Sometimes the leasing process is smooth and uninterrupted. And every now and then, the drive through rush-hour traffic is surprisingly smooth, a political conversation is cordial and well mannered and a root canal goes pleasantly well.
But most of the time, the leasing process takes a few unexpected turns and seldom follows a blueprint. You’re dealing with people, after all, each with their own leasing ambitions, timelines and varying bits of spontaneity.
Thankfully, technology provides ways to simplify the leasing process and avoid many of the common pitfalls that befall leasing associates. Automated communications can make life much easier.
Simplify the application/screening process: The leasing process is often delayed by waiting for a third party to screen your applicants. But there is no need to wait when you can fold applicant screening into the leasing process and get quicker qualification decisions. This type of software can keep the process rolling by combining applicant data collection, screening submission and results reporting within one online application.
Automated Lease Follow-ups: When scheduling follow-ups with prospective residents, you can manually enter times into a Google calendar – or a handwritten one, if you like. Or you can utilize technology to schedule automated lease follow-ups. This significantly reduces the time spent scheduling a multitude of follow-ups then manually corresponding via email, text or a phone call. The software will issue automated follow-ups at the duration of your choice, which provides the leasing team the bandwidth to pursue additional leads and secure more leases.
Online Lease Execution: Sixty percent of all apartment applications are still filled out on paper – an inefficient time-consuming process. That’s because paper leases take an average of 16 days for a community to complete. Using an online lease execution tool, the process can be reduced to five days. Not only is that expeditious, but it results in 11 fewer days for prospects to change their minds. This type of software enables prospects to digitally sign a lease from anywhere, and allows the community to decide when the lease can be signed (after application is complete, after screening is approved, etc.). Addendums, such as pet additions or parking spaces, can also be added to the lease without having to draw up a completely new one.
Informed Agents With Answers at the Ready: No one knows your communities better than onsite team members. But they are not eternally available, and probably never in a position to answer questions at 10:45 p.m. Yet, that’s when many of today’s renters are searching for homes, and they expect immediate answers. That’s why having a call center – one with agents who know the intimate details of your property and can answer specific leasing inquiries – can make a pronounced difference. Apartment hunting is now a round-the-clock process, and you’re missing out if you can only provide information during business hours.
Automated communications simply create a more efficient leasing world. They increase the number of leases signed while decreasing the amount of time spent on leasing. And the streamlined process directly caters to the needs of prospects, which provides a good start to building positive relationships with residents.