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: continue
Entrata’s Trevor Riley Shares Wisdom at Apartmentalize 2021
Now that 2020 has firmly underscored the idea that an agent-led tour isn’t the only option, it’s safe to say that processes surrounding apartment touring will be ever evolving.
A myriad of tour options now exist, and communities across the nation are trying to determine the approach that best attracts renters at their particular locale. Trevor Riley, senior vice president of product for Entrata, discussed the various tour types and morphing renter preferences at the Apartmentalize 2021 session What’s Next in Apartment Touring? continue
A prospect arrives at an apartment community, meets with a leasing agent and sees the property in a predetermined path. In the past, that was the only type of tour. But modern-day prospects want choices when they search for their next potential home — and they now have an ever-increasing amount of options.
Over the past year, the way people tour apartment communities has evolved in various ways, presenting more opportunities to convert more leads to leases. In reaction to the pandemic, many apartment communities began offering virtual and self-guided tours in addition to the traditional agent-led ones. The variety of tour types is almost certainly here to stay, as operators have learned that prospects love options. continue
Imagine if many mundane daily household tasks could simply be automated. Trash cans automatically transferred from the garage to the curb on pickup day. Groceries neatly placed in the fridge on the proper shelves. The backyard efficiently mowed on a weekly basis because you scheduled the lawnmower to do it at a certain time.
Much tedious busywork also surrounds the lead management process. But unlike those household tasks, many lead management procedures can be automated now. continue
In the past, waiting a week to see if you qualified for an apartment was part of the territory for an applicant. But so was the inability to track the progress of a package shipment, or the need to wait for the rerun of your favorite show if you missed the original broadcast.
Prospects are much less patient in an instant-gratification world, and they should be given the abundance of digital tools designed to expedite these types of processes. The quicker an applicant can be verified the better—but the accelerated timeline shouldn’t come at the expense of an accurate and thorough review.
In addition to the fast-but-not-reckless approach, apartment operators have had to consider a handful of additional variables in the ever-evolving applicant verification process: continue
Does it feel like your phone is ringing more than usual? Like it’s getting harder to keep up with new calls, much less return every call awaiting a response? You’re not imagining things. In the last six months, Entrata has recorded a year-over-year increase of calls to properties of anywhere from 11% to a whopping 21%. It’s not just people looking for new homes, you’re also getting more resident calls.
Add this increased call volume to the safety measures that have fewer team members in the office, and it’s easy to see why so many communities are feeling overwhelmed and reaching out for a little help. Call Centers are having a moment as they step in to provide a necessary service to properties, residents, and prospective renters alike. But it’s not as simple as making sure calls are picked up. continue
Remote communication has become the new norm, and by now, everyone is used to it. But that doesn’t mean everyone in the industry has perfected the art.
More than ever, effective communication platforms are a must as apartment communities continue to work with smaller onsite teams while striving to maintain service levels. While tech can certainly help to stay connected with residents, a few grassroots concepts are helping teams, as well.
Naturally, email is an effective starting point, as 68% of young renters prefer this communication method. But delving below the surface, here are some key tactics—both of the tech and non-tech variety—that can boost communication efficiency levels: continue
The Key Components of a Verification Platform
Leasing teams spend the bulk of their time aiming to attract residents to their communities. But equally important is making certain that those prospective residents will live up to the terms of their lease.
Tedious background checks have always been a not-so-exciting part of the leasing process, and they can become more frustrating when necessary information is ambiguous or unavailable. That’s why an increasing number of property management teams are opting for third-party verification services.
It’s a forward-thinking approach, but not all verification platforms are built the same. Apartment operators should vet screening solutions and make certain the platform they choose offers trustworthy screening results and an advanced level of screening intelligence.
Here are some of the features apartment operators should seek when considering potential verification solutions: continue
Online reviews often scathe apartment operators for lack of transparency about upfront fees. Trinity Property Consultants never wants to be on the receiving end of that complaint. The Irvine, Calif.-based apartment operator, which manages student and conventional apartment communities, even has a term that shows its commitment to upfront and honest online pricing: RENTsparency.
“We don’t want anyone to feel bamboozled,” said Carla Alicea, Vice President of Marketing and Training for Trinity. “We want to avoid wasting our Team Member’s time, and we never want to waste the applicant’s time and money on non-refundable application processing fees.
Alicea is serious about not wasting anyone’s time or money. In order to make the online leasing process more transparent, Trinity set out to improve its applicant screening process. continue
Prior to the pandemic, the leasing process was already shifting. While classic tours remained a staple, an increasing number of options were becoming available to prospects in the form of virtual, remote and self-guided tours.
As the pandemic hit, those contactless options not only became more sought out—they became a necessity. continue