Converting leads into leases is the top priority of multifamily owners and operators. In order to plan and budget for the year, operators use past experiences, year-over-year leasing data and extensive industry knowledge to forecast how many new leases they expect for the next year. With the advancements in technology and the amount of information available, it would be ideal if this cumbersome, inconsistent process was a thing of the past. Unfortunately, it is not.
Many multifamily operators and owners have embraced the importance of having analytical data as a foundational strategy for converting prospective residents; however, capturing the right data is still not an exact science. In a city or town where similar apartment communities compete in the same market, detailed and accurate data that addresses the specific concerns of that property gives the operator (that uses it effectively) a significant advantage over the community that does not have access to that level of data.
To be clear, current CRMs, previous experience and knowledge has provided a solid base to begin forecasting. However, when all of these elements are combined with the raw data specific to your community, informed decisions about lead conversion can be made based on fact, not conjecture.
But how do you gather that data and what do you do with it after you have it? These questions prevent a lot of multifamily operators from moving forward with establishing a data gathering process. There are three main points to keep in mind when integrating data into the strategy of your apartment community.
3 Key Points for Successful Multifamily Lead Conversion
#1 Ensure responsiveness.
An average of 60% of calls to a leasing office go unanswered and an average of 80% of the callers never leave a message. When you miss an opportunity to connect with your prospects, you are missing a chance to sign your next lease. Capturing data by talking to prospects is a tried and true method of obtaining information. Employing a contact center with representatives that are skillfully trained on the nuances of your property will free up the on-site staff to address the many other tasks of their jobs. Contact center representatives can take time to answer all of the questions that potential residents have and guide them to the next logical step in the leasing process.
#2 Implement intuitive customer management platform
Increasing NOI is the primary goal of any multifamily operator. The way to continuously improve NOI is to maximize prospective leasing opportunities each time one is presented. A successful customer management platform will track new leads as they come in and help discern quality leads so that the leasing staff can zero in on qualified potential residents. Additionally, a customer management platform supported by a prospect-centric CRM enhances the entire customer management process from lead generation through leasing and renewals, resulting in significant NOI and portfolio value improvements.
#3 Use analytical reporting results for effective forecasting.
Analytical reporting is the foundation of your apartment community’s future and shows how to improve the overall leasing experience. Accurate, detailed, and timely reporting allows identification of the lead generation sources that work best and show what marketing messages are performing. Analytical reports will also show the data sets that help derive the “right” information so time can be invested focusing on the right numbers.
As an owner/operator, you have to use every tool at your disposal to pull ahead of your competition. Incorporating the three data points is the way to ensure success with increasing your lead-to-lease ratio, improving your property’s NOI and improving the overall leasing experience with both prospective residents and existing residents.