Digital Storefront: How to Capitalize on your Property Management Website

The world seemed to deal with aftershocks from the technology earthquake of the 21st century when COVID-19 happened in early 2020. The modern consumer began demanding a complete shift to digital in both their business and personal life in order to stay fully connected and informed. The general public has now come to expect businesses to be fully online asking more of businesses in their online resources with a (to no surprise) lower tolerance for anything less. 

It sounds harsh, but in reality, consumers have changed and they know what they want and where to find it online. If you’re not online, to many, it might be as if your business doesn’t exist. But even if you are online, you have another hurdle. Because of the Internet and the massive zoo that is online content, it’s difficult to know where and how to get in front of consumers. Not only just consumers but the right consumers need to be able to easily find your property’s website or they might never bother to find your business at all (remember the low tolerance?) 

SEO, Paid Ads, and An Active Website… Oh my! 

The trifecta of an online presence includes: SEO (search engine optimization), paid ads and an active website. These three initiatives should drive people to your website if they aren’t already visiting. Here’s a short guide to getting these three things where they need to be: 

SEO – We’ll get into the active website, but if your website is being updated regularly with fresh content, you can easily figure out the keywords that your prospects are searching for. Neil Patel has a great tool for SEO beginners. Go from a free to inexpensive plan and gauge traffic for keyword searches and percentage possibilities of rankings on page 1 of Google.  

Paid Ads – List your active units and properties in paid ads, whether on social media or Google. Start with a small amount of money and test out different copy and images. See where traffic engages the most and put a little more money toward it. Repeat several times. Always test ads as much as possible by figuring out what the market wants to see once your ad is in front of them. 

Active Website – The word “active” is key here. Uploading regular resources signals to Google that your site is putting fresh content out for consumers – and Google rewards that by bumping you to higher pages on their search engine. That content, whether it be blogs, announcements, or general unit information, should include SEO keywords that your prospective renters are searching for so that links to your site are returned in their search results.  

The entire point is: make it easy for the consumer to find you. The easier it is for them, the more likely they are to give your brand and website a chance to earn their business. If you don’t have the internal resources or capabilities to help you with these initiatives, you can outsource to an expert to get the process started.  Now that you have an approach for driving traffic to your website, let’s talk about what they want to see once they arrive. 

What are future residents looking for on your website? 

In writing school, they teach you “show, don’t tell.” What it really means is let the reader figure out some things on their own – don’t write every detail for them. This is the same for your property’s website. You still need to provide some detail, but your website is the beginning of a customer experience and that’s why it’s important not to overwhelm them. 

A website with nothing but copy and words will quickly motivate a user to bounce, even if the words on the website feel important. Focus on your target market and understanding who they are and what they care about. They’re looking for a future home, so typically any consumer wants to eventually see units, photos of the property, and maybe information on amenities and pricing. However, starting with your home page, you still have to convince them to travel to other parts of the site.  

Typically, your properties’ home pages will be more image-heavy than information-heavy. It should give a visual expectation of their future experience living at your property. Video and photos are a great way to do this and can be a great opportunity to call out important and high interest areas of the site. Putting a CTA (call-to-action) button or a headline about a new promotion the property is running near these eye-catching images and videos is what’s going to keep them interested. 

What does their future home look like? 

As they are checking out units and amenities, it’s important to note that you still have the opportunity to give them all the information they need without writing it all out in words. Your property’s website visitors are more likely to convert when they get as much information as they can online, before they commit to touring in-person. We suggest providing this information visually in three ways: 

Self-guided tours 

Prospects who complete self-guided tours online are 54% more likely to convert into an in-person tour. Giving your prospects the chance to see the landscape tells them exactly what they will experience if they make it their new home. When the prospect does tour in-person, they are not caught by surprise and often have higher intent to lease. 

Neighborhood maps 

If this is their future home, visitors are going to want to see what’s beyond the gates of the apartment community. Interactive neighborhood maps are another way to create transparency with online researchers as they can get a sense for their apartment’s surroundings including schools, shopping centers, and even the distance to the highway. 

