Thanks to your strong inbound marketing strategy, your leasing teams have enough leads to keep them busy for days. Job well done, right? Not entirely. Chances are a large part of those leads will never convert — leaving your communities short of their goals.
If this scenario hits close to home, it’s time to make adjustments. The first step to improving your conversion ratios and hitting your goals is identifying the obstacles that likely stand in your way:
- Lack of an efficient, well-defined and followed process. Remember the paper guest cards? Many industry pros do, and some even still use them. The process had challenges because people would lose or throw away the guest cards. While one of the reasons for making the process electronic was to make this less likely, guest cards continue to be lost, even with lead tracking tools. Unfortunately, without adequate training and standardized processes in place, the problem can’t be solved.
- Lack of time. Today’s leasing consultants are tasked with more than just filling vacancies. We ask them to update social media pages, respond to reviews, provide excellent customer service, update all of their online listings, post on Craigslist multiple times a day, dispatch maintenance requests, accept packages, post rent, deliver notices — all before lunch. They simply don’t have the time to manage leads well, meaning we have to make time. Using vendors and automating some processes, such as package management and social media posting, can save enough time for them to focus their attentions.
- Lack of technology. There are technologies that improve lead management. And they aren’t as expensive as a fully functional Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. While most of the property management software systems provide some simple lead management tools, additional tools with more sophisticated functionality are available from other vendors. And you can always look to tools like MailChimp, Hubspot and others that offer CRM solutions.
- Lack of repetitive training. Sales associates don’t receive as much training as you provide to your maintenance technicians, but they should. Sales is an ever-evolving profession with growing challenges. Continuing education on leasing best practices, lead management and fair housing regulations is essential to having a successful leasing team.
These obstacles can be overcome by adopting a lead management platform that properly allocates leads and consolidates all the information from each prospect into a single dashboard. Make sure you’re nurturing these leads at every step of the renter journey — from research and comparison to move-in and renewal.
Failure to efficiently track leads can have lasting consequences. For one, it’s easy to dismiss a prospect that won’t be moving for a few months as a cold lead. Without a tracking system, you might forget about the prospect entirely — and they might forget about you. But staying in contact as their move-date approaches keeps you top-of-mind.
Don’t forget about what happens after the lease. Nurture the relationship with your current residents in preparation for their lease renewal. Maximize your revenue by optimizing your processes. With adequate systems in place, you can track your leads from the first communication to renewal without missing a step.