What we see in multifamily is a story of what happens when well meaning marketers do the right thing. I mean achieving the results you hoped for is good, right? As you’ll see that’s not always the case. Allow me to explain.
Over the last 20 years multifamily marketers have gotten really good at getting the message out and attracting attention from prospective residents. This has been helped by well-funded ILSs, social media and outstanding marketing platforms. The results have been mind blowing and we have seen a steady increase in leads funneling down to leasing teams. One look at a leasing agent’s to-do list and you’ll see tons of leads from various marketing channels like social media, website, ILS platforms, phone and SMS.
And herein lies the problem. The leasing teams are simply not able to respond to a large percentage of these leads. Validating leads is a time consuming activity and people easily get discouraged because you may need to go through many low quality leads to find that one person that will actually come in for a tour. Not easy to do for a person working during office hours only and at the same time juggling 10 other things as part of their workload. Property management companies have tried to solve this by using outside call centers or adding additional staff but those are expensive solutions that result in diminishing returns. Our experience shows that even the best teams barely respond to 50% of their prospect leads.
How does all this leave our future residents feeling? Pretty disappointed actually. They’ve gone through the trouble to reach out on social media, fill out ILS forms and leave voicemails to only be ignored. What is the point of all this great marketing if a large part of the budget is wasted and only resulting in underwhelmed prospects? I think that that most property marketers will agree that this is not the brand engagement they are hoping for.
I’m not suggesting that properties cut back on marketing but they should instead consider ways to close this gap. This may require us to rethink how we structure leasing teams. Conversational AI technology is an option and can help properties engage with prospects in ways that humans simply cannot. Properties must nurture prospective residents to ensure that they are fully assisted during one of their most important life decisions.