Originally published in 2017. Updated in 2022.
A challenge for apartment marketers is tracking the performance of their communities' various marketing sources. Without proper attribution to which source every single lead, and lease, originated, they blindly pour vast portions of their budget into a marketing strategy that doesn’t result in the leasing impact they need.
An intelligently constructed call tracking strategy eliminates this problem by helping apartment marketers count precisely how many phone calls each source generates, as those are the most qualified leads available.
In this blog, we'll explain what call tracking is and three reasons why apartment marketers must include it in their strategy.
What is apartment call tracking?
Apartment call tracking works by purchasing unique phone numbers and applying them to various channels. For example, a community's phone number on an Internet Listing Service (ILS) website might be 555-555-5555, while on another, it's 555-555-5556, and your community's website is 555-555-5557. (Pro tip: purchasing local numbers is vital to avoid confusion.)
The beauty behind call tracking is that prospective residents aren't generally aware that different numbers are listed online for the same community because every call redirects to the leasing office. The workflow looks like this:
Phone Number Purchased From Call Tracking Software Company → Tracking Phone Number Assigned To Marketing Source → Apartment Community's Direct Office Line.
When a prospect calls the leasing office, the tracking software identifies which number was dialed and corresponds it to the specific marketing source. Apartment marketers receive reliable information from this data and can use it to alter their approach, emphasizing sources producing the most phone leads for a higher potential of leasing success.
Reason #1: Call tracking makes it easier to determine precisely which marketing sources are producing a community's best leads.
With call tracking, apartment marketers can get a report and immediately know information like, "This source generated 27 calls last month."
While some judgments still have to be made beyond just the number of calls each source generated, having this data available is a significant starting point for apartment marketers to assess source performance.
Attributable reporting is just the first step. The next is to dive deeper into phone tracking data to assess its consequences on a community's leasing capability.
Questions apartment marketers could ask include: Does the number of calls justify the cost? What is the quality of the conversation? How long is an average call from this source? Are prospects who call from a particular source more likely to become residents?
With phone tracking software, apartment marketers and operators no longer have to take shots in the dark. Instead, they can make judgments and decisions grounded in data.
Reason #2: Apartment call tracking makes it easier to adjust a community's marketing strategy.
Call tracking software exposes weaknesses in a community's marketing strategy, which is especially helpful during budgeting season. Instead of wasting precious dollars on channels with little impact on leasing, marketers can confidently decide which sources to renew and which to cut.
It's a game-changer when there's data that says, "Here is marketing source A's cost-per-lead and cost-per-lease for the year. Below you can see it broken down month-to-month."
Reason #3: Apartment Call Tracking Strengthens Marketing Influence In Important Management Decisions
There are many places where a community's leasing strategy can break down:
- Rent prices are incorrect.
- Leasing agents aren't answering the phone.
- The leasing staff may be bad at giving tours.
- The property may be in poor shape.
- The marketing team may not be generating enough qualified leads.
The trouble is that it's not always easy to explain what is happening when a community struggles to achieve occupancy goals.
With apartment call tracking software comes a more significant amount of data at a marketer's disposal to discuss and review with their community's management team.
An apartment marketer could go into a team meeting and say, "You know, this marketing source seems to be doing well, and I think we could do even more with them if we pushed some money away from this other source to them."
That is just one example of how phone call data puts marketers in a stronger position with management when making decisions regarding a community's vacancy problem.
Additionally, phone call data paints an unobjective picture of where marketers must make changes within a community's strategy. Instead of throwing ideas at the wall to see what sticks, marketers can make intelligent, data-backed adjustments.
Call Tracking Is Built Into RentVision's Dynamic Apartment Marketing System
Call Tracking is worth the cost because it aids the evaluation of apartment marketing performance, and there is various call tracking software at varying price points to choose from.
RentVision clients benefit from having call tracking software automatically included in their apartment's marketing strategy. We do all the work of purchasing and establishing unique phone numbers for all their marketing sources and provide them with a full suite of analytics tools and reporting that display the number of phone leads generated.
Plus, we make it possible for apartment managers to use phone call tracking software to evaluate leasing agent performance. A recording of every phone conversation is available for them to go back to listen to, as well as metrics measuring phone call duration. Typically, more extended phone conversations correlate to leasing success.
Both of these features are helpful for training or identifying why not enough phone leads are converting to leases.