The success of any property management company lies in its leasing cycle. When done right, it’s a repetitive and steady beat that fills vacant units with quality residents quickly for maximum revenue potential. On the other hand, an ineffective leasing strategy can be an expensive drain on the business.
Taking the time to review processes and make sure they are done in a timely, efficient manner is critical. This post will go through ways one can improve lead-to-lease conversions along with some helpful tips that could help increase occupancy rates.
- Define existing processes and the conversion rates at each stage of the lease-up process.
A typical lease-up process can be broken down into 3 stages –
- Initial inquiry
- Property viewing
- Rental Application / Lease Signing
Before identifying areas of improvement, it is important to map out the conversion rates at each stage of the funnel. These numbers would serve as a base against which improvements are measured.
2. Start at the top of the funnel by evaluating all your property listing channels
You don’t have to necessarily pay for leads since, in the rental space, plenty of leads can be generated for free. While there are paid listing sites available, the majority of lead generation comes from open databases. According to research by Tenant Turner on Zillow’s Ad vacancy page they found out that most potential tenants start their search through free methods like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist — so if your goal is making more money without spending too much then start by listing on these platforms.
Pro Tip: You can save tons of time by syndicating your listings through software that allows you to centrally manage your vacant listings.
3. Timely response to incoming inquiries is critical
You are 40% more likely to connect with a prospect when you respond to them within 4 minutes as opposed to within 24 hours. When renters are motivated, it is a certainty that they are looking at multiple properties simultaneously. It is impossible for leasing managers to make themselves available 24/7. However, there is automation that can be put in place in order to ensure a renter is guided towards the desired next step in addition to having their basic questions answered immediately.
4. Always present alternatives to help improve conversion
Motivated renters are looking to move into a new home typically within a 30 to a 60-day timeline. Property Managers are more likely to improve their conversion rates by ensuring that all prospects are presented with alternatives in case they do not warm up to the property they had initially inquired about. A thorough understanding of the renter’s considerations during the initial interaction is imperative to ensure the right option is presented in a timely manner in order to improve the conversion rate.
5. Virtual Tours are no longer a ‘nice to have but a ‘must have’
Technology has changed the way we live our lives, and now it’s helping leasing managers make their rental showings process more efficient. Automated scheduling tools allow for quick updates to go out automatically based on what properties are available in an instant. 3D camera technology like Matterport ensures potential renters get virtual tours of homes without ever leaving their couch!
Pro Tip: Ensure you label aspects of your unit while getting a virtual tour ensuring renters are able to fully educate themselves and make quick decisions on their own.
6. If you haven’t already, bring leasing online
It’s time to go online with your leasing paperwork. A recent study showed that the percentage of renters who want to apply for a lease online increased by 15% in just the last two years! Employing technology allows property managers to exercise greater control and saves an incredible amount of time, too. Digital documentation also ensures that you don’t have to dig into old filing cabinets and documents are always just a few clicks away.
7. Nothing will replace the human touch
Automations throughout the leasing process are not meant to compromise the relationship between renters and managers, If anything, these are meant to free up more time for leasing and property managers to interact with renters in meaningful ways as opposed to carrying out repetitive tasks that add little value to the customer’s experience.
8. Track your progress constantly and re-evaluate your processes periodically
Once you have made a certain change to your process, it is important to understand the impact it has on your firm’s overall leasing performance. Like everything else in business, leasing also is an ever-evolving exercise that needs to be constantly monitored and revised in order to ensure premium customer experience and success for the firm.
This just about sums it up. We at SoulRooms care deeply about problems pertaining to effective leasing and hope this post adds value to leasing managers looking to improve their conversion rates. Happy leasing!