Do you have enough 'good' leads to improve apartment leasing?

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Are you looking for ways to make your apartment community more efficient and effective? This is Part 8 of our Apartment Vacancy Analysis series, which will help you find and fix the gaps across the marketing and leasing chain, and offers practical strategies and tools to help take your apartment community to the next level! Access the full table of contents available below.

🤕 Problems & symptoms of low quality leads

The lead-to-lease conversion rate is poor.

An essential metric for assessing the performance of your apartment's marketing and leasing strategy is the lead-to-lease conversion rate.  It's easy for everyone to understand something's wrong when the ratio of leads far surpasses the amount of leases. 

At this stage of the resident lifecycle, a poor lead-to-lease conversion rate is likely due to your marketing plan's inability to generate the right type of leads—prospective residents who are genuinely interested in your apartments and are more qualified for leasing.

Most of your leads contact you via email instead of phone.

Case in point: if most of your leads come via email, that indicates their lower quality because those conversations typically involve a prospect wanting to gather more information instead of setting an appointment, which is the most direct route for someone who is most likely to lease.

If most leads come via email, it could also mean you're not providing tools like walkthrough video tours on your community website that pre-qualify them at this critical stage.

🤦🏼‍♂️ Common mistakes that make leasing harder than necessary

Leasing staff lacks the proper training or resources to handle leads well.

Of course, regardless of the performance of your marketing strategy and its effectiveness at generating great leads, your leasing agents and their ability to communicate and sell to prospects significantly impact your lead-to-lease conversion rate.

Leasing is challenging. Tons of pressure are put on agents to succeed. You're setting them up for failure if they lack the training and resources to excel.

Leasing is challenging. Tons of pressure are put on agents to succeed. You're setting them up for failure if they lack the training and resources to excel.

Perhaps that's why the employee turnover rate for multifamily leasing agents remains high—only exacerbating the problem.

Staff response time to leads is slow or non-existent.

An example of poor leasing performance is an agent's inability to immediately follow up with prospective renters who reach out to your community.

Leads eventually slip through the cracks when nobody responds to their phone call or email in less than 24 hours. 

Nobody's answering the phone!

We sampled more than 500 apartment communities in August 2023 to determine the rate at which phone calls are answered. 

The result: Only 61% of the phone calls to a leasing office are answered during business hours. Ouch!

Remember, prospective residents who directly call your leasing office represent your most qualified lead. They want to rent! Missing out on nearly 40% of those individuals is an obvious mistake.

🙌🏼 Best practices for improving leasing performance

Utilize call-tracking software to assess your leasing agent's performance better.

Various call tracking software are available that'll help you track the source of a call, its duration, and, in some cases, listen to recordings. 

Investing and utilizing these tools can help you accomplish three things:

  1. Track the percentage of calls answered. You want to ensure your staff is answering phone calls at a high rate during business hours. A 61% answer rate may not be the best benchmark, but anything less than that, of course, would be a serious problem you could quickly identify and correct.
  2. Track call duration. Typically, the best predictor of call performance (without listening to recordings) is the length of the call. Longer phone conversations typically correlate to leasing success. Shorter phone calls may indicate that your leasing staff is not completing essential tasks, like gathering contact information or setting appointments.
  3. Listen to 10% of phone call recordings. With the option to listen to recorded conversations between your leasing agents and prospective residents, you can identify weaknesses and use that information to help site staff improve.

Prioritize sales training for leasing agents.

As stated before, leasing is a difficult thing to do without proper training or guidance. Especially given the turnover in that position, building a sales training framework is essential.

With training comes knowledge. With knowledge comes confidence. With confidence comes better performance. 

By actively showing a supportive interest in your leasing agents and their role, they will be more likely to perform at a higher level and, more importantly, develop a sense of pride and loyalty in your organization that'll entice them to continue thriving in their tasks.

Invest in marketing that produces better-qualified leads.

When lead quality improves, your staff will be more likely to answer incoming calls and improve lease conversions. Your marketing strategy must be designed to pre-qualify prospective residents before they reach out to your site staff, as that makes their job much more manageable. We'll dive more into this next. 

🛠 Tools to help you get the most out of your leasing staff

Read our blog about improving leasing agent performance.

Get insights into how leasing agents should handle phone conversations, showings, and follow-up to help nurture more prospective residents from "love it" to "lease it" by reading this blog post.

Get automated reporting and valuable performance metrics across your portfolio with the RentVision Platform.

A part of our marketing solutions includes installing call tracking software to measure the performance of your marketing sources and benefit from the tools that let you better track your leasing agent's performance in one place—the RentVision Platform.

➡️ Next page: Is your apartment website converting leads to leases?

Complete Apartment Vacancy Analysis Series
Introduction: What's causing your apartment's vacancy? Here's how to find & fix it
Part 2: Is your apartment's renewals strategy causing more vacancy?
Part 3: Are your residents satisfied with their experience at your apartments?
Part 4: Are you accruing excess vacancy loss after units lease?
Part 5: Are you properly vetting your apartment's lease applications?
Part 6: Is your apartment's application process to blame for vacancies?
Part 7: Are your apartment tours helping overcome vacancy?
Part 8: Do you have enough 'good' leads to improve apartment leasing?
Part 9: Is your apartment website converting leads to leases?
Part 10: How qualified is the traffic to your apartment website?
Part 11: What about pricing?! How rents affect your apartment's performance

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RentVision enables you to generate more qualified traffic when you have a sudden increase in vacancy, and saves you marketing dollars when it’s under control.