One of the biggest benefits to shifting to an in-house marketing strategy is that it allows you to disqualify bad leads (via your online content) before they ever call your leasing office.
Occasionally, however, we'll get questions from readers about whether or not it is actually a good idea to disqualify your bad leads.
So in this post we want to walk through the reasons you should try to disqualify certain leads as well as address a couple common objections we hear from time-to-time.
Unqualified Apartment Leads Waste Your Community's Resources
The big picture idea is that unqualified leads create real stress for your community and its staff by wasting several key resources:
- Staff time
- Qualified leads
Let's walk through each of these. Bad leads are going to waste staff time for a couple reasons.
First, many bad leads are going to call your leasing office with lousy questions that don't indicate any kind of immediate leasing intent. They aren't asking about scheduling a tour or if a specific unit is available. They're asking if you accept rotweilers. So when your leasing agents could be spending time on more profitable work they are instead answering questions about pet policy.
Second, bad leads will waste your money. If your community's marketing is generating a lot of bad leads, the money you're spending on that marketing is being mostly wasted because it's not generating any new revenue for your community.
Put another way, the bad leads are driving your marketing cost-per-lease way up because you're having to spend so much money to generate enough good leads to turn into leases.
Third, bad leads will waste your good leads. Here's what we mean by that: Good leads have a higher chance of leasing, but they still require a bit of work to close. You need to get them into the leasing office for a tour and you (usually) need to follow up with them to close the deal. These things take time.
If your leasing staff is spending half their day answering questions about rotweilers and giving tours to folks who are never going to lease, that's time they can't spend on working those good leads. So maybe they forget to follow-up with someone who took a tour and seemed to like the unit. Or maybe they miss a couple phone calls while giving a tour to a lead who was never going to sign anyway.
Whatever the case, you have leasing agents with limited resources using those resources to service bad leads--which is not how you want them using their time and your money.
Common Objections to Eliminating Bad Leads
There are a couple objections we sometimes hear to this whole way of thinking with regards to lead quality.
First, some of the more ambitious, daring leasing agents out there might say "but if I just get in front of them, I can sell them."
Second, some marketing directors or property managers hear this and say "but I already don't have enough leads, why would I want to get rid of ones I do have?" Let's work through both of these objections.
First, when it comes to selling bad leads the issue there is that the reason they're a bad lead is that you can't sell them effectively. They're a bad lead because they are looking at ten other communities or because they want to keep their pitbull or because they can't afford to live in your community.
The reason they're a bad lead, in other words, has nothing to do with whether or not you can sell them. They're a bad lead because even if you can sell them it isn't going to be worth it due to all the extra work that goes into selling them. When you're dealing with bad leads, the problem isn't with your leasing, it's with your marketing. So even the best leasing agent in the world isn't going to be able to solve the problem.
Second, the issue for your leasing staff isn't that you're not getting enough leads. It's that you aren't getting enough leases. And continuing to crank out bad leads that don't convert won't help solve that problem. You need better leads and you need your leasing staff to be able to service those leads. So, therefore, you also need fewer bad leads.
We've said in the past that the only thing worse than having no leads is having bad leads. The above explains why. Whatever marginal benefit you might gain from collecting plenty of bad leads is more than outweighed by the cost of servicing those leads. If you want your marketing to take off, then you need to stop wasting time acquiring and pursuing bad leads and start focusing on the quality of your lead.