The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak is a rapidly changing situation. With the recently announced President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, many of us are self-isolating away from work, school and other gatherings. Social distancing has triggered a barrage of tips for how to work from home and how to run virtual events. However, many of those resources are not applicable for those in the multifamily space. So, what are some tips, best practices and resources available for apartment owners and managers? In this article, you’ll learn 5 things you can do right away to maintain open communication with your prospects and residents. After all, clear communication is one of the best ways to stay calm and maintain business-as-usual during these uncertain times.
Many call tracking systems, or just your current phone system, can be easily tweaked to help your on-site teams become work-from-home teams. Apartment communities can utilize call routing solutions that include multi-ring setting up a hunt group for calls to ring to multiple work-at-home leasing agents. Another easy option to ensure calls are answered by leasing staff is to change the target number of your property to a designated person’s home or cell phone.
Many leasing offices are currently understaffed and getting bombarded with questions related to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Install a virtual leasing assistant that can take calls and chat on your property websites. Virtual leasing assistants answer common questions and can be a crucial tool for ensuring residents and prospects have their inquiries answered in a timely and consistent manner.
Most virtual leasing assistants are easy to install and can integrate directly with your Property Management System (PMS). You can be up and running with a virtual leasing assistant or chatbot much faster than you may think!
Use your voicemail message to provide updates regarding new hours of operation, closures, or other changes. This is not only a great way to answer some of your most frequently asked questions, but it can also direct the caller to other valuable resources for their questions, such as a website or resident portal. Be sure to have your voicemail alerts turned on, so when a voicemail is recorded, an email can be sent to your property and agents can quickly follow-up.
Right now, it’s more important than ever to not let even one communication slip through the cracks. Prospects will quickly move on to the next property if they don’t hear back in a timely manner. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, helps your leasing agents keep track of all prospect (and resident) communications in one place. Ensure that your leasing teams are using a CRM that can be used on a mobile device that allows them to securely manage their calls, text messages and emails from one convenient app.
Social distancing is among the highest recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for containing the spread of Coronavirus. This can make it very difficult to show off the amazing amenities and units at your property to new prospects—but it doesn’t have to be as impeding as you think! Continue to set up tours for your properties but show them virtually instead. Use video tools such as FaceTime or Skype to interact and tour your prospects around your property. Be sure to frequently clean your show-units and disinfect any touched objects or surfaces.
Now more than ever before, you must consider ways you and your properties can maintain communication in the days ahead. The National Apartment Association (NAA) is providing guidance to the rental housing industry in addressing the effects of Coronavirus. Stay updated with their continuous updates and resources here: https://www.naahq.org/news-publications/guidance-dealing-coronavirus
Additionally, LeaseHawk is closely monitoring the developments around the outbreak. We are committed to providing you with a consistent level of support to ensure that all lines of communication stay open to your customers during this time. If you need assistance with call routing, adding a chatbot to your website or a virtual leasing assistant to answer your calls, please reach out to us.
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