Every multifamily property manager knows that the strength of their lead funnel is crucial to filling vacancies quickly, improving the bottom line and keeping your business flowing smoothly. However, broadening lead and sales opportunities is a constant struggle for leasing professionals.
If you are looking to create a more efficient, more productive multifamily lead management system in 2023, let’s dive in.
What is Multifamily Lead Management?
If you want to run a successful multifamily property business, you need a lead management software tailored for your line of business that is consistent, repeatable and scalable. In a nutshell, a multifamily lead management system is a lead funnel that helps you to generate qualified leads for your property and, through a series of activities, increases your conversion rates from lead to lease.
Why Multifamily Lead Management Matters
- Multifamily lead management helps to find and identify the right leads
- Multifamily lead management maximizes your advertising spend and marketing strategies
- Multifamily lead management delivers a better tenant leasing experience
- Multifamily lead management increases marketing and sales productivity
- Multifamily lead management improves your KPIs
Having a well-organized lead management system will also eliminate any redundant work, so you can focus on the work that matters to your business.
Challenges for Leasing Managers
Considering the cost of marketing as well as admin time, generating leads can be a costly endeavour. Yet, moving leads from interested inquiry to qualified applicants to signing on the dotted line can be a very tough nut to crack.
Multifamily leasing professionals need to have a healthy pipeline of applicants, weed out any poor-quality leads and constantly be striving to improve conversion rates. It can also be a very paper-heavy part of the business, so if leasing managers aren’t harnessing the power of digital solutions and automation, they can be sunk before they’ve even begun.
Consider these statistics:
• 60% of communications inquiries are calls
• 49 % of all leasing calls go unanswered
• 87% of people will not leave a voicemail
• 73% of millennials expect a reply within one day or less (usually within hours)
• 2.5 days is the average time it takes a leasing agent to respond
• 50% of leads go unanswered
And, here’s the kicker: 79% of leads never convert due to a lack of a solid multifamily lead management strategy.
So, what’s a property management company to do? Up next, we’ve rounded up tips and strategies to improve your lead pipeline and overcome these leasing challenges.
How to Improve your Lead Pipeline
The longer a property sits empty, the bigger the hit to your cash flow. To keep your multifamily properties rented, and to shorten vacancy times, here are some key leasing strategies to convert prospects to tenants faster.
1. Start with Your Ad
When writing your listing, create an ad that’s honest, compelling and helps to drive lead conversions. This means including not only the basics like price, location and mentioning a mandatory credit check (this helps weed out “professional tenants”), but also outlining you amenities and key features of the available unit. Be sure to use descriptive language and keywords relating to location and the size of the apartment – more on that in the PPC section! Lastly, have plenty of photographs so that the prospective tenant can picture themselves in your property.
For more read:
How to Improve Rental Lead Conversions
2. Embrace Marketing Automation
The more you can automate, the more scalable and efficient your marketing process will be. Automation, like the ability to automate responses to potential renter inquiries, saves hours per week. The other huge advantage of automation means that you can calm the chaos of multiple ILS channels. Property management marketing software makes updating your listings with current photos, rental rates, so you can fill your vacancies faster.
For more read:
5 Digital Marketing Tips
5 Tips to Reduce Vacancies
3. Get Onboard with PPC and SEO
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an excellent strategy to draw in more prospective tenants for your vacant units. When you invest in PPC you can instantly jump to the top of search results for your keywords. A key component of PPC for property management is keyword research and development. Be sure not to be too generic (e.g “apartment for rent”) as the bidding rate will be higher and will not have the return you are looking for. Instead, geo-target your keywords as people tend to search for cities and locations (e.g. “South Granville apartment for rent”).
SEO is today’s table stakes. It’s a fundamental must-have just to get into the game. Consumers immediately turn to Google and other search engines when they are searching for a rental unit, or researching neighbourhoods, so an SEO-optimized website helps you to get in front of your target audience while they are actively looking. So, your website appears at the right time, in front of the right person. A properly optimized property management company will rank better in search results, and ultimately attract more traffic, resulting in more conversions.
Read: 7 Deadly SEO Sins to Avoid
4. Create a Lead-Generating Website
Once you’ve started marketing effectively, you’ll be able to drive more traffic to your website. Your website needs to be appealing and user-friendly to create a positive image. Most importantly, it needs to act as a lead magnet.
