Welcome to part 2 of this 3 part series! In this series we are exploring the communication fundamentals for onsite teams and going over 3 building blocks. In part 1 we explored “What You Say”. In part 2 we will review “When You Say It”.
Specifically we will dive into Timing and Frequency. We will break frequency down even further depending on what stage your property is in: Construction/Pre-Lease, Lease Up/Stabilized, and Resident focused.
Communication Fundamentals – When You Say It:
So now that we know how important what you say is, can we say it whenever we want? Not if high impact, engagement and conversions are important to us. Timing is everything. Saying the right thing at the wrong time yields us little. Let’s dive into this aspect of communication fundamentals. When should we be sending communication to our customers.
In today’s world we are all overwhelmed with inbound communications. How many missed calls and unread emails do you have? The surest way to have your message read is to deliver it when our customers are checking their messages.
Nurture Boss, after analyzing millions of emails and texts, has found that marketing text messages are best sent in the evening (5-6pm) and marketing emails are best sent mid-morning (10-11am). “Best sent” means most likely to be engaged with.
It is important to note that informational messaging (for example, alerting residents of a pending water shut off) are best sent ASAP. It is important to provide needed information as soon as possible whereas marketing information can be strategically sent at specific days and times for better results.
It is important that whatever automation technology you are using is able to strategically time messages. A “dumb” timer that send a message every 48 hours will often result in messages being sent at unoptimal days and times. We don’t have unlimited attempts to convert prospects to residents and renew existing residents. Every message we send is an opportunity to win or lose business and verifying that the technology you use is strategic around the timing of its messages is crucial to success.
Nurture Boss has also collected many data points around how many follow ups or resident outreach messages are needed to create the optimal experience for customers. We know that on average it takes 8-10 touchpoints to convert a prospect into a resident. But how often should you follow up? Too many messages too fast and you become an annoyance, too few too far inbetween and you are forgotten.
It is important to note that frequency of messaging will depend on the stage of your property and who your target audience is.
Construction/Pre-Lease: When your property is first being built you are in tandem building an interest list. It is important to nurture this interest list over a period of months to create anticipation and excitement for when leasing will begin. The best strategy in this scenario is to have a slow drip (say once every 3 weeks) leading up to the pre-lease date and get more aggressive as you near the date. 2 months out a transition to once every 2 weeks makes sense and 30 days out a message every 4-5 days makes sense. This helps keep your property in the prospect’s mind throughout the construction phase and nicely transitions you to the front of mind as you are preparing to start accepting applications.
Lease-Up/Stabilized: A property trying to fill vacant units can benefit from tons of valuable data around how prospects look for a new home. 95% of renters who schedule a tour do it within the first 24 hours. This statistic highlights the importance of immediate follow up on new leads. Ensuring your Automation or AI solution has the ability to quickly follow up with new leads in your CRM is key to beating out other properties in capturing that prospect’s attention. Continued follow up is key in order to move the prospect through the lead to lease lifecycle. Each follow up, specific to the stage they are in, should leverage the context and personalization referred to earlier for best results. Achieving 8-12 touch points spread out over a period of 3 weeks is the optimal solution for frequency of your follow up for prospects during this phase of your property.
Resident: Resident retention starts the day a lease is signed, not 90 days before it is up for renewal. By leveraging your Automation and AI to start communication with a resident on day 1, you can create the delightful experience they need to make a renewal decision in the future. We recommend setting up new residents for success by delivering a digital move-in checklist that can be referenced as they prepare for their new home. Continued check-ins (4 over the next 5 months) will drive home the fact that you care about your residents and their experience. These resident outreach follow ups are also a great way to drive up online reputation as well as resident referrals.
Continued in Part 3
In part 3 of our Communication Fundamentals series we will cover “How You Say It”.