April 14, 2020
How the Pandemic Will Change Leasing Forever
As we are all practicing social distancing and shelter-in-place strategies to help flatten the COVID-19 curve, the days of greeting a prospect at the door, shaking hands and walking them through the community one-on-one appear to be long gone. Despite the pandemic, work doesn’t just stop. And, leasing, whether it’s a new prospect or renewing with an existing tenant has traditionally been all about human interaction and connectedness.
However, coronavirus is putting the brakes on face-to-face communication and could really change how business is done not just in the coming weeks, but in the years to come.
The New Virtual Leasing Office
While in-person tours will, no doubt, continue again once the pandemic is over, many property professionals say that this time of quarantine will act as a catalyst for more efficient virtual operations supported by technology.
While virtual tours have been on the property marketing scene for many years now, creating easily accessible at-home tour experiences has never been more mission-critical. These 360-degree tours let prospective renters visit the property sight-unseen from a desktop or mobile screen. From the convenience of their own living room, the prospect can check out various amenities like the gym, virtually walk through common areas and get a tour of the available unit. Because these tours are on-demand, the prospect can view them anytime; and you can capture leads when they are the most interested, expanding your lead pool.
In addition to virtual tours, some PM companies are opting for self-guided tours, in which a prospect submits their identification and credit card in exchange for a code for a smart lock. This can also speed up the sales process, eliminating the time needed to schedule in-person meetings and coordinate with a prospect.
Don’t make your red-hot prospect wait for office hours to come an fill out an application. More and more property firms are moving towards online applications, facilitating a virtual leasing office. With a fully automated leasing solution, you can automatically capture all required information, and ensure run consistent, automated credit checks. Analyze all applicants, co-applicants and guarantors using pre-defined criteria to make confident leasing decisions in a matter of seconds. Technology supports a streamlined approach of online applications that seamlessly go through tenant screening and credit checks without manual intervention, freeing up your time.
Seal the Deal
Virtual leasing doesn’t stop there. Leasing technology allows property managers to close the deal in a way that is both convenient and efficient. There’s no more paperwork to be filled out in the office. Instead, you can easily port all application data into the lease, and send it to your approved tenant to digitally sign. Digital signatures and documents make the process seamless and easily.
Automatic renewal forms go a long way toward boosting retention rates. Not only do they ensure that you won’t miss out on renewal dates, but they also significantly reduce administrative costs. By eliminating tasks like writing and delivering printed notices or conducting in-person meetings with renters, you’ll save valuable time and money.
You can also increase renewal odds by including the option for multi-year renewals on your automated forms, offering a slight discount to residents who opt for two- or three-year leases.
How Property Vista Helps
Property Vista customers see dramatic improvements, including a 45% increase in collections, 75% increase in online payments, 35% increase in approved lease applications and 85% increase in closed work orders.
Automating the leasing cycle keeps your company ahead of the curve, puts a stop to time-consuming paperwork and, ultimately, puts you ahead of the competition. Our web-based software facilitates 24/7 lead nurturing, by automating your property listings and allowing prospective tenants to make an inquiry as well as view the property rental description, get neighbourhood info and arrange a showing. It includes online applications, automated screening and digital leases. If you are looking to improve automation across your property management business, check out our pricing here and contact us for a demo.