In the past, we have told the story of one of our clients who found themselves with occupancy in the mid-80s during the slowest leasing season of the year. In most cases, such a scenario would have ownership feeling nervous and the leasing team concerned about what, if anything, they could do to solve the problem.
But that isn’t what happened.
By anticipating problems and developing a proactive plan to deal with the issue, the community recovered quickly and reached record-setting revenue numbers within the following six months.
That sort of turnaround requires several things. One is obvious: You need to be able to predict vacancy and dynamically adjust your marketing to address it.
But the solution goes beyond digital advertising. Increasing demand through Google or Facebook ads is great. But if you cannot convert that web traffic into signed leases, your community will still struggle.
Today we will discuss what happens when apartment shoppers find your community online, and how you can help website visitors become excited and engaged leads.
The Importance of Walkthrough Video Tours
One of the first items apartment hunters want to know is what the unit actually looks like. While most communities advertise basic information like rental rates, square footage, bed and bath count, etc. the prospect is still left wondering what the apartment looks like inside. Most of the time, to find that information, they have to drive to the community and take a tour. If they want to look at three or four apartments, the prospect is now looking at spending an entire Saturday morning or afternoon, at least, just looking at places to live. Even after all of that, they may not actually find their next home.
The best way to serve apartment shoppers and make leasing an apartment easy is to give them an online tour of your individual apartments. How do you do that? By hosting walkthrough video tours on your website where anyone can see and utilize them 24/7.
How does this make apartment shopping easy? Because you’re helping people learn about your unique floorplans and allowing them to make an informed decision about their next steps in the shopping process.
Do you want potential residents to disqualify themselves before talking to your team? Sometimes, yes!
Here some readers might object: “But we don’t want people to make that decision before they talk to us. If they talk to us first, then we have the opportunity to sell them.”
It’s a reasonable concern, but there are a couple of scenarios to consider here.
- How many times have you given a tour and known right away that the prospect was never going to sign a lease
- What is a better use of your leasing team’s time: spending time on a cold lead or working with someone who is already excited and helping them finish the leasing process? And which of those things will your leasing team enjoy doing more?
In the vast majority of cases, it is better to let potential future residents who aren’t a good fit for your community disqualify themselves online.
Online video tours lead to engaged prospects.
Potential future residents that watch a walkthrough video tour online will get excited about your apartment. Especially, after dealing with 3D photos that force them to awkwardly click around the unit on their computer, still images that provide very little context, or black and white floorplan diagrams that were created in a software program. They’ll be able to better determine whether or not they want that floorplan, and if they do, they’ll be more urgent when they call, quicker to schedule a tour, and promptly respond when asked to sign a lease.
Rather than asking your leasing team to work a large number of disqualified leads, you're helping them target sales qualified leads that will turn into better fit residents.
Dynamic marketing is a powerful tool for controlling vacancy year round. But to truly control vacancy you cannot simply anticipate problems; you also need to deliver a marketing solution that efficiently turns leads into leases. In our experience, the most efficient marketing solutions in the industry is built on using online video tours to assist apartment shoppers.