Good to great in a crisis

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Now, more than ever before, it’s critical for your multifamily property to create a team dynamic that fosters good communication, healthy competition and takes full advantage of technology.

Unaware of the impending quarantine and social restrictions about to strike the entire country, Sheehan Property Management held a team training session to emphasize the importance of using the multifamily company’s digital platforms.

They’ve since capitalized on those online tools and property data captured on Sheehan property websites to continue leasing apartments and build a team mentality.

“We feel fortunate we had the technology and partnerships in place to effectively lease without personal contact. Ironically, I conducted a training with our leasing associates in very early March to talk about how we were under-utilizing our video, texting and social platforms,” says Katrina Greene, senior regional manager at Sheehan.

Greene says it became apparent shortly thereafter that their leasing team’s digital strengths were non-negotiable as properties paused in-person tours during the peak of the pandemic.

“We sent out directives and then watched the magic happen,” she says. “We had a handful of leasing associates really shine and put their personality to good use in the videos that are now so critical.”

Virtual approach to communication

Gene B. Glick Company encourages its teams to consistently use virtual meetings to communicate with residents, prospects and other team members.

“A great way to create a team dynamic in a virtual way is to offer opportunities to stay connected and boost morale,” says Jenny Richard, director of marketing at Glick. “Some effective ways we are staying connected is by offering virtual incentives.”

Glick management teams regularly convene online as one group to highlight each property’s wins logged in the company’s cloud-based CRM system and compare the data.

“We meet every two weeks to share success stories and offer an incentive for highest use of virtual sessions,” said Richard.

Sheehan shares top-performing leasing videos with the other teams within their multifamily portfolio. She recently opened their leasing analytics platform to give all agents access to other associates’ leasing phone calls and to view rankings within the company.

“By sharing those videos, we see them challenging each other to be more creative,” said Greene. “Being able to hear other agents execute how we will tour has helped them all create a stronger, more-effective dialogue. It also creates healthy competition as they see where they rank in the metrics we value most (asking their name, offering a tour, getting contact information, etc.).”

Utilize data to make decisions

Both property management companies rely on prospect data captured online through AI-driven website conversion software to prioritize and personalize their lead follow-up tactics.

With the website data automatically organized in a linked CRM database, the properties can see at a glance which prospects require a leasing associate’s immediate attention because they’re ready to rent right away. They can also see other important details the lead divulged while engaging with the website’s interactive technology.

“We use the data and analytics available to us to help tailor our approach and to ensure we connect in an authentic way with our customers,” Richard said.

Leads higher up in the leasing funnel enter the properties’ automated lead nurture system. Prospects then receive a series of personalized emails designed to drive them back to the property website for further engagement until they indicate they’re closer to signing a lease. That gives leasing agents more time to chase the most qualified leads first.

Personally connect with teams

Greene knows that people who work in property management choose that career path because they enjoy serving others and are naturally very social. They thrive on personal connection and the thrill of helping renters find their new home.

“As a company, we do our best to make sure everyone feels part of something bigger,” Greene said. “To keep spirits up, we’ve done some of the usual things like sending lunch to the staff. But we’ve also kept it lighthearted by delivering rolls of toilet paper (with a special poem) to all team members to remind them we’re all in this together.”

Key takeaways
  • Collect more data about rental prospects on your website.
  • Prioritize your leads based on data.
  • Use automation to keep rental prospects engaged.
  • Have leasing teams focus on following up with qualified leads ready to rent now.
  • Leverage data to continue to improve online lead to lease conversions.
  • Share the results with all team members to foster competition and improvements.

Author Kristy Esch, PERQ