Did you know that even a one-second delay in page load times results in 11% fewer page visits and 7% less conversions? Not only does your website need to be fast-loading, site visitors should also be able to easily access listings, availability and make an online appointment to view the unit. It needs to be effortless for your prospective tenant to see floor plans, unit photos, videos and all other decision-making information.
Learn more about Property Vista’s website builder here.
5. Capture ALL Information
So, now that you have a marketing process in place to drive traffic to your website, and your website is attractive and responsive, it’s time to capture all information from your leads. For prospects who have not yet visited the vacant unit, they can fill out a booking form, and for those who have already made a decision, online applications allow them to immediately put in a request to rent the apartment. By using these digital solutions you neatly sidestep paperwork and eliminate the chance of missed contact information.
6. Improve Response Times
Ideally, the minute a prospective tenant comes in you’ll be able to take the call and qualify your prospect. During peak times, technology like autorouting can help direct the call to the leasing agent, so no calls are missed. However, no one can be on the job 24/7. This is when AI chatbots can fill in the gap to answer common questions and direct people to an online booking tool.
7. Follow Up with your Leads
After an apartment call or email, it may be difficult to reach a prospect. Whether your prospect is busy or unable to take your call when you respond, you’ll need to follow up with them to nurture the tenant journey. A multifamily lead management software gives you the ability to follow up effortlessly with automated responses to emails and texts. Keep in mind, that if you can follow-up within 10 minutes, it boosts conversion increases by 185%.
8. Ensure Integrated, Consistent Credit Checks
A fully integrated leasing solution can automatically check prospective residents’ credit, streamlining the entire process. Credit check automation also reduces the chance of human error. All required information is consistently captured and all credit checks are performed in the same way, every time. For instance, by using Property Vista’s solution all applicants, co-applicants and guarantors are analyzed using all of your pre-set criteria, so you can make confident leasing decisions and can screen your prospective residents in a matter of seconds.
• Faster approvals (or refusals!)
• Higher security
• Less leads lost
• Enforced credit check process consistency
And, of course, never skip the background check. For more on that, read 6 Top Questions to Ask Potential Tenants
If your prospect is a good fit, take advantage of digital signatures to get the lease signed without delay.
Read: Digital Signatures: Signed, Sealed and Delivered
9. Set KPIs
Both a property management solution as well as its integrated lead management software has dashboards and monitoring tools that are invaluable. This real-time data gives you the pulse of your business. With a property management solution, you can easily monitor upcoming lease renewals to be able to get a head-start on whether or not you need to start advertising. And, in a lead management software, you can track conversion rates and see your most profitable advertising channels.
Property Management Performance Metrics Your KPI Dashboard Should Be Tracking
4 Ways to Leverage Real Time Data
10. Dig Deep into the Analytics
Data-driven insights help you refine and optimize your marketing initiatives. How are potential renters finding your available units? Organic search? Referrals from a student forum? If they are arriving at your website via online search, how long did they stay? A multifamily lead management software delivers robust analytics so you can track leads and conversions by media source. Savvy marketers also use Google Analytics to examine their most popular pages, engagement rates, and website traffic over time.
Top 10 Features of a Multifamily Lead Management Solution
An effective multifamily lead management solution begins with digitization and automation. Here is a breakdown of the key features to look for when assessing a solution for your property business. (Needless to say, any lead management for busy on-site leasing managers must have a mobile-friendly interface that gives you access to everything, all at your fingertips.)
1. Integrated Marketing
Filling your pipeline starts with your ability to quickly push out newly available units. A best-in-class multifamily lead management software will have an integrated marketing module that will allow you to customize your ads and refresh them as needed, as well as update photos, unit information and availability all in one place with a few simple clicks.
2. Online Bookings
Today’s consumers want self-service and allowing prospects to have the option of booking their own appointment to see the unit can increase the number of leads in your funnel. LeadManaging displays only the dates and times that are still available for viewing, and then, to make sure everyone is on the same page, automatically sends out notifications and reminders to the prospect and staff. The leasing team also receives appointment notifications directly to their inbox and can accept, cancel or reschedule.
3. AI Chatbots
Every leasing manager worries about missed opportunities. AI website chatbots allow you to provide 24/7 personalized assistance. A chatbot can be programmed to instantly respond to common leasing inquiries, like price, size and location of the available units, without needing intervention from your busy staff. Prospective tenants can also easily book an appointment in real time through the chatbot.
