We recently were tasked with filling more than 30 units at a just-renovated complex in as short a time frame as possible. What we accomplished was 36 applications and 32 leases in three weeks. When we ran the numbers, we found our Cost Per Lease was less than half that of the industry best practices, ranging from $25 to $73 Cost Per Lease, depending upon the unit. By comparison, the industry average is $200 to $400 Cost Per Lease. Here’s how we broke the industry benchmarks.
|Cost Per Lease||Allied||Industry Benchmarks|
Cutting Edge Marketing Tools
Our marketing team engaged some of the latest tools available tor attracting and re-targeting prospects. These tools resulted in several ways a prospect could contact us immediately after being presented an ad for the community. We created a system that combined Facebook and Google ads, along with various ILSs to reach our customers, and then re-engaged with them after the initial contact. This resulted in a large pool of engaged prospects, who knew about what our property had to offer.
Rapid Response to Digital Tools
In this mobile native age, more and more communication is happening in the digital realm, and at digital speeds. That means we as the purveyors of apartments have to match those speeds. A critical component in our success was that the leasing agents understood the need for speed when it comes to following up with prospects. When a lead comes in on a digital channel, be it email, Messenger, paid ILS ads, etc., the clock starts ticking.
Every few minutes without a response reduces the likelihood that lead will turn into a lease. Best practices say they should get a response in two hours. We set the standard that immediate response was the goal, and anything less was second best. If a leasing agent is planning to respond to emails and Facebook messages at the end of the workday, prospects have likely moved on to other properties to consider. If one of those properties gets back to the future resident sooner than another property, the first responder gets the lease. The swift and enthusiastic responses from our leasing team is one of the biggest contributors to our success.
All of our roles in the company came together. Our marketing team created good tools and measured their success. Our training team taught the leasing agents how to use the tools. Our leadership team motivated and encouraged our leasing agents. And our leasing agents delivered great customer service across all touchpoints. Success in marketing apartments isn’t about finding one magical tool that brings you all the perfect residents. Success is brought about by everyone fulfilling their role to the best of their ability and doing so in coordination and communication with every other part.
“Our leasing team turned 1 in 4 prospects into a resident”.Internal Metrics
Our regional manager and property managers instilled a sense of excitement in our leasing agents. We viewed each day as a challenge to be conquered. We also celebrated the small victories on our way to the big win. Our regional manager kept our property staff engaged and passionate about achieving this big task. Our regional manager kept our property staff engaged and passionate about achieving this big task.
Measuring The Marketing
While the leasing team was doing their job, the marketing team was constantly monitoring the metrics to fine tune our tools. We made sure our tools were reaching a large enough audience, and that that audience was made up of people who would make good residents. We also maintained communications with the property to get those oh-so-valuable boots-on-the-ground insights. Was the traffic being generated qualified? Did they give any common reasons for saying yes or no? How excited were they?
The big takeaway from our successful lease-up is this: Everyone plays a role in successfully marketing a property. And the key to excellence is everyone performing their duty well, and constantly striving to get better. When everything comes together harmoniously, the customer gets a great experience from first contact to final lease signing, and beyond.
The final metrics of this coordinated effort speak for themselves. In an industry where $200 to $400 is the average Cost Per Lease, none of our Cost Per Lease metrics ever rose above $100, and some went as low as $25. Our leasing team turned 1 in 4 prospects into a resident.
We can’t reveal all of our tools and tricks, It’s one of the things that makes an Allied Property Management community stand out from our peers in the industry. Recruiting great residents is one of the many ways “We Create Communities.” But the overall keys to our success apply to organizations everywhere. We hope they help you find success.