Apartment Leasing

Personalizing The Customer Journey

by Jacob Carter

In today’s world customers of any industry are being catered to on a more personal level than ever before – especially when it comes to the online shopping experience. As with anything that eases a customer’s experience, that personalization is no longer a bonus, it’s now expected.

Advancements in technology have been the biggest catalyst for this change in marketing as shopping for products and services online is commonplace now. According to McKinsey & Company’s Next in Personalization 2021 Report, 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions, and 76% get frustrated when they don’t receive a personalized experience. 

When a customer is searching for an item, their interests help providers know what they are specifically looking for and marketers can craft the messaging that best pertains to the consumer. This isn’t necessarily new as far as social media and Google algorithms are concerned, but when personalization tactics increase customer loyalty and sales, apartment operators can leverage the same strategies in an inherently personal experience – the apartment search.

Enhancing marketing efforts and better understanding customers’ needs is an investment operators have to decide to make. However, failing to meet modern customers on a personal level has its cost and can impact revenue growth opportunities for operators.

According to a Gartner survey of 2,500 people, 38% of customers will cease doing business with a brand due to poor marketing personalization efforts. When it comes down to it, apartment communities are a brand, and operators need to evolve with their customers’ needs or risk losing them.

It takes specific, detailed information to craft personalized messaging that will produce the customized journey consumers want. While existing CRMs provide vital information, integrating the right automation tool will ensure nothing is missed across all leads. 

While not every piece of information or data is necessary to facilitate personalized messaging for each individual customer, knowing the right information at the right time is imperative to personalizing the communication. When a prospect is seeking out an apartment home and considering moving into a community, the more personalized they feel their experience is, the more likely it is they will sign a lease. 

Personalized content boosts lead-to-lease and tour-to-application conversions and has a direct impact on engagement and results. According to internal data, operators utilizing personalized automation have seen lead-to-lease conversions jump from 19% to more than 30%, and tour-to-application conversions increase from 37% to more than 46%. 

Customers are more likely to engage with content that feels personally made for them. According to internal data, personalized automation receives eight times more engagement via email and two to four times more engagement via text when compared to automated communication that is not personalized. While the text open rate remains the same between personalized and non-personalized content (98%), the customer click-through rate of personalized content is nearly two times higher.

Operators can pull out all the stops to attract and retain residents, but if they are struggling to communicate in a personalized and consistent manner, it will reflect in a failure to convert leases and increase renewals. 

According to Zumper’s 2021 Annual Rent Report, 82% percent of residents are planning to move this year. Most residents typically make a decision to renew within the first 48 hours of moving in. Integrating an automation tool to existing CRMs helps leasing teams communicate the pertinent information precisely when needed, whether it’s for a new lease or a renewal. Our internal data shows that personalization helps increase renewal rates by six percent or more. 

Establishing personalized communication from the moment a customer expresses interest in a community is key to setting the stage of what life will be like at a community, and the types of customer service they can expect. The information aggregated from initial leads shapes the customized messaging that customers  will receive regarding the most vital touch points throughout their journey, including move-in checklists, post move-in check-ins, maintenance follow ups and lease renewal reminders.

80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when they feel their experience has been personalized just for them. By personalizing the customer’s experience early on, operators will see an immense increase in leases signed and  an enhanced resident experience, which leads to higher renewal rates, more resident referrals and better online reviews.

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