Interactive and Unit-specific floor plans 

Many properties upload a single interactive floor plan for each type of unit (studio, 1B1B, 2B1B, and so on). But probably the layout of each unit type varies depending on where it is located. More often than not, prospects are surprised when they tour in-person and see the available unit looks completely backwards or different than what they saw virtually. If they’re already picturing themselves in a unit and you change that picture, it can create friction for them as a prospective resident.  

We advise you let them see it all. Give unit-specific floor plans that are interactive and can not only show what the exact available unit will look like, but where it’s located on the property. Believe it or not, another point of friction for prospects is around location of the unit. When they realize their potential apartment is far away from their parking spot and they try imagining carrying groceries back and forth, they can quickly lose interest. There can be other reasons like being close to the elevator or trash chute or even for a nice view, a customer might be led astray when they don’t get the full picture beforehand. The more a prospective resident knows in advance before touring, the more the in-person visit will reinforce the personal connection they have to your property that drove them to visit in the first place! 

If you aren’t reaching your prospective residents online or aren’t catering to their pre-visit information needs, you’re making it harder than it needs to be to generate and convert leads. Interested in getting your property website to its full potential? Book a demo with us to see how we support property management companies with their websites here.

The Best Marketing Strategies for Property Management Companies

Marketing for Property Management Companies

A property’s success hinges on a strong multifamily marketing strategy. Even if your property already has a website and you’re posting units on apartment listing sites, there’s so much more you can do to increase marketing effectiveness. The best marketing strategies for property management companies are comprehensive, encompassing everything from understanding your prospects to optimizing budgets with attribution models. 

Here are a few strategies to implement in your multifamily marketing strategy: 

Optimize Your Listings 

When it comes to marketing your properties on apartment listing sites, you have to be on your A-game. Your properties will be listed directly next to your competitors, and you need to make sure your listings will not only highlight your property’s best features, but also stack up against the competition. 

Your apartment listings should include quality, well-lit photos of each available unit, as well as any amenities and the grounds of the property. Remember: you don’t need an expensive camera to take good pictures – most smart phones on the market take high quality photos! 

You also need to ensure your listings have a descriptive headline and detailed unit information. To streamline your listings and ensure accuracy, consider using a property management CRM that has fully-integrated Internet Listing Service (ILS) solutions. Managers can syndicate unit availability across all key marketing channels to ensure all listings are accurate and up to date. 

In addition to apartment listing sites, you should also optimize your Google Business listing. You can add photos, update business hours, and ensure all information is accurate. Also consider responding to any reviews. As potential prospects research different properties, they will most likely want to read reviews on your property. Responding to reviews shows that your team stays engaged with their residents. 

Upgrade Your Website 

As more prospective residents search for new homes online, your website needs just as much curb appeal as your physical property. When developing a marketing plan for property management companies, be sure to factor in each property’s website to ensure that it has all the information and features needed to entice visitors. 

People will engage longer on a website with interactive features that make it easy to get answers to their questions. Modern website features, like virtual tours and interactive floor plan browsers, allow prospective residents to get a complete picture of what it’s like living at your property without ever leaving their computer.  

Two important features of a modern property website are a tour scheduler that’s integrated with your leasing agents’ calendaring system and an AI-powered chatbot. More than 50 percent of apartment tours are scheduled outside of working hours, so it is important to have a frictionless tour scheduling process. And for those that may have a few questions before they’re ready to commit to a tour, a chatbot can nurture them through their discovery by engaging visitors, promptly answering common questions and scheduling in-person tours. 

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Determine Marketing Spend 

When it comes to marketing strategies for property management companies, your budget is a huge factor. Having a sophisticated budgeting tool allows you to proactively allocate funds effectively. Because every property is different, it can be difficult to determine how much money to allocate towards marketing. Most properties’ budgets will primarily be driven by turnover and lead conversion rates, and your spend will fluctuate based on the number of units you need to fill. Knowing what your leasing goals are will allow you to create an effective budget.  

