let’s break it down. Netflix invests in producing more shows. With more shows there is more variety, which means there are more watchers. More watchers means more talkers. This leads to more subscribers. More subscribers generate more revenue. With more revenue, Netflix can invest in more shows. And the cycle continues. As you can see, the cycle fuels itself for future success. By creating more shows, Netflix will set off a chain of events leading to more revenue. As long as Netflix keeps investing in new shows, the cycle will continue. So now that you have seen a Virtuous Cycle, let’s explore how a digital wor......
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Revitalize Cold Leads, Effortlessly.

Lead Win-back for Multifamily  Most CRM’s for multifamily ignore cold leads after a few months. The idea is that these leads have decided to rent elsewhere and aren’t viable prospects anymore. However, what these systems are ignoring is the high resident turnover rate for multifamily. 53% of residents do not renew their leases. Which mean 53% of the leads you ignore are going to be actively searching for a new apartment within the next 10 months. Call us old fashioned, but we don’t see why anyone would throw away perfectly good leads. Think about wine for a second. There are two approaches to drinking wine: There are the Barefoot wines that are ready-to-go. This is a popular choice for novice wine drinkers. Similar to how an basic marketing plan is only concerned with prospects who lease with you the first time around. Then there are true wine connoisseurs. They tend to be more experienced and patient individuals. They understand the value of waiting for a desired outcome. This reflects how a mature marketing plan is willing to invest in revitalizing cold leads. Before you get the wrong impression, we aren’t wine snobs. We see merit in both options. Which is why we suggest using an email marketing strategy that manages both warm and cold leads. This approach gives you more opportunities to turn leads into leases. Plus, gives you more money to buy more wine: Win - Win 🙂   How to Win-Back Cold Leads We recommend automating the cold lead communications. That way, ......
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The Multifamily Template to Fortune

The Multifamily Template to Fortune
Time and money are everything to a property manager. So when there’s a chance to save it, or make it,  you take it. Especially when it comes to time consuming tasks like pricing and sending renewal offers, follow-up and tracking down a resident to determine if he or she will give notice, go to MTM or is actually going to sign a lease renewal at the last minute!. But with a good template and automation system, there are plenty of tips and tricks you can use to make the lives of your property teams easier while making more money. Phase 1: Templates With templates you no longer need to scramble when you remember something like “today is the day I need to send offers!” By creating standard templates you can strategically price, send offers and remind residents to renew, you’re good to go whenever the day arrives. All that might be required is a quick review of the template and if it still fits your needs. Then you can plug in dates and times for when a message needs to go out, weeks or months in advance. Templates can also save a lot of time through email automation. It’s a huge relief, especially when it comes to the monthly renewal process. Let’s face it; property managers and leasing teams can spend a significant amount of time and energy chasing after and talking to residents about renewing, but everyone seems to want to wait until the last minute before they actually sign their lease. You can als......
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The Automation Games | May the Emails be Ever in Your Favor

The Automation Games | May the Emails be Ever in Your Favor
I’m on the hunt for an apartment. Every weekend I walk into an apartment community, give the leasing agent my email address, and tour beautifully decorated model spaces. A week later, I receive an email from that leasing agent telling me how much they enjoyed our meeting, and how if I’d sign a lease they’d fly me to Bora Bora, along with giving me every Apple product I ever dreamed of... okay, I wish that was an actual offer. I’d sign right there. No questions. But still. These leasing agents email me after every visit, and they tell me what I need to hear. It’s like they know I'm sitting there thinking about my future home… These apartment complexes may not be mind readers, but they have a competitive edge that other communities do not— automated emails. When you're searching for a home, it’s easy to forget who’s who on your search list, which is why it's nice to have someone emailing you, reminding you who they are and what you saw. Here’s the deal; marketing automation works. Specifically email automation. It simplifies processes and it really simplifies the email process. It’s efficient and it’s cool. And like all simple, efficient, cool tools, it has quirks. But don’t you worry. These quirks can be managed. Here are some ways to ensure your email automation efforts provide high-return marketing, not high-risk marketing. 1. Divide and Conquer. Most email automation systems allow you to build custom email lists. It’s important to segment those lists based off certain criteria. For example, you ......
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