by Brent Steiner
Piece by piece, tech innovations have transformed the art of leasing. It has gone from a highly manual, labor-intensive process to a streamlined, efficient procedure with numerous forward-thinking ways to attract and convert apartment hunters.
Traditional leasing methods were already rapidly evolving prior to 2020, but times of change have accelerated the need for intuitive solutions. Renters have been steadily morphing toward an offsite approach in which they seek to gather as much information about an apartment community as they can before visiting in person. The social distancing measures brought on by the pandemic will persist in some form for the foreseeable future, which exacerbates that trend and underscores the need to effectively reach renters from afar.
Developed effectively, tech-based leasing solutions should be mutually beneficial for prospects and the apartment operator. The prospect can gain quicker visibility into a property and have their questions answered more rapidly, while operators can expend less energy in reaching prospects and avoid tedious manual tracking and follow-up measures.
Here are a few of the ways that leasing-centric tech tools such as interactive maps, data visualization, virtual tours, remote leasing, automation and integration can further impact the leasing process:
Augmented Service Levels
Concepts such as self-guided touring, virtual tours and map visualization should not translate to a lack of customer service. These technologies exist to complement the traditional tour experience and make for an interactive leasing experience. Onsite teams should not utilize this type of tech to distance themselves from prospects, but as a way to foster greater connections. The hours saved from guiding individual tours can be redirected to other customer-centric measures, such as providing relevant and specific information to each prospect.
The Tech-Savvy Perception
Companies that are perceived as innovative deliver an attribute that is increasingly appealing to prospects that prioritize technology themselves. Tech-savvy prospects will recognize innovative brands and often gravitate to them with their lifestyle choices. Prospects sometimes don’t even have to utilize the available tech to sway their decisions. Its availability creates an impression of its own.
Marketing Made Easy
Location factors and amenities will always be among the key attractions when marketing a community. But interactive leasing technology can serve as a powerful component as well. Interactive screens and maps enable onsite teams to create content that accurately showcases the community in one contained space.
In addition to the tangible benefits created by tech solutions, apartment operators can achieve numerous peripheral gains, as well. They are not limited to the concepts mentioned above, as tech often has a remarkable ripple effect.
The unique needs created by the pandemic will place a greater onus on these types of innovations. Recent indications from an increasingly cutting-edge industry suggest that a new influx of interactive solutions could be soon to come.
Note: This blog is based upon an accepted Crittenden Multifamily Conference session. The conference, scheduled for May 25-27 in Dallas, was postponed due to the pandemic.