Reduce Friction in your Leasing Process
First, let us start by recognizing and accepting that leasing an apartment is a Sales process. You are selling the apartment, you are selling the experience of living in the apartment, and you are selling the experience of living in your community as a resident.
Second, let us quickly understand a basic and critical inhibitor to a successful sales process, friction. Friction in the sales process is simply anything that gets in the way of a prospect saying “Yes”. Points of friction cause prospects aggravation, confusion, fatigue, and even anger. Clearly these are not experiences we would like our prospects to have while considering leasing from us.
Friction can (and does) happen in all parts of the sales process. Prospects will arrive with different expectations, mentalities, experiences, and responses. However, what we see most often in the competitive apartment market is that the initial contact point for a prospect is critical. The highest friction point for most Multifamily leasing processes comes at the point of initial contact - a time when a prospect has needs and expectations, but no prior relationship with your community.
Let’s examine a two common problems in the Multifamily Leasing Funnel:
A prospect is in need of a new apartment. They are looking for options in your area and have found your units through your website, Zillow, Craigslist, or anywhere else you have them listed. They see a note to “Call for More Information” with a phone number. They pick up the phone, dial the number, and get no answer. This happens frequently. Leasing Agents and Front Office employees are busy, they have many important tasks, and they get distracted with work. They may already be on the phone, they may leave the office to help a resident, they may be talking with maintenance about an issue. What happens when the phone isn’t answered? Many times, the prospect continues their search elsewhere.
It’s not office hours! This is a huge issue for so many leasing offices, and many aren’t even aware of it. Most prospects looking for a new apartment are doing so after work hours in the evenings, or during their free time on weekends. These are the hours prospects are on your websites looking at your listings, and they have no choice but to wait until the next day to get answers to their questions. In this competitive environment it is extremely important to capture a prospect’s interest when they have it and provide a strong customer0 experience that reinforces that interest and guides them into the leasing sales funnel. If you wait until tomorrow, the prospect has already looked at other units, and may have already had good experiences with another community.
What do both of these examples have in common?
Friction, and not just friction, but friction at the time when it is easiest for a prospect to fall off, before they are even in the funnel, during the point of first contact.
How does Leasing Chat reduce these points of friction and improve the experience for prospects during first contact?
Leasing Chat solves these issues with our focus on prospect-first customer service.
By guiding prospects to communicate via chat, instead of by telephone, we can guarantee a fast and professional response, and a tailored experience for your prospects. No more missed calls, no more voicemail messages, no more frustrated prospects.
One of the biggest benefits of Leasing Chat is that we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are online and waiting to assist your prospects when THEY are online and looking for information. We serve your prospects fast and efficiently and guide pre-screen applicants into the funnel for your leasing offices.
Removing these friction points will increase your number of qualified applicants, and most importantly improve your Occupancy Rate. Applicants who have a simple and enjoyable application process will feel confidence in the the responsiveness of your company, and may even recommend you to friends and family.
In closing, we also need to be aware that not ALL friction is a bad thing. Sometimes friction can result in decision points for a prospect, and we want them to reach those decision points. Ultimately we want the prospect to decide if they can see themselves living in our community, or not. So some friction can be a good thing, because it helps prospects who would never lease, leave the funnel, and prospects who are highly likely to lease, to continue down the funnel. We want to make sure a prospect has all the information they need to make their decision before they hit this decision point. So making the initial contact and data gathering process easy for the prospects is absolutely critical — This is what we do.
But wait there’s more! Leasing Chat helps with many aspects of the leasing process, not only the point of first contact. Please 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.