Integrating Technology into a Leasing Workflow
In the competitive multifamily leasing environment owners need to use every tool available to them to stay ahead of their competition. Unfortunately, many front offices are stuck in the past, using the same old status quo workflows that multifamily operators have been using for 75 years.
If this sounds like your organization, you might be surprised that you will soon be forced to change. Multifamily owners need to be agile and adaptive to keep vacancies filled. Prospects and residents have expectations that extend beyond the old ways of doing business. To keep up with advances in the industry, owners need to adopt technologies into their leasing workflows. The advantages of these technologies span the entire business operation, and are appreciated by prospects, residents, staff, and management at all levels.
Below we describe a few basic technology categories that are no longer optional for a successful multifamily operator.
Provide Online Applications
If you are still requiring applicants to fill out a paper application and submit it manually, you are falling behind the curve. Multifamily operators (depending on your state) should be offering online application processes. Not only do online applications make it easier for many prospects to apply, but they also offer many advantages you may not have considered:
No hurdles to getting started. The moment a prospect is interested in applying they can begin the process easily. They do not have to print documents, they do not have to visit an office, they can start submitting their information online through their home computer or phone. This is a great way to relieve friction in the application process, and if you’re read our article on reducing friction, you know how important this can be. Link: /resources/reduce-friction-in-your-leasing-process/
Immediate assistance when needed. Using online applications allows for the opportunity to offer support and assistance during the application process. Leasing support staff can assist applicants with questions live through online chat, and can do preliminary reviews to ensure all needed information is provided.
Offer Video, 3D, and Virtual Online Walk-Throughs
Online tours are no longer optional for multifamily operators, they are mandatory.
A competitive multifamily owner needs to offer online options for prospects to view apartments and floorplans. Not just overhead floorplans of a unit, but video and 3D walkthroughs of the units so prospects can familiarize themselves with the property without needing to visit.
A modern Virtual Tour allows prospective residents to walk through an apartment without leaving home. They allow the prospect to examine an apartment and get a sense of the community without needing to visit the property in person.
Video walk throughs can also be a great option for leasing offices. Video Tours guided by a knowledgeable staff member can provide helpful insights for prospects, and can even sell a unit where 3D tour would not have, because it allows for salesmanship and one way communication to the prospect, alleviating concerns, and explaining important aspects of a unit or property.
Give Better Contact Options
Phone calls and walk-in service will always have their place in multifamily offices, but there are several contact methods many prospects prefer to use for information gathering and application.
Website Live Chat - All industries, and especially competitive industries like multifamily leasing, are incorporating Live Chat into customer support & sales programs. The primary reasons are simple, 46% of customers prefer live chat to any other communication channel, and when response times are fast businesses will see an 80% increase in customer engagement.
Text, Whatsapp - Flexible cell-phone based communications offer High Open Rates and Convenient Availability. These are also great ways to follow up with prospects or re-connect when there are new vacancies.
Social Media Chat - Leasing Offices that allow prospects to contact them on the channels the prospects are already using receive more inquiries and ultimately more applications than offices using limited contact and outreach options.
What do all these contact options have in common? Leasing Chat’s leasing support agents use all of them to provide your prospects and residents with communication options that fit their needs and preferences.
Measuring the performance of your leasing process is incredibly important for understanding where and how you can improve. By building an analytical model to better understand your leasing operations, you can get deep insights into the needs of prospects, the experience of your customers, and the marketing efforts of your organization. Included in our service contracts are monthly analytics assessments which give deep insight into the questions your prospects and residents have, and when they have them, along with website and communication tracking statistics. Ask us about our analytics packages and how they can help you.
Often times when we have always done business a particular way, we continue to operate within the status quo. Why would we change it if it’s working OK? The thing is, when it comes to technology adoption within an industry, everything continues to work OK, until it doesn’t. Change happens quickly, and organizations that don’t front-run the industry will always being playing catch-up.
Be a front runner in the industry. Provide the best possible service to your customers. Give the best tools and support to your employees. To see how we can help - read about our full list of services on our services page, or find more information and guidance in our resources section. If you have questions or would like more information please just send us a message, or use the chat box below.