Continental Realty Corporation (CRC), headquartered in Baltimore and founded in 1960, is a full-service multifamily and commercial real estate investment and management company. The privately-owned firm owns and manages a diversified portfolio of apartment communities featuring nearly 10,000 apartment homes and retail centers consisting of over 3.5 million square feet of space. Positioned throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions, the value of the portfolio exceeds $1.5 billion.
Disconnected Lead Management
Before adopting RENTCaféCRM, CRC had no single source for accurate lead information. ILS and phone leads were tracked but didn’t integrate with its property management database, so information had to be manually entered and cross-checked. “We would pull reports and create a spreadsheet to figure out which source was giving the lowest cost per lease. It was a long, complicated process,” shared Heather Palmer, director of leasing strategies at CRC.
RENTCaféCRM is an end-to-end leasing management and customer relationship management solution. It allows users to conduct prospect and resident services from a tablet or desktop throughout the entire rental lifecycle, from initial contact to move-in, lease renewal and move-out. Fully integrated with Voyager, RENTCafé and RENTCaféConnect, this product accesses contact, lead, lease, resident and property data and delivers it via an intuitive and mobile user interface for increased conversions and renewals, onsite efficiency gains and time savings.
Improved Lead Tracking
CRC saw two immediate improvements after implementing RENTCaféCRM to consolidate its customer relationship management strategy. Lead tracking became easier and more accurate.
RENTCaféCRM automatically tracks leads from multiple sources – including phone calls, website visits, ILS listings and more – and displays the results clearly. Because the software integrates with the leasing tools and property management data contained in RENTCafé and Voyager, CRC can follow data from lead to lease and determine which leads convert and which do not.
“With RENTCaféCRM, we have the ability to track leases from cradle to grave. Did we get a lead or a lease?” said Palmer. “Now we can instantly answer which advertising source is the most effective simply by pulling a report.”
Increased visibility into the effectiveness of multiple lead sources helps CRC be more strategic about its advertising budget, so it can focus on the channels that get the best results.
The lead tracking and follow-up tools built into RENTCaféCRM help CRC position its team members for success. Leasing consultants can see which leads are most likely to convert and are assigned corresponding follow-up tasks to make sure leads aren’t ignored. “We can prioritize our leads and nurture the relationship effectively,” Palmer said. “It makes a difference in how successful we are as salespeople. We didn’t have a solid process or system before.”
Enhanced Resident Retention
CRC also uses RENTCaféCRM to support resident retention efforts. CRC sets custom resident follow-ups at 7, 14, 90 and 180 days after a move-in to make sure renters are happy and engaged. These touchpoints include letting residents know about upcoming events, sending postcards and placing calls to check in. Marketing items are created for some follow-ups. These can be attached to each follow-up task so staff has easy access to approved resources.
“We get a significant amount of feedback from our residents that they appreciate the touchpoints,” said Palmer. “It creates a sense of community that sets us apart from our competitors.”