Technological advancements and other developments are constantly changing the multifamily leasing industry. LeaseHawk CEO, Mike Mueller, shares insights into the next big opportunities. From shaking up market automation to the cutting edge of artificial intelligence, find out what Mueller is seeing as the new wave of advancements come—and discover what’s already proving invaluable in converting prospects to residents.
1. Invest in AI Now
Mueller emphasizes machine learning or Artificial Intelligence (AI) as the single biggest disruptor in the industry. AI has the potential to predict which listings to show in an initial search, or to predict which renters will be renewing their leases. LeaseHawk is at the forefront of the AI revolution, thanks to the call transcription and machine learning of its lead scoring system, which Mueller sees as "[improving] customer satisfaction with the whole leasing process."
2. Streamline Your Responses
Mueller highlights the gap between what owners and managers believe the customer expectation to be and reality. "The perception is the customer wants high-touch when in fact they typically want information and immediate responses instead of hand-holding," Mueller says. He suggests sorting inquiries or leads by required response time as well as by need. "The use of automatic call routing or having an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) up front will accelerate the response time to prospects," he explains.
3. Personalize Your CRM
Mueller believes that the next evolution of leasing technology will revolve around CRM (Customer Relationship Management).“When those systems get ‘smart,’ then the human element comes into play because the response will be calculated and specific to the issue based on a history or experience with that customer that the CRM will help to identify,” he says. Then inquiries can be auto-filtered, sorted and listed by customer type for faster and easier human response.
4. Learn to Be Flexible
"I think the biggest trend in our industry is all about embracing lifestyle choices," says Mueller. Today's renters want flexible housing choices, such as being able to rent out their homes through Airbnb and not feeling as tied down in general. Mueller believes that new expectations open a world of possibilities. "What if your smart apartment automation app allowed you to reserve an apartment in another location and immediately get digital access to that unit because you’ve been prequalified or part of a renters' lifestyle service?"
5. MakeSmart Tech Expected
"Home automation or apartment automation has finally arrived, and it will be an expected amenity, like having Internet access," says Mueller, pointing to the quick adoption of high-speed Wi-Fi. With the vast majority of residents using smartphones, Mueller believes connected apps could be a game changer for areas like package delivery. While he admits there are still bugs and issues with devices, he feels they will be ironed out in a few years. "In the meantime, those companies that leverage this amenity will have a competitive advantage."
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