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Last week, the Realync team attended NAA Apartmentalize in Chicago! I’d be lying if we aren’t still catching up from being out of the office, but we had a BLAST! Attendance was lower than normal (as expected), but it was great to be back in person and have those engaging face-to-face conversations.

We knew most of the conversations being had were about how communities shifted throughout the past 1.5 years and how new technologies emerged and the industry adopted… quickly!

Remember those sessions we mentioned prior to NAA that we were excited about? Well, when we weren’t busy chatting away at our booth (click here if you want some real entertainment of us at the booth 😅), we attended a few speaking sessions, and here are our main takeaways!

Everything You Know About Leasing is Wrong

Lisa Trosien is a star when it comes to presenting (we all know that)! But she really honed in on the empathy aspect needed during virtual touring. The future of apartment touring is: Flexibility. Meet prospects where they are, whether that is virtual, in person, fully remote, self-guided tours, etc. However, flexible touring technology will only get you so far without adding in that empathy aspect from your leasing teams.

So how do we enhance those experiences?

  • Implementing multiple communication touchpoints to let your prospective resident know how the tour is going to work, what to expect, proper automated follow-up, and then a personalized follow-up. 86% of customers say personalization affects the purchase decision. Ask the prospect at the end of a tour, “Is there anything you didn’t like?” This will increase your closing ratios.
  • Ask, “What type of tour would you be most comfortable with?” Not what type of tour would you like? Use the word: COMFORTABLE.
  • Companies that provide the most touring options = the most successful.
  • Does your leasing team know how to build trust from a distance? Have your leasing teams ask prospective residents, “Will anyone living in the apartment be working or learning from home?”

Humans will ultimately close the deal at the end of the day and not one technology fits all. Remember, you want to be thinking about how are you going to make the customer’s journey easier. Just because we aren’t in person with prospects doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be fully engaging with them. With the right technologies, you can make those experiences great!

“Your follow-up content needs to be different for each tour type. This is not ‘set it and forget it.’ Does the messaging align with the task? I hate to say that in most cases, it does not. It’s a much more personalized world out there.” – Virginia Love, Industry Principal, Entrata

The Magic of Marketing Math: Numbers + Storytelling = Superpowers

Buckle up for some multifamily math equations! Data and numbers do not lie! “We have all this data; now what do we do with it?” asked Kristi Fickert. Realync’s very own VP of Enterprise Growth, Kristi Fickert spoke at NAA this year! She added, “How do we look at the numbers and tell a story vs. just pulling your monthly reports?”

It’s not a secret that Google loves to take our marketing dollars. This panel discussed how Claire Collins, Senior Vice President at Princeton Properties, and Jasmine Toney, Marketing Strategist at Embrey, originally invested money in PPC, display, and search ads for those top-of-the-funnel leads. But, with Covid, they needed to shift their marketing budget to activities lower in the funnel to help take the prospective resident to the finish line!

Next time you and your teams are strategizing on maximizing your marketing dollars, consider these top marketing to-do’s for lower-in-the-funnel initiatives!

Top Marketing To-Do’s

  • Leading metrics aka numbers that tell a great story together. Stories beat statistics – what is the why behind each report (whether it’s a high or low number)?

Key metrics:

    • Website Clicks → Click Through Rate
    • Closing Ratio → Cancellation Rate
    • Leads → Cost Per lead + Lead Conversion
    • Physical Occupancy → Economic Occupancy
  • Measure at every phase of the funnel – attract, convince, execute and nurture. Again, lean into the why behind the numbers you’re not seeing the return you want on. If you miss this step, you could be exposing more prospects to weaknesses during their buyer’s journey (i.e. delayed responses or lost prospects).
  • Set up Google Analytics conversion metrics. How is your website performing and closing deals for you? This is a metric you should be measuring, but aren’t most of the time. Learn and review these metrics and use them to inform marketing spend decisions.
  • Create a bank/library of marketing videos. These can be used for marketing materials and lower in-the-funnel initiatives.
    • Consider your execution strategy with marketing videos too (e.g. are you posting on social media, ILS, Google My Business, etc.)? For lower-in-the-funnel leasing efforts, what’s your plan for follow-up for in-person tours (e.g. are you equipped to send pre-recorded video tours or video testimonials via email to prospects)?

Let’s Keep Pushing the Industry Forward Together

At NAA, we were able to hear thought leaders elaborate on their findings, discuss new trends and predictions for the future of our industry. In addition, it was invigorating chatting with vendors, familiar faces, and new faces. It’s exciting to see this new wave of technology now being looked at as the new normal. So, in the words of our Co-founder and CEO, Matt Weirich, “let’s keep pushing the industry forward together!”

Miss the Session and Want to Receive the Slides

Connect with Kristi Fickert on Linkedin and send her a message, and she will get them to you!