by Jacob Carter
No two leads are identical. Some prospects need to move in a few weeks while others are looking to move in a few months. With leads pouring in from multiple online platforms every day, sometimes tending to each one can be overwhelming for onsite teams. Thankfully, new automation integrations are not only fielding a high volume of leads, they’re helping to move each and every lead through the funnel more fluidly while boosting lease conversion rates.
More and more customers are seeking personalized experiences when searching for a new apartment home, as well as an immediate response from the community they inquire about. While catering to meet that expectation, it’s important for operators to understand the uniqueness of each lead and communicate promptly with prospective residents via messaging containing information specific to their needs.
While onsite teams strive to never let a lead slip through the cracks, a great deal of leads are still left on the table. On average, 45% of inquiries are left unanswered. In an effort to reduce that number and increase lease conversion rates, operators are turning to automation to capture every lead and nurture it accordingly.
Automation has been in the multifamily arena for some time, but recently it has transitioned to the starting lineup of leasing. Integrating automated communication into an existing CRM ensures that every lead receives a timely response containing the appropriate follow up information that will keep a customer engaged and nurture that lead throughout the entire leasing process, no matter if a prospective renter needs to move as soon as possible, or they are browsing for potential options down the road.
Devoid of the need for human intervention, automation technology proactively takes the often time-consuming and strenuous task of following up with hundreds of leads off that require different types of follow ups of leasing associates plates. This frees them up to establish meaningful, long-lasting relationships with prospects and residents alike while automation is working in the background to nurture the short-term and long-tail leads.
Within one hour of a prospective resident showing interest in a community, automation tools craft a response with the information that will guide customers through their journey in a personalized manner via their preferred method of communication. According to our internal data, 89% of consumers prefer text correspondence over any other type of messaging. Automation is a key tool that makes it possible for leasing agents to stay on top of every single lead that comes in. Even if prospective residents are still months away from signing a lease, automation continues following up with residents and sending real-time apartment information specific to their individual needs. They continue to receive up-to-date information as they get closer to their targeted move date.
When a tool like lease conversion automation is implemented at a community, we found that online applications increase an average of 15%, and tour-to-application rates jump by nearly 10%. Based on our data, the typical lead-to-lease rates of 19% increase to more than 30% with the aid of automation. Numbers like that illustrate a tremendous benefit to integrating automation with CRMs, but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg.
By utilizing automation throughout the entire process, from leasing to hopefully a long term stay at a community, operators ensure that key opportunities to communicate with prospective and current residents are never missed. Beyond the impressive lead-to-lease results reaped by communities with automation, they also experience a 6% uptick in renewals.
Automation reduces the number of items that onsite teams are tasked with and makes their juggling act of unique leads a smooth, streamlined operation. When leasing agents can focus on what’s in front of them and the plethora of duties that comes with attracting more residents and maintaining the meaningful relationships they’ve cultivated with current residents, satisfaction among all residents skyrockets. A community with attentive onsite associates who are available to go above and beyond for residents will always lead to higher occupancy rates and increased renewals.