Keyless access is the latest “ticket to play” for multifamily housing, as tenants grant dog walkers, house cleaners and package delivery servicemen access to their properties. (It’s convenient for them, too.) Keyless access is most useful when individual units don’t lie behind additional access-controlled doors; if the grocery guy can’t get into the elevator, he won’t be able to make it into the apartment itself. Technology that includes temporary codes or Bluetooth “handshakes” could solve these challenges. Prospective renters will want to take advantage of the convenience factor that this technology literally "opens".
In 2022, a survey by NMHC showed that the most popular smart home feature for renters is a smart thermostat, with 70 percent of respondents saying they were interested in or wouldn’t rent without this feature. Smart sensor technology is also feeding renter interest in leak detection systems (67 percent) and water-saving features (67 percent). Plus, a majority of previously surveyed millennials said they’d pay more for a unit outfitted with automatic or remote-controlled devices, but soon almost everyone including Gen X and Y will consider smart-home amenities like USB outlets and programmable thermostats expected features, not premium amenities. Requests from smart speakers like Alexa and Google Home can be even paired with CRM software to automate service requests — or predict when scheduled maintenance is needed, which helps staffers have more meaningful interactions with residents, instead of focusing on low-value tasks.
We’re comfortable with self-service checkouts at grocery stores, and the convenience of keyless entries at multifamily housing developments has inspired the rise of self-guided property tours, in which prospects can examine units unaccompanied, at their leisure. It’s important to remember that “self-guided tour” does not equate to “self-guided sale,” but the benefit of self-guided tours to leasing offices is that it allows them to concentrate staff resources on the important conversion conversations, rather than earlier exploratory shepherding. According to a poll of apartment operators at the 2020 NMHC OpTech Conference & Exposition, lease conversions increase by 86 percent with a self-guided tour versus when staff is escorting a prospect.
It’s now possible to deliver mass communication on a micro scale, with content that’s customized to users in specific geographic locations. If you’ve noticed that several residents are students at a local university, or care providers at a nearby healthcare center, geotargeting lets you reach online users in that area with unique information about current availability or desirable amenities that will resonate with that demographic.
The “knowledge panel” — also known as your Google My Business profile — shows up when users click on a result in Google Maps. It should be considered a mini-brochure — it links to a Q&A feature, ratings and reviews. Management teams can add their own description and photos to the profile, and even post specials and temporary tags.
Sixty-four percent of consumers look for a business’s Google My Business (GMB) page for contact information (BrightLocal, 2020). According to more GMB statistics, 32 percent of local consumers trust a business’s GMB profile to have up-to-date information about a company. As a result of this, 64 percent of consumers will find that profile to look up contact information, resulting in the business gaining warm leads – even without a website.
In a stagnant-income market, multifamily housing developments can lose great prospects who’d be good residents but can’t afford a high security deposit. Some managers have cut back on incentives like iPads in favor of eliminating security deposits. When done wisely, it saves associates and property management firms time and money, because they’re no longer tasked with managing or issuing refund checks or handling disputes over the amounts.
To ensure your properties are capturing every qualified prospect, consider adding an AI leasing agent to your team. Powered by artificial intelligence, these bots can answer calls, texts, and chats to answer leasing questions, collect guest cards, and schedule tours. They can even be placed on your Google My Business listing and other social media profiles, so your prospects can learn about your community and book a tour in just one click. You'll never have to worry about missing a leasing opportunity ever again. Check out ACE™ Virtual Leasing Assistant to learn more the traffic it can generate for your properties.
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