Closing on rental prospects is what apartment leasing is all about. After the onsite team works together to determine the most qualified incoming leads, they use technology in their aim to shorten the renter journey, remove friction and show them a great, new place to live.
It’s an art and a science, and sometimes takes a break or a bit of luck. Nonetheless, successful performance in these early stages pays dividends later and leasing agents know it.
To make things interesting, leasing agents compete with their onsite colleagues and certainly with their sister properties and competing communities in their market.
At LeaseHawk, our data shows that 60% of calls to properties are pricing and availability inquiries. It’s vital that leasing agents possess the skills to handle these important leads and agent performance be measured accordingly.
With this in mind, we developed the ideal tool to measure leasing team performance on prospect calls. We are the longest-running trusted vendor for measuring leasing agent call performance. We have recorded and analyzed the performance of over 56,000 leasing agents on over 6 million first-time prospect calls.
Our quantitative approach to scoring calls is the most data-rich and accurate way to gain a holistic view of your employees’ performance.
Using our scoring method, you can easily compare your team’s performance against the industry average with the Industry Report Card, published quarterly. In 2021, our data shows that the industry achieved the average performance scores below:
Call scores are dependent upon how employees interact with prospects in several critical categories using a survey of best practices. Scores reflect how effectively multifamily professionals handle coming telephone calls with first-time prospects based on a score out of 100.
National Average Appointment Conversion Rate: 47%
National Average Overall Call Performance: 67%
Performance by Call Category:
Ready to make it your goal to consistently outperform the industry average?
Take the time to remember key points that prospects mention can be a huge step in establishing an emotional connection to the property. Use what you learn about your future residents during initial communications (phone, text or email) and incorporate them into the tour to stir your prospects’ emotions. This form of emotional marketing encourages the prospect to feel something, appeals to a specific emotion and reaches the prospect’s subconscious.
Prospective residents want their home-searching experience to be customized and not generalized to what you think they like about the property. There’s no point in spending 20 minutes talking about the state-of-the-art gym facility when the prospect indicates that they don’t like to work out or belong to a nearby gym. Before your tour, ask helpful questions such as, “What about this property caught your attention?” And, “If there is one must-have for your next home, what would it be?” This allows you to tailor the conversation to specifically mention characteristics your prospect desires.
Do not talk about yourself. Do not talk about your apartments. Do not deliver a sale pitch. Give prospects the spotlight, and they will reveal all sorts of information you need to close the sale. Once a relationship is established, be sure the prospect feels as if they are having a conversation with a friend. Switching to sales mode or a selling with a script is rarely appropriate.
When you’re away from the leasing office, missed calls and leads can start to pile high. Technology can help you to prioritize your follow-up activities. LeaseHawk’s lead analysis powered by AI (artificial intelligence) analyzes call recordings to identify and categorize caller profiles. This makes it easier for agents to determine which calls are viable prospects apart from the ones that have minimal leasing intent. By saving time on lead identification, leasing professionals can prioritize their follow-up activities and who they need to contact for the next steps in the leasing process.
It’s rare for a prospect to sign a lease after just one interaction with your community, which means your follow-up activity is important. It can take an average of four to six outbound communications for every inbound communication to close a lease. That means if a prospect calls, takes a virtual tour and then emails follow-up questions, it will take you between 12 and 18 communications to get the prospect to sign.
However, following up is just half the battle. It’s the response time that matters. According to Zillow, 71% of renters expect to hear back within 24 hours or less. LeaseHawk’s virtual leasing assistant ACE ensures that your prospects’ calls, texts, and chats are answered instantly. ACE offers a consistent and conversational experience to every prospect by giving them the information they want, such as pricing and availability, quickly and efficiently.
At the end of every interaction with a prospect or resident, plan the next step. With training and practice, you’ll learn to identify when to “ask for the sale.” Don’t hope your prospects proactively convey they are ready to sign the lease: Ask for the sale. You’ve got this. Good luck!
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Leasing offices are bursting with activity from property tours, the phone ringing constantly, and residents coming in with requests. It is nearly impossible to answer every call that comes in. Consider these pros and cons before hiring a call center or answering service to help your properties.
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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.
2023 is going to be a big year for AI in the multifamily industry. And so far, ACE™ Virtual Leasing Assistant powered by LeaseHawk has already released a host of new enhancements—with even more powerful features to come.
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