This is a guest post from Aaron Ramos, Director of Content at Knock — an award-winning CRM solution for multifamily property management companies.
Attracting and converting a modern renter requires property managers to create a cohesive and on-demand communication experience. This means properly optimizing how leads can reach your community across all available engagement channels, and organizing how your team responds and manages larger volumes of prospect interactions. Response communications must be quick, thorough and widely accessible for prospects. The multifamily industry average response time hovers at around 39 hours — and if you are leaving your leads out in the cold, don’t be surprised when a competing property snatches them up.
Modern renters expect nearly instant response times and on-demand tools that allow them to schedule and book their own tours without having to interact with anyone. If you aren’t offering these conveniences to your leads, you are only making the leasing process more difficult for them and ultimately falling short on providing a top-notch customer experience.
Below, the Knock team discusses how to properly manage and optimize a few of the communication channels that are a vital part of any multifamily lead generation strategy — and why having a CRM is critical to managing those interactions.
Give the People What They Want!
Personalized services, on-demand delivery, and one-click purchasing are changing the ways customers interact with brands and their expectations, but what do these experiences have in common? They put customer needs at the center of the experience design with the goal of delivering premium, differentiated service. As customers become increasingly more accustomed to the likes of Airbnb, Apple, Amazon and Uber, brands across all industries including multifamily property management firms must make the customer experience a priority.
More than 50% of renters prefer communicating with apartment communities via text . An effective CRM should automate and provide renters the flexibility to transition from the traditional call and email entry points into text communication. By introducing the option to convert inbound calls into text conversations before they ever reach a third party call center, managers can significantly reduce the need for expensive call center solutions.
Texting has been shown to be significantly more efficient at converting leads to tours when a prospect is given the option to receive a text with real-time pricing and availability as well as a link to self-book their tour, which means that a community’s hottest leads can instantly convert to a self-booked appointment without ever needing to speak with an associate, 24/7.
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Get The Most Out of Facebook Messenger
As is with any chat interface, speed and immediacy are key. Prospects want to engage communities with the most direct methods of communication and that same principle holds true on social media channels. You can customize your Messenger settings to include automatic greetings, options, and responses. This can help you engage with prospects when they are ready, and gets the conversation off on the right start. With Messenger ads, you can conduct lead gen campaigns directly in prospects inboxes, adding another touchpoint to your social media marketing strategy.
Just offering prospects to contact you over Messenger isn’t enough. In fact, as is with all the channels we will be discussing, it can be potentially detrimental to leasing team operations if communications on the back end aren’t being properly organized and attributed. Integrating your CRM with Messenger is critical for operational efficiency and for proper attribution metrics to be recorded. With a Messenger-integrated CRM, no more logging into Facebook to manage messages — easily engage from the same screen you use to text, email, call, and live chat with prospects.
Think Big, Talk Local
Collaborating with local businesses both IRL and on social is a great way to expand your brand reach and saturate your local market. Free coffee for a lease isn’t an equal trade, but free advertising in a place with high foot traffic is — or on a social media account with equal reach. Look for partners who will collaborate with you to cross-promote your current deals and referral offers in their establishments or on their social profiles. In exchange for unique coupons or discount codes for your residents, you can offer to include the partner company’s marketing materials in your new resident packets, distribute via your mass messaging resident campaigns, or even post them on your social media accounts. If tracked properly, you will be able to determine your CPL and determine if local collaboration is a viable supplemental marketing strategy.
Optimize Your Sphere of Influence(rs)
Optimizing direct communication with leads is always critical, but when managing your larger brand reputation and awareness; creativity and narrative management is key. With influencer trends moving in a more authentic and organic direction, now is a perfect time to look towards integrating micro-influencers into your community’s social media marketing strategy. The best part is, you don’t have to break the bank and you already have micro-influencers — your residents. Residents make perfect influencers, as their reach is both hyper-local and subject matter can be tailored to be highly organic. The basis of this strategy relies on the fact that you exponentially multiply your reach with every additional influencer — you are gaining exposure in their friend circle and getting more eyes on your content and community.
As you can see, multifamily communications are dynamic and span a variety of channels and operational strategies. No matter how or where you are interacting with prospects always remember these best practice principles:
1. Integrate any and all lead gen communications channels with your CRM.
2. Make it clear and easy for anyone to contact you — when and how they want.
3. Take control of the larger narrative and think outside the box of 1-to-1 communications.