The Multifamily seasonality downtime is here and Judy Jetson is ready to put your property to the test. What should you be doing to prepare for the upswing while you are in the downswing of leasing season?
If you’re like me, I thought the Jetson’s would be our reality by now. If only we were able to jet around in our flying hovercrafts with our robot house cleaner. Our lives would be out of this world! Now that the pandemic has forced us to get creative with technology, we are closer to the Jetson’s world, and it’s time to get with the new and bring your property up to speed. After all, it has always been a world of keeping up with the Jetson’s…or was that the Joneses?
During this off season, it’s time to invest in the technology to prepare for the future and help your property stand out in the crowd. In 2020, consumers in every industry, including multifamily, switched to virtual and expanded and implemented a plethora of technologies. What was a “nice to have” became a “need to have” overnight. Check out our 2020 growth by the numbers to see just how virtual leasing skyrocketed.
Now during this season, it’s time to take a step back and evaluate what your residents and prospective residents truly need and want — now, and in the years to come.
Properties need continual updates to keep up with renters adjusted preferences due to the shift in our remote world. While amenities and floor plan layouts are at the forefront of that shift but that’s not all that future and current residents need and want. The entire resident lifecycle and process is changing and needs to be reevaluated. And if you are still only offering in person tours and paper applications, this is especially true for you.
Here are two key areas of focus and attention that all properties should evaluate this off-season in preparation for the future.
Virtual leasing is here to stay! With varying comfort levels and social distancing measures, it is important to provide different touring options. Reach your future residents where they’re at — virtually.
Evaluate the following type of tours to integrate into your leasing strategy:
- Self Guided Tours – Survey results show that 90% of properties are either already using or looking into using SGT’s. Amplify your SGT with video.
- Virtual Tours – 50% of renters now prefer to tour apartments virtually. And looking for virtual tours is the number one shift for consumers during their apartment search process.
- Pre-Recorded Videos – Easily watch a recording 15 times if that floats your boat as a potential renter. Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text.
Streamline your leasing process and make it easy as possible for your residents and future residents. Here are three digital “must haves”:
- Online Applications – The entire process should be as seamless and simple as possible for your future resident, allowing them to submit all documents virtually from the application to proof of income. If your residents are being required to hand you everything, or even anything, in person, this could easily deter them from moving forward with the lease.
- Electronic Signatures – Signing a lease should provide the same ease of access to all future residents. It is always best to have options to cater to everyone’s preferences. Giving prospects the ability to sign electronically and not requiring in person signatures will only increase your chances of converting a lease. Don’t make them wait. Lock in the lease with electronic signatures and save the lease.
- Online Renewals & Work Orders – Fool proof your resident lifecycle to ensure that your business can operate from anywhere, at every comfort level, and at any time — even if your office closes. If residents are uncomfortable coming into your office or out of town, they need to have the ability to sign their renewal and submit important work orders online. When in doubt, offer a virtual option and make people feel comfortable where they live.
Every Lease Counts
Every lease counts, especially in today’s climate. Your property already spends significant amounts of money on marketing efforts to bring in leads. Take the opportunity during this multifamily seasonality downtime to ensure that your property is best equipped to convert and maintain leases. How can you convert leads that are getting “through the door”? What can you do today to adapt your communities to keep up with the Jetson’s? Up-leveling your technology to provide options for your residents and future residents is a great place to start.
Let Us Help You!
Close more leases, market more effectively, engage with residents and, as always, keep it real. Do you have a question or suggestion? Or want to learn more about what you read? Email us at email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2020 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in January 2021.