Before the tech revolution, the user experience in multifamily was always collaborative. The user—the person searching for an apartment home—would meet with members from the property team, or at the very least connect with them over the phone.
Tech has shown us that many leasing functions, from the home search and application processes to the tour itself, can be done digitally. But in the quest to provide a wide array of expedient digital options, some property teams have drifted too far from the original roots of the renter journey. In some cases, the journey is entirely bereft of human contact.
And while an interaction-free option might appeal to some renters, the best user experience typically occurs with a mix of tech and old-fashioned human contact.
Here are some ways to strike that balance:
While the human element should not be ignored, some processes are better off automated. Timely follow-up emails and social media posts can be sent and scheduled, respectively, in automated fashion. Also, software is available that saves basic prospect information so that it doesn’t have to be manually re-entered in different systems. These are merely a few examples of tedious manual processes that can be taken care of on the front end without burning an associate’s valuable time. This enables them to concentrate on the vital aspects of the prospect journey after the basic steps have been taken care of.
Additionally, software can help teams determine which leads are most likely to convert, which allows associates to dedicate their focus to those prospects.
Informed = engaged
Cookie-cutter tour processes and scripted questions are becoming passé. Now, leasing associates can gain insight on potential renters by observing what they have entered digitally in the early stages of the search. This enables the leasing associate to have an accurate assessment of a potential renter rather than a blank canvas, allowing them to ask relevant questions that truly impact their journey. Pre-loaded with this information, the process for both the associate and renter becomes more seamless and engaged.
Catered communication tools
The renter journey, naturally, doesn’t end when the lease is signed. Property teams must continue to keep residents happy if they hope to keep them for longer than a single lease term, so effective communication is paramount. While intuitive tech tools are available to efficiently reach residents, communication options should be deployed on their terms. Whether the preference is text, email, phone call or “other”, identifying the resident’s comfort zone should happen at the outset of the lease. Modern communication platforms can be tailored to include separate preferences for renters rather than a blanket community-wide method.
While innovative tech advancements cannot be ignored, a mesh of tech tools and the human touch can create the finest user experience for renters. They will appreciate when tech expedites the leasing process by verifying background information and financial aspects, but connect more personally when the leasing team deploys a human element throughout the leasing journey. Teams that deftly strike the balance undoubtedly have an advantage.