Using a forward-looking property management software to monitor projected occupancy can help you determine marketing spend. The timing of your marketing spending should be driven by vacancies, units to fill and where you stand with organic lead traffic. Consider leasing cycles and monitoring projected occupancy months in advance to ensure you’re optimizing your budget. 

Measure Marketing Performance 

We’ve discussed how a goal-oriented budget is most effective. In addition to high-level goals like occupancy rates, having marketing-focused goals can ensure you’re appropriately allocating funds and maximizing conversion. 

A property management CRM that tracks marketing attribution provides clear data about where the leads that are converting originate. By analyzing the leads sources and touches that drive conversion, you can optimize your marketing investments and allocate funds to high-converting sources. 

5 Signs You Need a Multifamily CRM

How Does a Multifamily CRM Improve Lead Management?

Customer relationship management software, or CRMs, are the fastest growing software solutions on the market across industries, and multifamily is no exception. A multifamily CRM helps increase conversion by streamlining the lead management process. 

As a supplement to a high-quality property management software, multifamily CRM creates a more personalized experience for prospects, helps teams manage leads more efficiently and gives property managers unparalleled access to customer data in real time. It improves lead flow, increases conversion and drives higher occupancy rates. 

 Here are five signs your company could benefit from a multifamily CRM. 

1. You aren’t attracting enough leads to maintain occupancy levels  

Move outs happen, of course, but if leads are down and it’s getting harder to keep your units consistently filled, you most likely need the power of a multifamily CRM to boost your efforts.  

When coming up with a plan to increase conversion, start with the basics. Most leads come via apartment aggregator websites, but some companies struggle to keep their ILS listings updated.  Before you even have a chance to wow prospects with your properties, out-of-date information or incomplete (Internet Listing Services) ILS listings for your property could be driving them away. 

The best multifamily CRM will ensure that your ILS listings stand out on the best apartment aggregator sites, providing up-to-date and appealing details on availability, unit size, price and more. This can give prospects a strong first impression of your property and drive them to engage. From there, your CRM and your staff can get to work doing everything necessary to convert them. 

2. You have duplicate prospect records  

Inefficiency impacts your bottom line.  Duplicate leads across multiple properties and misplaced data makes it hard to effectively engage prospects. If your competition is using modern CRM solutions to manage prospects while you use outdated systems, you may lose out on deals. 

A multifamily CRM centralizes cross-property prospect records and allows you to efficiently manage leads across your portfolio. If you’re relying heavily on ILS listings, you may save money through more efficient sharing of leads across properties, reducing your cost per lead. This effectiveness also reduces prospect and team frustrations. 

3. Leads sometimes fall through the cracks 

Your leasing team is constantly being pulled in different directions. You need a solution to keep them focused. A multifamily CRM with a powerful dashboard alerts them to high priority prospects and activities ensures they follow up promptly. 

Your brand is at stake. Consumers believe the pre-leasing experience your team delivers reflects the ongoing experience they will have as a resident. If they experience hassles before they sign, what will life be like when they live on your property? An integrated property management solution and multifamily CRM enable consistent streamlined experiences that residents have come to expect. 

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4. You aren’t automating communication 

Being responsive is essential to keeping prosects engaged, but your team can’t be available 24/7. Automating communication through a multifamily CRM simplifies processes for your leasing team and shows prospects that you’re easy to work with. 

More than 50 percent of tours are scheduled outside business hours. Leveraging a multifamily CRM that offers AI-powered chatbots on your website to engage your prospects at any time. While your team is serving other prospects or off the clock, a chatbot can engage website visitors, offer virtual tours, and schedule in-person tours. 

Note that not all CRMs do this effectively. AI-powered chatbots that accurately interpret and respond in context to prospects are best equipped to get prospects the information they need to move to the next stage of the process. 

