Leasing an apartment is the single largest investment most people will make in a year and it can be fraught with emotions. Perhaps the person is newly married and the happy couple is looking for their new home. On the other hand, the person could be facing divorce or downsizing. Or, they’re looking for a new home with their four-legged best friend.
No matter the perspective, a representative at a true contact center will take the time answer the prospect’s questions to put them at ease, build rapport and guide them to choosing their next home.
Think of Gloria who calls Property A about pet policies. The contact center representative who answers the phone can ask about Gloria’s dog. Pet owners love talking about their dog, so right away the representative builds rapport. At the same time, she’s finding out whether or not Gloria’s dog meets the pet policy requirements. Maybe Gloria has a Rottweiler and the pet policy limits dogs to 40 pounds or less. In that instance, the contact center representative may be able to recommend a sister community that would work better for Gloria and her dog. This keeps Gloria happy because she’s not wasting her time.
The goal of a multifamily call center is to answer the phone every time. This is so vital since calls represent leasing leads and 40-60% of those calls often go unanswered due to the timing of the calls. When the call center differentiates and becomes a contact center, they not only capture those leads, but also help move the prospect to the next logical step in the leasing process.
Contact center representatives invest the time to discover the prospective renter’s wants and needs and then schedules a tour accordingly.
In other words, they’re person-centric and not property-centric. This shift in focus is better for the prospect and helps them find their best next home without a lot of wasted time.
In today’s always on, always-connected world, marketing apartment communities has fundamentally changed. Potential residents want to get their questions answered right away - through the communication channels of their choosing or they’re moving on.
Person-centric multifamily contact centers are able to provide true value to prospective renters because they’re able to take the right action with the right person at the right time, which leads to a higher lead-to-lease ratio.
The 3 Attributes That Make a Call Center a Contact Center
1. Always “On” - A contact center is staffed 24/7/365. That means the communication with prospects are immediately answered through the prospect’s preferred channels. This leads to a higher lead-to-lease ratio because more leads are captured to begin with. Remember, 40%-60% of phone calls currently go unanswered in most multifamily property management offices because leasing agents can be juggling many roles such as working on move-ins, be in conversation with another customer or touring the community.
2. Innovative Technology - When prospects call, they typically have questions. They may want to know if the community has any 2 bedrooms available or what floor the apartment is on.
When contact center staff has the right technology at their fingertips, they’re able to drill down to specifics as if they were onsite. They can answer the questions about the washer and dryer or pull up a map interface to check on proximity to a workplace.
3. They’re people-centric and not property-centric - Not only does the prospect feel more welcome than if they received voicemail, but the representative finds out what’s most important to the prospect when it comes to their new home.
They find out what the person is looking for and can make recommendations on more than one apartment community.
In today’s world, it’s essential to be there when and where the prospect reaches out. Your contact center representatives need to have the knowledge and information the prospect wants and deliver it in the manner that maximizes the probability of a qualified appointment and lease.
When well-trained representatives use available technology to track their efforts and connect them to outcomes, you’ll have clear data that ensures you can identify the best sources and messaging, which improves the leasing experience for everyone.
Your prospects appreciate the helpful communication and your leasing associates appreciate well-qualified prospects.
It all starts with a better lead management process. First comes the ability to take the call, build rapport and lead the prospect to the next logical sequence in the leasing process. Ultimately, you see an increase with your lead-to-lease ratio because you have the right people, process and technology in place.
How effective is your leasing process today? Download The Multifamily Lead Management Scorecard today to score your leasing efforts and identify areas to focus on and improve so you can achieve greater revenue.