There’s unprecedented opportunity to achieve profits in the multifamily industry, but success starts with how your team treats the leads generated through your marketing efforts.
That very first touch point is usually a phone call to learn more about your apartment community. That’s why it’s so important to focus on the person -- and not just the property.
From the contact center to the tour, you must have a system in place to help them take the next logical step in the leasing process.
The following outlines an ideal process your contact center representatives could take when the phone rings. When executed consistently, this will help improve the leasing experience and ultimately your lead-to-lease ratio.
- Be there when the prospect wants to connect: In multifamily, timing is everything. When a prospective resident calls is a live person answering the call? Many calls are made before hours or after traditional office hours and most people won’t leave a message. So the first step is ensuring the phone is answered no matter when your prospect calls.
- Focus on the prospective resident: Contact center representatives should be asking the right questions to find out what the prospective resident wants in their next apartment home. What types of features and amenities are important to them? Do they have pets and if so, what type? How many bedrooms do they need? If what the prospective resident wants isn’t available at one property, and if it makes sense, your contact center representative should recommend a sister apartment community. If your communities don’t have a unit available that will be a fit within their timeframe, your contact center should know that they shouldn’t book a tour.
- Know the community: Can your contact center representative discuss the neighborhood and community? Where’s the best pizza? How far is a running trail? How long with their commute to work be? What school district is the property in? As you can see, prospective residents are thinking about much more than the features and amenities of your apartment community and contact centers can leverage neighborhood mapping tools to provide information that can make the prospect confident enough to take the next step.
Remember, If your contact center representative is reading from a script and only interested in booking a tour, without any regard for the prospect’s needs or wants, the prospective resident will feel “sold to” and will most likely move on to the next apartment community on their list
Imagine this scenario: your prospective resident calls at 8 p.m. and your contact center representative answers the phone and engages them in a conversation about the things that matter to them in their new apartment home.
Within a few minutes, your representative has found out that your prospective renter is newly engaged, has a dog and a cat and is looking to move closer to her job. With neighborhood mapping software and apartment community knowledge, your contact center representative can discuss which apartment homes are available, pricing, the length of the commute, and if they’re pet-friendly.
Maybe it turns out that a sister apartment community meets the prospect’s needs better because it has the availability they want or is closer to the job. You’ve met their expectations so they’re happy and you’ve given them the information they need to determine if scheduling a tour is the best next step.
But if their story was different and the contact center representative didn’t listen, they may book a tour with a community that doesn’t accept dogs. That would be a waste of time for the prospect and your onsite leasing staff, taking them away from focusing on more qualified leads.
Today’s world is increasingly personalized and customer-centric. This is even more true for the multifamily industry. What’s more personal than your home? When your contact center representatives answer that first phone call and immediately begin the relationship by focusing on your prospect’s needs, you have a positive impact on both your prospective residents as well as your NOI.
Where do you think you can be more prospect-centric and less property-centric?
Download our paper, “Driving NOI Growth in Multifamily” to determine how your prospect management process can better meet the way shoppers buy and lease in today’s world.