Multifamily CRMs can also streamline other forms of communication. Consider a solution that automates email and SMS-triggered dialogues to respond to inquiries and further engage prospects. The best CRMs also offer click-to-dial and call-from-anywhere options, increasing team efficiency. 

5. You aren’t sure how your lead sources are performing

Understanding where your leads originate ensures you’re allocating your marketing budget correctly. Without comprehensive lead and conversion data, you may be overspending on low-converting sources or underspending on high-converting sources.  

A multifamily CRM tied to a robust property management platform provides clear marketing attribution reports to help you optimize your marketing investments. With complete data visibility, you can make confident budgeting decisions to maximize conversion. 

Imagine more effective lead management with less effort. Learn how ResMan CRM, a fully integrated, full-feature solution delivers the kind of experience that can make the difference between a signed lease and a lost prospect. Get a free demo today!

5 Features of the Best Property Management CRM

The Benefits of a Property Management CRM 

 Vacancies are unavoidable in property management, and as a result so is the need to find new prospective residents or “leads.” But without a property management CRM, good leads may slip through the cracks. 

Your on-site team is busy with a host of responsibilities, and managing prospects is time-consuming. Instead of asking your team to try to keep prospect records organized and manage communication, your CRM can automate some of the process and return valuable time to your team. 

There are plenty of CRM solutions on the market, but some aren’t integrated at all or are only lightly integrated into your property management software. Trying to manage prospects across different systems is inefficient and error prone. For a CRM to truly have an impact, it should be fully integrated with your property management software. 

Property management software with enhanced marketing and CRM capabilities allows your team to improve lead flow, increase conversion and drive higher occupancy rates. When choosing the right property management CRM for your company, look for these five features. 

  1. Fully Integrated ILS Solutions
  2. Automated Communication Methods
  3. Dashboards and Alerts
  4. Centralized Prospect Records
  5. Better Marketing Attribution

1. Fully Integrated ILS Solutions 

When it comes to driving occupancy, the first step is effectively marketing your units. There are plenty of apartment aggregator sites for people to find apartments, and you want to make sure your listings stand out. 

Keeping listings updated with accurate information ensures your prospects have all the details they need on availability, unit size, price and more. A robust property management CRM will have customized connections with all the best Internet Listing Services (ILS). 

Using a property management CRM with powerful ILS capabilities ensures your listings are both accurate and appealing. By syndicating accurate unit availability across all key marketing channels, you can not only ensure up-to-date listings end up in front of prospects, but you can also use your property management CRM to track marketing attribution specific to each ILS (more on that later!). 

2. Automated Communication Methods 

Just like you, your prospects are busy. They have families, lives and jobs, and they want to get things done quickly—and probably online. Simplifying the leasing process and providing a variety of ways to communicate with you shows you’re responsive and easy to work with.  

Chatbots 

While your team can’t be on call 24/7, adding an AI-powered chatbot to your website can engage with prospects on their time. Chatbots also free up your team’s time. 

More property management CRMs are introducing chatbots, but not all of them are using the latest technology. Many deliver templated responses based on hardcoded logic. Those that use artificial intelligence and Natural Language Processing to interpret questions and dynamically respond will deliver a better prospect experience. 

The flexibility of these AI chatbots allows them to engage prospects more freely and nurture them through their discovery – even to the point of, offering virtual tours and scheduling in-person tours. Having a way to engage website visitors at any time ensures no leads fall through the cracks. Ultimately, leveraging a chatbot with responsive communication can make the difference between a signed lease and a lost prospect. 

Learn how AI chatbots and other property management platform features can help you increase revenue. 

Phone and Email Tools 

In addition to automating communication via chatbot, a property management CRM allows you to further streamline messaging with prospects. This can both save your team time and help increase lead volume (and quality!). 

A robust property management CRM generally includes email and SMS triggered dialogues that can keep prospects engaged and help move them further down the sales funnel.  

CRM solutions often include technology to manage phone calls. Consider a solution that increases efficiency by offering click to dial and call-from-anywhere options. These allow your team to make calls through a browser over the internet and without concern about prospects getting their personal cell phone numbers. Solutions that record and transcribe both inbound and outbound calls ensure the best possible prospect experience.  

