I have the unique privilege of working with multifamily organizations of all sizes, and whether you're large-scale with sophisticated tech stacks, or you're smaller to mid-size with a more holistic approach, these are the common conversations I'm having coming into 2021. The Top 10:
10 - Normal has left the building and will NOT be back -
If you’re waiting for all your prospects to return to the old style of leasing, it’s not happening. Prospects are enjoying the option of self-serving through video and virtual tours until the final decision, which is when they’re coming out in person. Cater your leasing process accordingly.
9 - Tech & automation still needs the human touch -
Everyone is launching cool automation, chat bots, and text options to move conversations through faster. But be sure to test them! Automated communication can make your prospect feel more disconnected than you intended.
8 - It’s going to get better, then worse, then better -
Spring demand will kick up activity. Eviction moratorium will eventually be lifted. The market (especially urban areas) will have to rebalance. Buckle up, it’ll be a marathon, not a sprint.
7 - Resident loyalty will be critical -
Retention will be key to occupancy preservation. Your residents have options and they’ll be smart negotiators. Build loyalty by rewarding loyalty. Think strategically about the cost of losing a lease and turning a unit and find creative ways to invest in retaining renters.
6 - Reframe your amenities. In home vs community -
Wi-Fi bandwidth is the new black, powering everything from package and food delivery to in-home work and space for streaming fitness classes. Life is happening in our homes! Find space for it, increase bandwidth, and promote it on your tours.
5 - Your comps have changed -
Prospects shop by rent level, not age of product. Geography isn’t as dependent on proximity to work. Suburbs will compete with urban again. The gap between market and affordable pricing isn’t so vast. Take a new look at options by price range and check your competition.
4 - Video/virtual is the new pre-sale -
Video content and virtual tours have given leasing teams the power to pre-qualify, narrow selection, and efficiently move prospects from interest to intent. Imagine the time saved in narrowing a floor plan style with video vs. in-person touring. Additionally, imagine the increased conversions with the ability to move from phone to virtual tour in just seconds - eliminating no-show appointments and schedule complications.
3 - Networking is still wildly important -
It’s harder, yes! But still so important to develop peer relationships in the industry that you can learn and grow from. Build your LinkedIn connections, strike up conversations, find a mentor, and offer to be a mentor. And hey, join a Cadence Connect event!
2 - Marketing needs to get more sophisticated -
If you’re spending 90% of your effort trying to drive and work leads for current availability, what’s your strategy for prepping leads to be ready to lease availability that is posted 90 days+ out? You have the content, now how do you use it to generate the pipeline, follow-up with intention, and move those prospects to the decision point?
1 - Centralized leasing is the new game changer -
Call it a matchmaker, an apartment advisor, or a regional leasing representative. The newest role in the industry doesn’t need to be on-site, or associated with just one
property. They can cover expanded service hours, and use your tech stack to access multi-site content. This position should come with a cape! Utilize a small team to pre-lease across a region, and allow on-site agents to free up time for the hottest prospects.
Interested in how you can prepare to effectively respond to market needs in Q2 and beyond? We'd love to support you. Reach out!