Apartment Leasing

Helping Onsite Teams Thrive with Automation

by Jacob Carter

Most modern consumers have expressed they’d like more of a personalized shopping experience. According to an Epsilon research report, 80% of consumers prefer customized marketing when making a purchase. However, personalization can be a challenge in the multifamily industry with an influx in online leads and thinner onsite teams to handle lead volume. 

Luckily for operators, automation is helping onsite teams take on the challenges with fielding a high volume of leads and following up with prospective residents with hyper-personalized content based on their individual preferences and needs. It also frees up time for onsite teams to provide better customer service and develop deeper relationships with prospects and residents alike. 

Personalization is quickly becoming the new gold standard for prospect and resident communication and automation is facilitating better and more enjoyable experiences for every prospect and even onsite teams. Automation has obvious benefits for prospects, but it also helps operators in terms of hiring and retaining onsite associates.

Onsite teams have been stretched thin in recent years, and asking leasing teams with fewer people to field every single inquiry and handle all follow ups isn’t feasible in modern leasing. It is imperative that operators provide onsite teams with the support necessary to do their job effectively, and automation is the reinforcement they need. Onsite teams have more time to focus on interacting with residents and speaking with prospects who want to talk to an expert before signing a lease. 

According to the 2022 NMHC and Grace Hill Renter Preference Survey Report, 60% of survey respondents said they’d prefer to tour with a community representative. Ninety-two percent noted they prefer to tour with a community representative to have questions answered and survey responses indicated prospects still want to speak with an expert before making a decision. 

Automation on the frontline of leasing allows onsite teams to have more time to provide this interaction. This improves team morale and the quality of life for onsite teams by easing the lead burden and giving them more time to do what they do best: engage prospects and residents and cultivate meaningful relationships. When onsite teams are happy and more efficient, that too enhances the overall customer experience and leads to longer-term residents.

While 60% of prospective residents conduct their apartment search outside of traditional office hours when onsite teams are unavailable to answer any questions, automation comes into play. Prospects are seamlessly moved through the funnel by the automation’s timely and consistent follow ups. By the time prospects want to speak with someone, onsite teams have the necessary time to provide answers to questions that require empathy or critical thought that may extend beyond the scope of automation. 

With the help of automation, customers are contacted within one hour of their initial inquiry with hyper-personalized follow ups via text or email. This nearly instant engagement and subsequent messaging further draws in prospective residents with the information they need to make a confident decision. The ability to reach customers in the ways they prefer to communicate with the information that matters most gives leasing teams a competitive advantage that sets them apart from other communities. It also allows prospects to receive the information they need without burdening onsite teams. 

People want to stay at a community when they have a connection to it – especially an emotional connection and relationships with neighbors and onsite teams. Residents are more likely to renew their lease when they have a relationship with the onsite team. Communication is key to establishing that relationship. 

When automation communicates with prospects in the early stages, onsite associates have more time to provide that pivotal human interaction that modern residents still crave and take the resident experience to the next level. With tools like automation, leasing teams now have more time to foster deeper bonds and build rapport with residents. They are in turn happier and more satisfied with their jobs, and it creates a higher caliber of customer experience that draws residents in. 

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