Apartment Technology Solutions That Should Be on Your 2020 Radar

Learn what is forecasted to trend in 2020 and how these solutions can give your rental prospects a better leasing experience.
December 12, 2019

To offer the best experience for apartment hunters, you need to make sure you are leveraging the most current technology solutions at your communities.  Is your staff trained to offer the best first impression when a rental prospect calls?  Do you offer an easy way for renters to tour your community and get their questions answered quickly?  Read on to learn what technology is forecasted to trend in 2020 and how they can give every prospective renter a modern and engaging experience.

Improved Leasing Agent Performance Measurement

Retaining top talent and improving leasing performance is clearly a priority to management companies in 2020.  According to a recent white paper from the National Apartment Association, 20 of the top multifamily COOs and CIOs said that recruiting and retaining quality talent was increasingly difficult. They also stated that on the development side, the clear No. 1 priority is to invest in improving leasing agents’ sales performance.

To attract top talent, you need to have a comprehensive training program in place that involves measuring the effectiveness of your leasing team.  It all starts with a phone call.  You spend thousands of dollars on advertising to make the phone ring, but do you know what happens when the leasing team answers?  Consider a solution like LeaseHawk’s Agent Performance, that leverages artificial intelligence, to evaluate how well leasing agents perform on all first-time prospect calls based a 19 question survey of best practices.  

Key survey questions include:

  • Did the leasing agent introduce themselves and the community?
  • Did the leasing agent list the community and/or property amenities, features and benefits?
  • Did the leasing agent set an appointment?

Unlike secret shopping services, that are often sporadic and inconsistent, Agent Performance evaluates the leasing agent on all first-time prospect calls, in near real-time.  This level of insight enables managers to identify training opportunities that can quickly be addressed to improve performance.  Agent Performance also enables performance benchmarking at the property, portfolio and even industry level.  

Self-Guided Tours

The fact is, today’s renters have an Amazon experience mindset.  They want to quickly get information and they want to search for an apartment on their terms.  That means convenience is a big driver of a good customer experience.  Having the freedom take a self-guided tour may be the factor that pushes a rental prospect to your community, over another.  Once thought to be a futuristic amenity, more and more communities are implementing self-guided tours as an option for apartment hunters. According to a poll conducted during the 2019 OPTECH Conference & Expo, 65% of polled attendees said they plan to implement self-guided tours before the end of 2022 or have already begun the process.

Virtual Leasing Assistants

As mentioned earlier, today’s apartment hunters have an expectation that they will get the information they want as quickly as possible.  When they reach out to your community, chances are they have already done their homework online by viewing your community and researching reviews.  So, when they call your property, they expect you to answer and give them the information they want, or they will move on to the next option.  In fact, 52% of callers will not call back if they missed you the first time.  We all know it’s impossible to answer every call onsite, since the leasing team is often busy giving tours and handling resident requests.

So, what is a property to do?  Consider implementing a conversational leasing assistant.  With the rise of Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant, people are used to and often prefer to interact with a conversational assistant.  In the 2020 NMHC/Kingsley Apartment Resident Preferences Report, of 372,000 renters surveyed, 43% are interested in, or would not rent without, voice-activated virtual assistants.

Check out ACE AI, from LeaseHawk, the conversational leasing assistant the answers calls, provides pricing and availability and sets appointments 24/7.  Leveraging technology to enhance the leasing experience and give the leasing team a consistent back up when they are unavailable, is becoming more and more common.  An additional poll during this year’s OPTECH Conference, found that 65% of industry professionals polled plan to implement Conversational AI in their portfolios by the end of 2022 or earlier.

Increased Connectivity

Staying connected is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.  When attracting future residents and retaining existing ones, great cell reception is paramount.  According to the NMHC/Kingsley Survey, 91.2% of respondents say reliable cell reception is important and 44% won’t rent without it.  They are using their devices to talk, binge watch, surf the net and work from any location – especially where they reside.

The tech landscape is rapidly changing and impacting the expectations of renters.  

To stay competitive in today’s apartment market means you need to do your research on what technology is available and how to leverage it at your community.

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