4. Phone Autorouting
With phone autorouting, you’ll never miss a call. (And, considering that most people don’t bother leaving a voicemail, this instantly gives your lead funnel a lift.) Route your calls by location, time of day, day of week and phone number with auto attendants and ring groups.
Auto Attendants: An auto attendant is a system that transfers incoming calls to various extensions as specified by callers, without the intervention of a human operator. When prospects call, they will hear a custom recording that allows them to contact a leasing agent with the simple press of a button.
Ring Group: With the ring group feature you can have multiple phones ring when one extension or number is dialed. It’s a great way for a business to share the distribution of incoming calls among leasing agents. Ring groups allow your agents to be more productive and help decrease prospective tenant hold time.
5. Call & Email Tracking
Knowing which media source delivers the most leads is crucial to compare advertising channels and improve your marketing ROI. By placing unique call tracking numbers on your ads, you can identify the media source used by your prospective tenant to find the available unit. With Property Vista’s solution, the phone calls are automatically and seamlessly forwarded to your site phone number. And, to ensure continuous improvement amongst team members, the calls are recorded for playback and coaching.
Similarly, as with the ability to track calls, you need to know which ads triggered the email inquiry from your lead. For instance, our LeadManaging application allows you to replace your building email with an identifiable tracking email as recipient on each online ILS. From there, the emails are automatically forwarded to your site’s email inbox and you can reply as usual! And the best part? All emails are parsed for the media source and show up on your dashboard so you can easily see which ads brought the most interest. All leasing replies are tracked for response rates, allowing you to keep tabs on response KPIs.
6. Email Autoresponders
Remember that stat about 50% of leads going unanswered? It’s time to put that to an end. Autoresponders are a great way to enhance your property company’s lead nurturing efforts and convert more of your leads into tenants. When a prospect sends an email inquiry through any online ILS (or your own website), the emails are tracked and forwarded to your team’s inbox, as mentioned above. You can set up automated responses, to ensure that every lead receives an email to thank them for their interest (complete with a link to the online booking tool) or to confirm their booking appointment. Email autoresponders help nurture the relationship with your lead, and put your best foot forward with new prospects.
7. Text (SMS)
Many people prefer text messaging to phone calls and emails – particularly Millennials and Gen Z. With a lead management software, you can send text messages to book meetings online, as well as reminders of appointments that allow for real-time chats, which makes it easy for the prospective tenant to let the agent know if they are running late. You can even add QR codes to signage, for quick SMS responses. And, all conversations are tracked and saved just like emails, so you always have a record of lead interactions.
8. Call Scoring
More and more, leasing agents want to understand the science behind the art of attracting quality leads to your portfolio. It’s little wonder that call scoring has become the tool that multifamily property pros seek out when considering lead management solutions. With a cutting-edge multifamily lead management solution, you can capture and analyze lead interactions through automated artificial intelligence (AI). This allows property companies to dig deeper and put a stop to lost leads due to a lack of qualification. It also reinforces a consistent approach to your calls with prospects. Set call score KPIs and get an instant lift in revenue as you can now pinpoint more prospects that are the best fit for your property.
9. The Invisible CRM
The secret sauce to LeadManaging is the “invisible CRM.” It makes it a snap to clear out to-do’s by replying to leads or using the ‘Quick Process’ button to move them to the next stage in their leasing journey. Leasing pros can easily add contacts for walk-in prospects as well and book tours on the spot. A robust search tool allows you to conduct a contact search to pull up a specific contact guest card, and you can log applications and leases.
10. Detailed Analytics
You can’t manage and improve what you can’t measure. A best-in-class multifamily lead management software will give you all the detailed analytics you need to understand your sales funnel. You can easily call up reports including the type of leads, number of leads per month by media source, lead funnel analysis, conversions by media type, etc. No more crossing your fingers and hoping for the best! You’ll always know how many leads are in your pipeline and whether or not you are on track to meet your targets.
Learn more about LeadManaging powered by Property Vista
Property Vista's LeadManaging is the multifamily lead management tool for leasing teams, property managers, and marketers. Optimize your ad spend, improve sales & marketing efficiency, and fill your vacant units faster. Use LeadManaging's robust analytics to make confident marketing decisions so you can manage your leads smarter and better. Learn more about LeadManaging and book a free demo with us today.