A few years back, multi-touch attribution was a fledgling concept. The ability to accurately track an entire customer journey didn’t seem entirely feasible. But it is now a reality and has created a significant boost for multifamily marketing teams, providing greater visibility into the customer journey.
Not only can marketing teams track a customer’s path to conversion. They can also see the combination of sources that result in the most conversions and measure the step-by-step process of marketing channels that lead to higher conversion rates. This enables teams to delegate future marketing expenditures accordingly.
So what’s next?
The insight and efficiencies provided by multi-touch attribution have freed up portions of the budget for marketing teams, who are now free to start testing new technologies that offer even more streamlined ways to nurture leads. These include AI, automation and machine learning, which can help provide prospects with information faster while automating mundane leasing tasks to streamline operations.
With multi-touch attribution now used regularly by apartment operators, additional platforms are emerging that could further disrupt the multifamily sector.
Many in the industry have been slow to embrace AI. The general misconception is that AI solutions will replace the human workforce. But when properly implemented, AI doesn’t replace humans—it makes life easier for them. It is designed to help an existing workforce make better use of its time while also creating stronger connections with customers.
Prior to the pandemic, the labor force was the strongest it had been in decades and onsite teams were struggling to acquire and maintain associates. AI has the ability to simplify tasks by responding to prospects questions via chatbots, enabling self-scheduled tours and allowing for self-guided touring abilities. During the pandemic, these capabilities have carried leasing teams who are working with limited onsite associates due to social distancing protocols. Now that routine tasks are automated, associates are free to concentrate on more pressing community-related issues.
Marketing automation is a form of AI specifically designed to eliminate tedious processes within the marketing realm, and is particularly valuable when managing leads. While many multifamily organizations are using this in some form, the true widespread impact has yet to be discovered by the industry as a whole. By providing prospects with everything they need prior to visiting a community or even speaking with anyone onsite, associates are teed up to ask relevant questions that pertain specifically to the customer journey. With marketing automation in place, communities can deploy automated correspondence to soft leads—those who might not be ready to lease immediately— at the opportune time. This ensures no leads are lost and that associates don’t spend valuable time individually corresponding to those not likely to lease. Leads are the lifeblood of an organization, but they can also drain valuable hours if every touchpoint is handled manually.
Perusing the review sites for multifamily communities, one of the most common resident grievances you’ll find concerns maintenance delays. I.e., My fridge has been broken for two days and no one has come by. Well, imagine fixing household items before they ever malfunction. It can happen in the smart-home world, as many appliances can predict when a part is about to short-circuit and can preventatively schedule their own service request. In addition to being an awesome customer service gesture, onsite maintenance teams are likely to receive much better feedback from residents. Predictive maintenance can be used from a community perspective, as well. A smart camera can observe an issue in a common area that needs attention—such as a burnt-out light or crack in the concrete—and immediately notify the maintenance team.
Technology is quick to evolve, and it can be difficult to determine which tech is the best fit for an organization. While the concepts above aren’t brand new, they have yet to realize their potential in the multifamily industry—but we could see that easily changing before the end of the year. Like multi-touch attribution, their time has come.