The members of your leasing team are like customer service triathletes. Every day, they handle incoming leads through several channels of communication, sell and establish in-person relationships during prospect visits and tours, and handle the everyday tasks of resident needs and emergencies. Customer service aptitude should be at the top of your requirement list when hiring for your team, and ideally, your company should be utilizing technology to enhance and support the customer experience.
Choosing the technology to support your leasing team can be daunting. It requires a review of your existing processes and an objective look at how your team is truly meeting the needs and expectations of your future residents. Are you stuck in a time warp using antiquated practices? Are you keeping up with the competition? You must evaluate each step of the current prospect journey and weigh your options. This includes overcoming a few customer service myths that could be inhibiting your leasing teams from performing their best.
Nowadays the majority of leasing information that renters are looking for (e.g. pricing, photos, floorplans, availability) is available on your property’s website. This can lead to a common thought that the need for calling a property for more information or to schedule a tour is on the decline. However, the average apartment community can receive over a dozen calls per day, and most prospects will choose to call your property over any other form of communication. Recent data from LeaseHawk CRM users showed that 75 percent of inbound communications to properties were phone calls, followed by email web forms (23 percent) and text messages (2 percent).
So, what is on the decline? The willingness to leave a voicemail message. This is especially the case when the property message is over 30 seconds. People want instant answers and real-time support.
Customer service is key, but it doesn’t guarantee you a loyal resident. Marketers are inundating your prospects and residents with offers and services daily and people are always looking for the next best thing. A satisfied prospect will come back to you only if they don’t get a better experience elsewhere.
As a property, you must stay on top of the latest technology, providing fast, easy service and answers to your prospects and residents. Consider utilizing an AI leasing assistant, such as ACE AI, that can answer questions, provide pricing and availability and schedule tours when your agents are unable to answer the calls. LeaseHawk has found that prospects are 4 times more likely to converse with an automated assistant than leave your property a voicemail.
Your leasing team is the face of your community and the phone call is the first impression a prospect has of the community. It can be extremely difficult to monitor every call that your property receives—it’s nearly impossible. You can hire a mystery shopper for a one-time analysis, but these are rarely accurate. You can spot-check calls manually, but this is time-consuming and tends to fall to the wayside when things get busy.
Stay on top of your customer service game by exploring technology that identifies your agents and then scores their phone performance automatically and in near real-time. Choose a company that can measure your phone sales and identify areas that can be improved upon with coaching. Agent Performance can provide this type of data and give you the insight you need to measure performance.
Don’t waste energy feeding customer service myths. Evaluate your current customer service practices and select the technologies that will enhance your prospect experience. Investing in automated attendants, chat bots and employee performance products will positively impact your team and the company’s bottom line.
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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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