3. Dashboards and Alerts 

When it comes to maximizing lead conversion, you need your team to be at the top of their game. That said, with so much on their plates, agents can have a hard time knowing where to focus. 

A property management CRM with a dashboard makes it much easier for teams to keep track of prospects and follow up activities. Alerting functionality is also important because it calls attention to high priority tasks, ensuring your team is engaging as needed so no leads fall through the cracks.  

4. Centralized Prospect Records 

Every property management company aspires to have their team act as a well-oiled machine, but without comprehensive visibility, your team can’t be as efficient as you’d like. Duplicate leads across multiple properties and issues with data accessibility make it hard to effectively refer and share leads. 

holistic property management CRM that centralizes prospect records will keep your team organized and efficiently manage leads across your portfolio. A consolidated, cross-property view of each prospect streamlines referrals and ensures the best prospect experience.  

Centralized prospect records have an added benefit for organizations that rely heavily on ILSs for leads. When leads are maintained at the property level, depending on the ILS pricing model, property management companies may pay multiple times for the same lead if they fill out a guest card for multiple properties. With centralized prospect records, you will only pay once for that lead.   

5. Better Marketing Attribution 

The most comprehensive CRM systems help property management companies improve all aspects of marketing. This includes attribution. Centralized prospect records eliminate duplicate leads, providing clearer data about where leads originate.  

Reporting that is focused on attribution surfaces the leads sources and touches that are driving conversion and helps you optimize your marketing investments to maximize conversion.  

See how ResMan’s fully-integrated CRM can help your team maintain efficient workflows and increase conversion! Take a tour of ResMan CRM in this on-demand webinar.

4 Valentine’s Day Ideas for Residents: Improve Resident Retention

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and who better to show a little love to than your residents? Simple gestures can go a long way in improving resident retention rates. In addition to consistent resident communication, going the extra mile around holidays is a great way to engage your residents.

While in-person gatherings may not be possible due to COVID-19, there are plenty of safe ways to show your residents how much you appreciate them. Here are a few of our favorites:

1. Hot Chocolate Kits

Help your residents warm up this winter! Placing hot chocolate kits in your lobby or clubhouse can be a great sweet treat for residents. Put a packet of hot chocolate and a few marshmallows in a bag tied with ribbon, add a sweet message and you’re done!

2. Valentine’s Selfie Station

Setting up a themed selfie station is a fun way to get residents engaging with your property on social media! Add some streamers, paper hearts, balloons or other fun decorations to a wall (with good lighting!) and tell your residents to stop by and snap a photo.

Make sure they tag you on social media (bonus points if you come up with a fun hashtag). To boost engagement, consider making it a contest. Anyone who takes a selfie and tags your property on social media is entered to win a gift card. Not only is this a great way to engage with your residents—it also boosts brand awareness to their connections.

3. Candy-grams

You can never go wrong with candy on Valentine’s Day. Putting together small bags of candy is a fast, easy way to show your residents you appreciate them. Include a heart-shaped note with the candy, and you’re good to go!

4. Heart Hunt

If your property has a decent grounds area, consider leveraging your residents’ cabin fever with a fun scavenger hunt. Place hearts in heavily trafficked areas of your property (clubhouses, fitness centers, playgrounds, etc.). Leave instructions to return the heart to the leasing office for a prize. This can be a great excuse for residents to get outside and stretch their legs a bit after being cooped up for a while.

Gen Z vs. Millennials: 9 Marketing Tips for Property Managers

Move over millennials. There is a new, younger, more conscientious generation in town. 

Generation Z, or those who were born between 1997 to about 2016, are the new “it” generation on multifamily executives’ radars these days. Just like there were key differences between their predecessorsthe baby boomers, Generation X, and the millennials, there are characteristics you must understand about “Gen Z” before you can successfully market to them as a multifamily professional. 

