Here’s the biggest dichotomy we are seeing in the property management industry: We all know that the strength of your sales funnel has a direct impact on your bottom line, yet, many property management companies struggle with accurately capturing lead traffic, measuring conversions, and visualizing real-time performance. If lead generation is the lifeblood of our industry, why is it such a challenge?
So before you throw more money at marketing hoping to bring more prospective tenants to your doorstep, step back and ensure that you have a thorough and efficient lead management strategy and system in place.
Having a clear line of sight into where you spend your marketing dollars and how each channel is performing in terms of conversions is mission-critical. Not only will it help you optimize your marketing budget but ultimately this improved visibility will save you a ton of time and boost the quality and quantity of your leads.
Let’s unpack how smarter lead management can help you attract new clients, use your budget more strategically and scale your property management business.
Understand your pipeline
If you’re like most property pros running a team, you’ll have leads coming in from signage, Internet Listing Services (ILS) ads, pay-per-click (PPC) ads, your website and other sources. It is essential for property managers to understand where their leads are coming from, and which media sources have the best conversion in order to attract the best applicants, optimize the marketing spend, cut costs, and ultimately drive revenues.
One tactic to use is call tracking as it allows marketers to identify exactly what ILS, marketing campaign or tactic drove the phone call and what the result of the call was. When you can assign a unique phone number for each ad you can pinpoint exactly which ads and platforms give you the best results and make marketing decisions accordingly.
Attract the RIGHT audience
Lead management is the process of capturing leads and qualifying and nurturing them by offering valuable information until they are ready to convert. A solid lead management strategy is centred around eliminating the “throw-it-over-the-wall” mentality for good. Make data-driven marketing decisions to sidestep spending time and money attracting the wrong audience.
Create prospect personas as part of the key audience segmentation of your lead management strategy, each one including demographics, and rental motivations and expectations. With a clear picture of your target audience, and an understanding of which ad sources deliver the most conversions, you can then put your attention on attracting high-quality prospects who are most interested in your properties. This laser-focus helps reduce the number of days a property stands vacant.
Forecast, measure and hit targets
When lead management is integrated into your property management software, you can automatically capture all data in one place — from prospect communications to the advertising sources they came from to the buildings and units that attract the most interest. And, because you can’t manage what you can’t measure, these types of analytics give you a big picture view of your lead funnel, so you can see trends and better predict the future.
Lead management analytics empower you to tap into lead and tenant data across your entire business to rapidly surface deeper insights and make smarter leasing decisions. Embrace technology to take advantage of dashboards and reports showing lead traffic and conversions, agent performance, lead status and response rates. With this real-time information at your fingertips, you’ll always know where you stand in relation to your targets across your portfolio.
There’s a strong business case for improving your lead management process. According to Forrester Research, companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales leads at 33% lower cost per lead. And, when you consider the high costs of turnover – which includes lost rent for every day the unit is vacant, along with advertising costs, maintenance, improvements and admin time for viewings and screening tenants – generating more leads quickly is critical to improving your bottom line.
Better brand experiences
Did you know that 35% of lead inquiries happen outside of office hours? Yet prospective tenants expect an almost-instant response to their viewing requests, and the industry average of a one-day response is not going to cut it in today’s competitive market. Leveraging lead management automation tools can assist with converting emails, calls, or text messages to appointments without any staff intervention.
Additionally, now more than ever, lead management software is taking advantage of AI and tools like chatbots and smart reply emails to answer leasing-related questions without the need for staff resources. When you enable self-service by allowing prospective applicants to book appointments or get answers to pertinent questions in real-time (whenever that may be), you are creating a seamless customer journey and better brand experience.
The bottom line
As we emerge from this 6th wave of the pandemic, business as we know it has changed forever. COVID-19 has shown us that not only is the market more volatile, but how we run our property management business needs to change as well. To remain relevant and competitive, we must be able to adapt to the rapid shifts in both employee and customer culture.
Lead management software that integrates into your everyday tools — like Outlook 365, Gmail, Yardi, etc. — is the equivalent of the golden thread that stitches together all aspects of your organization, from marketing to operations to leasing, providing a more unified, cohesive view of the whole of your business. This big picture view is essential to move the needle on increasing efficiencies, process improvements and vastly reducing turnover and costs. It’s the juncture that elevates an organization to best-in-class, allowing it to be agile and drive a higher ROI across the board.
In today’s fast-paced, ever-changing market, property managers cannot afford to overlook technology that allows them to gain real-time insights into their pipeline, connect and convert target market leads, and cut costs… all while delivering a better experience.