The points in time between when a potential resident first reaches out to your community to when they sign a lease are never linear. Every single one of your lessees had different desires or fears in their search for a new apartment home, and were also making a decision on their own timeline, not yours.
That's why it's important to stay in constant contact with each potential resident, because each of them are on their own path and need their own form of nurturing as they make their decision. Following-up with leads has to be an essential part of your leasing team's process. This doesn't mean just following-up after the fact—it means following-up before it, too.
Consider this: a potential resident requires an average of 12-18 communications throughout their leasing journey with your community.
In this blog, we'll go over 4 effective ways you can follow-up with a prospective resident throughout the leasing process.
1. Initiate a phone conversation that drives action.
When a lead presents itself to your community, whether that be through scheduling an appointment on your website or by calling your leasing office, your agents need to take action. The first and most effective way to start a dialogue with the potential resident is initiating a phone conversation with them.
The key word here is initiate. The beginning of the leasing process is crucial, because it's when your leasing agent can both learn more about the potential resident and propel him or her to further engage with your community.
Our video above highlights the best practices for how your leasing agents should handle a phone conversation with leads. Things your team can take away from this include:
- Focus on gathering contact information
- Set an appointment
- Only answer questions that are asked
- Create urgency
The best phone conversations are the ones that drive action. The goal is to move the potential resident to the next step of their leasing journey. That can't happen, though, if your agents fail to answer the phone or follow-up on a new lead.
2. Send an email with helpful content.
It's understandable that many leads may prefer just digital communication, resulting in a long, back-and-forth email conversation. That can still be effective if your agent:
- Responds in a timely manner.
- Includes helpful content for the potential resident to interact with.
- Continues to drive action (in the same form as a phone call).
Helpful content includes links to your community's website, such as the landing pages of floorplans the lead has inquired about, or to your amenities page if there's a feature you believe answers a need of the potential resident.
Your walkthrough videos carry a lot of leverage in email communication, both before and after a lead visits or signs with your community. Read our blog focusing on how to use these videos throughout the leasing journey, and if you want to learn more about how RentVision's media team can showcase your community, visit our website.
Prior to their visit (or in some cases, move-in day), you can give your lead the opportunity to familiarize themselves with your available units and imagine living in one. Or after a visit, you can send a walkthrough video link of the unit a potential resident toured, encouraging them to share the email with friends or family members so those parties can develop trust in your community.
Those two email examples are very effective communication touchpoints your agents can utilize as they follow-up with leads.
3. Run a remarketing digital advertisement campaign.
This is a form of following-up that doesn't actually involve a member of your leasing staff. Your community's marketing team can establish a series of remarketing digital ad campaigns that target prospective leads who've already visited your website or searched for your community by name in Google.
Remarketing campaigns offer an important psychological factor that affects a potential resident's decision. Essentially, they build a sense of familiarity with your community because a lead sees your photos, logo, name, and colors in multiple advertisement displays throughout the web. The more they see your community, they build trust with it through a phenomenon known as the mere exposure effect.
These ads follow-up with leads automatically. When you combine website visits, emails, and phone calls with remarketing campaigns, you're getting closer to that number of 12-18 communications that a potential resident needs to make a decision.
Remarketing campaigns are a crucial part of RentVision's targeted digital ad strategy. Click here to learn how we can build a campaign that targets individuals who've declared themselves as leads already.
4. Thank the potential resident for visiting and/or signing a lease at your community.
After a potential resident takes an action in their leasing journey, you have a really unique opportunity to go the extra mile and show how much you appreciate their interest in you.
The old fashioned handwritten letter is a great way to follow-up with them and thank them. Not only does it show that you took the time to write them a letter, but that you also genuinely care for their well being as they make an important decision to either visit or sign a lease at your community.
There's many other ways you can communicate gratitude with a lead, too. Another example is when they schedule a tour of your community, you can gift them with a goodie basket that includes your leasing agent's card, or offer them a complimentary drink in your community's clubhouse bar.
It may come off as disingenuous if you end the dialogue just because you managed to get a lead to visit or sign with your community. A great way to show you appreciated helping a potential resident make a life-changing decision is by following-up with a thank you of some sort.
Your leasing agents need to be able to effectively guide a potential resident from that initial phone call or website visit, to when they schedule a time to visit and tour your community, to when they sign a lease. Failing to offer any type of effective follow-up communication may cause a lead to quickly expire.
To prevent this from happening, we built an all-in-one marketing hub called the RentVision Platform. In it, you can monitor inbound leads and track your communication efforts with them throughout their unique leasing process. This will help you follow-up effectively with a lead, and provide helpful communication touchpoints that drive them towards becoming a resident in your community.