1. Gen Z felt the impact of a recession 

Millennials were raised during economic prosperity (the 80s and 90s)while Gen Z grew up during the Great Recession of the late 2000s. Having watched family members and friends encounter unemployment and financial strifethis group is wary of the way they spend money.  

Tip: When marketing to Gen Z, stress value and quality of your properties and be sure to offer plenty of deals and leasing specials. 

2. Gen Z prefers to shop in store 

Millennials might have killed the mall, but Gen Z is bringing it back. Gen Z likes to feel and see products in person as a type of quality check. They also like the idea of an in-store experience to augment their shopping.  

TipTransform your marketing with events that bring your multifamily community together and spaces that encourage collaboration. And don’t forget to make it social media shareable.  

3. Gen Z prefers authenticity 

Whereas millennials prefer to rally around brands with a cause, Gen Z is more interested in authenticity. There’s no more getting by with heavily edited, stagedand photoshopped content. Furthermore, Gen Z has a nose for corporate fakery. Because they’re spending more time researching their decisions, Gen Z keeps up with what’s being said about your community online, and they have a discerning eye for when they are being sold to. 

Tip: When marketing to Gen Z, advertise your property management company in a way that is real and attainable. Rethink photoshopped images, corporate jargon, and ideas that don’t reflect who they are as individuals.  

4. Gen Z is marked by individuality and fluidity 

For millennials, owning brand name products is what made them feel part of a larger group. Gen Z is the opposite. Independence is their hustle and social media is their community. And don’t loop them into racial or gender groups. They prefer to exist on a scale that is more representative of their diverse backgrounds. 

Tip: When marketing to Gen Zcelebrate them as individuals while allowing them to be whatever and whoever they want without a focus on narrow image. For example, on resident-facing marketing materialshighlight people of various life stages, backgrounds and walks of life. 

5. Gen Z is entrepreneurial 

Speaking of hustles, Gen Z has become more creative in how they earn a buck or two. According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, 70% of teens are self-employed, choosing to teach piano, monetize their social media activity, or something similar.  

Tip: Your next marketing campaign could exist within your apartment community. Tap into influential community members with incentives, reuse usergenerated content on social media, and encourage online reviews.  

6. Gen Z is socially conscientious 

Sure, millennials helped elect the first black president and legalize gay marriage, but experts are saying Gen Z is the one leading the movementFor Gen Z, these social advances are the norm, but fighting to sustain them is not.  

Tip: If your property management company has not found its voice in the growing trend of corporate social responsibility; the time is now. Determine the goals for your company and find philanthropy efforts that match that. For example, if you’re company’s goal is to provide quality living, perhaps working with homeless shelters aligns with your vision.  

7. Gen Z is more calculated on social media 

By way of misuse and exploitation, millennials — the world’s digital pioneers — have paved the way for Gen Z — digital natives — to use social media responsibly. With safety and security at the top of their minds, Gen is more selective with the information they share onlineThey are even particular on which social channels to express themselves or connect with others. 

Tip: You might have just mastered Facebook ads, but for your property management company to remain competitive, get ready to try advertising on other social channels like Instagram and Snapchat 

8. Gen Z is more global 

Millennials were considered the first global generation because they shared similar characteristics and values across borders, and they were able to view significant global events in real time. However, Gen Z interacts with their global peers with greater fluidity, thanks to social media. 

Tip: When marketing to Gen Z, highlight messages that represent a universal truth.  

9. Gen Z has an even shorter attention span 

Having never known a world without social media, smart devices, and high-speed internet, Gen Z is by nature multitaskers. The average attention span of an American today is eight secondsmaking it even more challenging for marketers.  

Tip: Be prepared to abbreviate marketing messages even more. And think more about how to use entertainment-like interactions to your advantage. 

Generation Z may be young, but don’t dismiss the impact they’ll have on the multifamily industryAs the newest generation of renters, property management companies who act quickly and creatively to speak to this demographic have an opportunity to see payoffs.