This article is meant to describe where we could be in multifamily marketing and how we view the lead to lease lifecycle. We have the technology to do it, but do we have the appetite and motivation for it? The picture of lead to lease conversion today is incomplete. Incomplete because we aren’t looking, not because the data isn’t there. In fact, we probably should rename this lifecycle to “awareness to renewal”.
Lead To Lease Conversion Today
Today, marketing in multifamily primarily focuses on the lead source. I’ve talked about this before in previous posts, the idea is that we over index on where a lead came from when attributing “credit” to why we won that lead’s business.
Let’s say a prospect first see’s your community when a friend of theirs tags your Instagram. Then they go to the property website to check out some pictures of the pool they saw in that post. Later, when searching for an apartment on an ILS, they see your property and think “That’s right! Brandon lives there and they have that great pool!” and proceed to enter their information into the ILS.
In today’s world that ILS gets 100% of the credit, but should they? You may be thinking, “No! Instagram should.” But I don’t event think that’s right. The resident who posted on social media is what really kicked off this prospects journey.
This isn’t to say ILSs are not ever the true first touch point and are not an incredibly effective tool for bringing leads to our leasing teams. They are.
But the lead to lease conversion picture we paint today is woefully incomplete and causes us to invest in the wrong areas of our funnel.
Tracking Website Activity
I want to focus on one particular example of the data we have if we’d only look. That data is “who is on our website”.
When someone visits out website, we typically have no idea who they are. An anonymous user navigating about, asking questions to our bots, previewing floor plans and gallery photos, and eventually wandering away.
If your Google Analytics is set up like most folks, you may take a look at how many visitors you are getting, how long they stay, how many pages they look at, what’s the bounce rate, etc. These are all great statistics. But we can do better.
Most leads that are in our CRM will go back and view the property website many times prior to the actual tour, application, or lease. And we should be tracking this.
For example, lets say you send a marketing email from your CRM or your favorite automation/AI tool. In this email there is a link to your property website. Well, when that prospect clicks on that link there is no reason why you shouldn’t be aware that its John Doe on your website. And then associate everything John Doe does on your site with their guest card. You can learn:
- What floor plans are they interested in
- What device are they using to view your content (e.g. browser or mobile)
- What pictures do they spend the most time looking at
- Do they navigate to your social media
- How long do they stay on the site
- Do they look at specific information like your pet policy
This list can be much much longer. Imagine how personal your next message could be! “Hey John! We see you are interested in our Bark Park! Take a look at the Pet Wash station too!” I tell you what, if I’m John I’m starting to feel real good about your property 😎
Lead to Lease Conversion of the Future
The lead to lease conversion measurements of today need to change. By leveraging our tech stacks and encouraging them to work together, we can paint a much more complete picture. This new “awareness to renewal” cycle will allow us to TRULY understand what parts of the cycle are having the biggest impact and allow us to invest in ourselves accordingly.
By diving deeper into our data, categorizing it in a meaningful way, and identifying patterns we can enter the 21st century of marketing in a big way. Onward! 🚀