March 09, 2017

Maximum Impact: How to Reach Today’s Tenants

Today’s renters aren’t so different from those of yesteryear. Sure, they practically live online and expect near-instant response times. But what they ultimately want is a safe, comfortable place to call home—one that comes highly recommended by friends, family and user reviews.

If you’re having trouble getting a handle on what the magic recipe is to stand out from the competition and attract the right renters, look no further. The 2017 Online Renter Study from SatisFacts reveals what today’s tenants want, who they trust and how they want to hear from you.

Here are a few pivotal points from the recent report:

 

Go Straight to the Sources

It’s crucial that you establish a strong presence on the most trusted rental sources. SatisFacts shows that the top two places prospects look when researching a place to live are online apartment listings (nearly 75%) and property or management websites (more than 70%). What does that tell you?

You need to maintain a good presence on the most popular apartment listing sites. Make sure you’ve supplied all the necessary information and that it’s accurate and current. You should also include links back to the property or management firm’s website.

For your own site, ensure that it’s up to date and appealing. It should also be user-friendly and feature enticing information that paints a clear picture of life on your property. Include photos and videos of common areas, individual units and even the surrounding neighbourhood.

 

Build a Trusted Community

Information is one thing, but when it comes to recommendations, renters tend to rely primarily on feedback from friends, family or co-workers (77%), followed by online ratings and customer comments (close to 71%).

Creating good word of mouth involves treating current tenants well. Whether their experience is positive or negative, you can be certain they’ll share it with their friends, so do what it takes to make sure the word is good. Don’t put all your focus on attracting new renters; remember that retention is at least as important—if not more! Respond to residents’ maintenance requests and use your tenant portal to regularly check in through surveys. You can also add a personal touch by sending birthday messages and organizing events for your residents, like BBQs or holiday parties.

When it comes to online ratings, you need to monitor the comments sections. Take the time to respond to positive comments, and always address any negative issues or complaints. It’s important to show that you care about your residents and that you always take measures to resolve any problems.

 

Deliver What They Expect

SatisFacts identifies several key points that prospects consider when choosing where to rent. In addition to be being able to see the specific unit they’d be renting and having access to community reviews or ratings, key concerns include being able to:

  • Pay rent online (without a convenience fee, thank you very much!)
  • Get good customer service, including prompt replies to emails and voice mails
  • Submit service requests online

So what are you waiting for? Make sure those features are available.

All of them can be offered through a good online portal that allows for 24-7 rent payment in a variety of methods (including credit/debit card payment, e-transfer and direct deposit), automatic alerts and monitoring to ensure that all queries are addressed promptly, and a good maintenance request processing system.

 

Create a Culture of Responsiveness

Today’s renters expect extreme responsiveness—and that expectation is only going to increase. According to SatisFacts, email (88%) and cell phone (73%) remain in the top two spots for preferred contact method. But texts are steadily climbing, rising from just 38% in 2015 to a full 50% in 2017.

That means your staff has to be ready, willing and able to reply as necessary.

While customers typically expect a response to emails and phone messages within two hours, the average text message receives a reply within 90 seconds. To meet that demand, you might want to consider implementing a platform or app that will enable personnel to initiate and respond to texts from their personal handheld devices while still operating within the property management company’s system.

One thing to remember: You must obtain written consent to reach your residents by text, and give them the option to opt out if they change their minds.

 

Customer Satisfaction: The Ultimate Guarantee to Business Success

If you want to satisfy today’s tenants, the secret lies in understanding what they want. It boils down to is this: embracing the new online, on-demand world while always remembering that customer service is key.

To learn more about how you can optimize your processes and get the right platforms in place to attract and retain quality tenants, sign up for your free account today or give us a call.

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Tasha Morton

Tenant Receivables Analyst, MetCap Living Management Inc.

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