Today’s technology enables apartment operators to drive revenue improvement while also cutting expenses. These advancements and developing innovations are designed to strengthen the resident experience, increase productivity of onsite staff, and better satisfy owners and investors.
Whether through AI-powered virtual leasing assistants, centralized leasing operations, maximizing marketing spend or employee training, residents and staff members are taking notice and bottom lines continue to expand.
Think about the type of leasing experience you offer rental prospects at your property. Are you available 24/7? We know it is impossible to answer every call, in fact the average property misses nearly 50 percent of its calls. So, making sure a solution is in place to capture those valuable leasing prospects is vital.
Virtual leasing assistants can cut call center expenses in half. Call centers come with their own set of challenges. And one easy solution is robotic process automation (RPA). It sounds way more complicated than it actually is, so don’t be intimidated! It’s simply an automated (yet, eerily human and conversational) system that answers calls before they are sent to your call center.
Most of the time, RPA can satisfy a caller’s inquiry and won’t even need to forward them along to a call center at all. It’s very common for leading pharmacies, banks and hotels to use RPA. And now, the technology is readily available for apartments. LeaseHawk’s virtual leasing assistant, ACE, uses artificial intelligence to interact with callers in a similar fashion to RPA.
In the last month, ACE has converted 22% of prospect calls to appointments. If the caller doesn’t want to converse with ACE, it can simply say ‘operator’ or ‘representative’ and it will forward the call to your call center.
Properties might be inclined to defend their call center use. Callers initially don’t like leaving a voicemail and they certainly aren’t sitting patiently by the phone waiting for your busy leasing agent to call them back.
But the perceived view when the caller reaches the call center employee is that they are talking to the property and are getting the specific information they are looking for from a reliable source familiar with the community. The reality is different.
Call center employees are not your employees. Callers instead might experience long on-hold times with elevator music; find their service options lacking; or sit through a completely scripted, inflexible dialog where the employee drives the conversation in lackluster fashion.
The future of leasing is autonomous leasing – a touchless, human-less process.
Autonomous leasing utilizes smart home automation and an AI-powered virtual leasing assistant to power the rental prospect journey. From the moment a prospect calls a property, they can schedule a self-guided tour, have all their leasing questions answered, and become self-qualified to apply for a lease—all without talking to a human.
Centralized leasing is a concept that was slowly building momentum prior to the pandemic.
A property management approach that can save money, time and effort, centralized leasing frees leasing professionals to focus more on the most critical responsibilities they have when serving residents.
Some property management operators are finding that this approach makes the most sense in today’s world of hiring challenges and shortened renter prospect sales cycles.
Centralized leasing can also boost cross-selling, which has always been a worthy approach to use when leasing agents determine that prospects might be happier living at another nearby community in their portfolio. When there is a connection with a qualified renter, the sales team doesn’t want to lose them. A customer relationship management (CRM) platform can streamline this process.
Advertisements drive countless prospect calls to your communities… or do they? An Internet Listing Service (ILS) may only give you a single-pane view into your ad’s performance. They tout high lead and call volumes; however,on average only 30% of all incoming calls to multifamily properties are prospects.
Instead, rely on AI used by the LeaseHawk Performance Platform to analyze calls. It categorizes calls based on prospects’ stage in the rental journey with up to 94% accuracy. The system differentiates prospects from general call volume and tracks ad costs per call, prospect and lease. This information allows communities to maximize their marketing budget by allocating resources to the best prospect-generating ad sources and to view call and prospect count by site and ad source. Even better, it allows leasing professionals to get back to what they do best—leasing apartments.
Mystery shops are old-school when it comes to truly analyzing leasing professionals’ performance. AI can be used to evaluate leasing agents’ performance from a sample of first-time prospect calls. These calls are scored using a customizable survey of industry best practices to identify strengths and weaknesses that impact leasing success.
LeaseHawk’s quantitative approach to scoring calls gives leading companies an accurate and holistic view of their employees’ performance, providing key metrics almost daily. And from that, the community can measure performance over time.
Call scores by LeaseHawk are broken into four sections: intro and lead, qualifying questions, amenities and benefits, and closing. Using this standardized process of evaluating call performance, communities gain total transparency into the results of individual sites and employees to recognize their top leasing talent.
Increasing your property’s revenue and cutting costs in 2022 is critical as the apartment industry moves into the next year. LeaseHawk’s products and technology expertise simplify many processes, making our clients succeed and prosper in the coming year.
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UDR has seen significant cost savings and increased prospect conversions since implementing ACE™ Virtual Leasing Assistant from LeaseHawk. According to Scott Wesson, UDR’s Chief Digital Officer, “By implementing ACE, UDR is on track to reducing its operating expense for managing calls by 65%.”
The LeaseHawk and Apartments.com partnership includes full integration of ACE™ Virtual Leasing Assistant on listings, so renters can enjoy instant and conversational responses to leasing inquiries. This partnership promises to streamline the rental process and create a lift in prospect conversion.
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