Updated: Dec 16, 2021
There didn’t seem to be a better way to end 2021 than cocktails and collaboration with our fellow multifamily marketers - and that was what our December Cadence Connect event was all about!
In this online session, we completely flipped the script. Our expert panel was made up of hot-topic vendors - David Staley from Digible, Mike Whaling from 30 Lines, Jackie Wint-Gaehwiler from Knock CRM, and Michelle Murphey from SmartRent - that addressed some of multifamily marketers’ most burning questions this year.
Because this session was jam-packed with an abundance of great information, we will be releasing a series of four blog posts, with this being the first. Keep your eye on our blog for the remaining posts, and be sure to watch for information on the next Cadence Connect event!
The first key topic that our panelists dove into was centralized leasing - a topic of ongoing conversation throughout the industry. Read on for our biggest takeaways and take a listen to the event recording here - this portion of the conversation begins at 23:28.
1. Centralized leasing doesn’t come without obstacles.
While a centralized leasing structure sounds like a dream to many, it isn't necessarily a change that can happen overnight - there are several barriers teams may face when attempting to implement centralized leasing. Many traditional leasing operations processes and technology were not built for centralized leasing - this introduces the potential need of implementing new tools and technology to support a centralized leasing model. Launching new technology can be an efficient fix for staffing shortages and low bandwidth, but it also often presents its own set of challenges that require polishing to ensure a smooth user experience internally and externally.
Team structure is another potential challenge. For many, the traditional leasing model is what feels comfortable - being onsite everyday at one property. However, a shift in team structure and operating processes would be necessary in implementing centralized leasing so that a team is able to effectively support all properties in the portfolio or within a region.
2. Make centralized marketing centralized leasing's best friend.
Centralized leasing impacts more than just the leasing process. Mike Whaling of 30 Lines pointed out that it also affects how the portfolio can be marketed. Instead of a completely property-centric marketing strategy, marketers need to be adopting a brand-centric approach that reaches prospects in various stages of their search, and provides solutions to their housing needs across multiple properties, not just one.
Centralized marketing efforts will create brand awareness for the entire portfolio, and neighborhood specific campaigns will help to cross market specific properties while helping prospects to see the options they have within the portfolio. Marketers have an opportunity to really impact the bottom line by redistributing advertising costs and allocating differently.
3. Get tech (& efficiency) on your side.
As mentioned in our first takeaway, it is likely that implementing new tech will be necessary when building out your centralized leasing strategy. We heard from Jackie at Knock CRM that many clients have requested additional CRM features to support centralized leasing, and Knock has been working to deliver on these requests. As centralized leasing continues to become a larger conversation, keep your eye on the updates being made within your current technology as well as new tools to help support your team.
4. Centralized leasing: the answer to our staffing shortage?
Greater efficiency and a more seamless prospect experience aren't the only reasons companies are considering centralized leasing. Many companies across the nation are struggling with staffing shortages. A centralized leasing approach can offer leasing teams a greater reach than just one property.
David at Digible shared that out of the 350,000 calls they tracked in the last four months, 45% went unanswered. A year ago, 56% went unanswered. As Michelle from SmartRent pointed out, there is a young generation of renters that make up a large part of the market, which means that instant gratification is in high demand. A shortage of staff can make this challenging especially when much of this demand comes after leasing hours, forcing teams to reconsider their current leasing approach in an effort to maximize bandwidth.