Most apartment community leasing offices are only open during regular business hours. This is problematic not only for prospects who work a 9-to-5 schedule, but it’s also a challenge for leasing agents, who are missing out on leads coming in after hours.
Surveys of apartment community operators consistently show that a tremendous number of leads come in in the evenings, over the weekend, and on holidays. A Respage client reported that 615 out of 839 inquiries—or 73 percent— were outside of regular business hours. These leads could be lost without an effective strategy for capturing them.
Setting up an email auto reply that sends responses when staffers are gone for the day is better than nothing, but a more robust solution is required in order to keep those leads engaged. In this post, we’ll go over four tips to capture apartment rental leads after hours.
Add a chatbot to your apartment community website
On average, apartment communities miss nearly half of all calls to their properties and even more after hours. Most of those prospects, especially if they’re Millennials or Generation Z, will move onto another community rather than calling back.
An apartment chatbot can be an effective way to ensure you aren’t missing out on these leads. Chatbots use artificial intelligence and natural language processing to answer basic questions about your community as well as gather contact information so leasing agents can follow up.
Chatbots are also capable of generating a transcript of the bot-prospect conversation. This provides leasing agents some insight as to what the prospect is looking for in an apartment, which gives your team an easy way to start the sales conversation.
Offer promotions with extended leasing hours
Keeping your leasing office open a few hours later on certain days during spring and summer can be an effective way to capture more leads. The peak rental season is generally from May through August, so making it easier for prospects to do business with your property during this window could give your residency a powerful boost.
Offering special promotions, such as waiving the application fee if they schedule an apartment tour, could bring in even more traffic.
Of course, a downside to this is that team members will need to work these longer hours, so it’s a good idea to offer incentives such as bonuses or extra time off to keep your employees happy.
Install an AI leasing agent
Like chatbots, AI leasing agents use natural language processing to follow up with prospects and nudge them toward completing an online rental application. However, an AI leasing agent is a more advanced tool that’s tasked with end-to-end lead nurturing, ultimately ensuring that prospects fill out a rental application.
AI leasing agents are capable of handling all lead-nurturing communications, including reminders, tour scheduling and follow-ups. Like apartment chatbots, virtual leasing agents can also answer prospects’ questions along the way.
Most virtual leasing agents can interact with users much like humans because natural language processing helps them understand intent, which is different from simply knowing what is being said. In most cases, once the application has been completed, the virtual agent steps back and allows a human leasing agent to take it from there.
Provide a virtual apartment tour option in automated emails
As we mentioned earlier, setting up an auto reply that responds to emails when staffers are gone for the day is better than nothing, but there’s an easy way to get more out of this approach. Rather than sending basic follow-up emails, you can make your messages more valuable and engaging by including a link allowing prospects to tour the apartment community virtually.
This keeps the leasing process moving. Prospects who like what they see during the virtual tour can then set up an in-person tour, or you could offer the option of going forward with a rental application based on the virtual tour alone.
Never leave a future resident "on read" again
Leasing agents who reply quickly to prospect inquiries will have higher lease conversion rates, so it’s smart to have a strategy in place for responding when the leasing office is closed for the night. Extending your leasing office hours and adding a link to a virtual tour in your email responses are great starting points. Enhancing these tactics with AI technology in the form of apartment chatbots and virtual leasing agents is the best way to ensure you’re capturing all of your leads. Respage can help!
Psst... there's more.
Respage has recently introduced ResMate Voice, a powerful new feature to complete the ResMate suite of solutions that will automatically respond to text, email, chat, ILS and now phone inquiries.
This new functionality enables leasing offices to automate phone answering for inbound leads. ResMate will answer the phone, respond to questions, schedule tours, and follow up via text afterwards. It works with any phone system with call forwarding and is available 24/7.
Whether it’s an early-morning email, a mid-afternoon website chat, or a phone call after hours, ResMate can now respond to and follow up with prospect inquiries from any major channel.
Click here to learn more.