Headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, with regional offices in Florida, SPM, LLC (SPM) manages more than 175 apartment communities and over 18,000 apartment homes. Its portfolio represents a geographical footprint rapidly expanding beyond the Southeast to include communities in Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York and Washington, D.C. SPM is focused on maximizing income and increasing property values by developing a customized package of services to meet the needs of each owner.
The ChallengeComplicated Call Tracking
SPM uses a third-party call answering service that is not integrated with its property management database or customer relationship management software. This makes it complicated to track where phone calls are coming from and how they are being followed up. “We have to log into three different systems to see the call tracking and reporting information we need,” said Brian Reed, information systems manager at SPM.
The SolutionRENTCafé Connect
RENTCafé Connect is a digital answering solution with on-demand call automation, chat and email response capabilities. Properties can control scheduling, prioritize leads and view budgets with total transparency. Trained live agents are able to complete guest cards, schedule tours and assist residents. All activity is recorded and accessible for quality control. By leveraging community-specific information from RENTCafé and Voyager, RENTCafé Connect acts as a seamless extension of a property management leasing office.
The StoryIntegrated Call Automation
The call automation solution used by SPM at most of its properties doesn't integrate with its other software. The company is trying to reduce logins and simplify workflows for its managers, so it decided to replace that system with RENTCafé Connect call automation at five properties. RENTCafé Connect integrates with SPM’s existing Yardi solutions, including Yardi Voyager, RENTCafé and RENTCafé CRM.
SPM uses call automation to pick up any unanswered calls after four rings. Calls are then routed to the right person or mailbox via a call tree. SPM elects to have prospect calls answered by live agents if the property is in lease-up or has vacancies that need to be filled. Agents can expertly assist potential renters using real-time pricing and availability made visible through integration with SPM’s property management database.
“The on-demand live agent option is fantastic. The RENTCafé Connect agents reflect our properties well,” said Reed. “We can listen to any calls in our customer relationship management software. The full integration allows us to hear calls and assign follow-ups in one place, without jumping back and forth.”
RENTCafé Connect call automation has been so well-received by prospects, residents and staff at the five properties that SPM is planning to implement the solution at all its properties.
SPM uses the reporting tools built in to RENTCafé Connect to accurately track its phone activity. In addition to lead source tracking, SPM can see what percentage of calls are being answered by automation, what types of calls they were and how long it takes maintenance teams at each property to respond.
RENTCafé Connect has easy, self-service controls that allow users to set budgets, configure settings and turn live agent answering on or off without contacting an external team. This gives SPM new flexibility to support its leasing offices during busy periods. Property managers can use call automation to cover employee vacations, emergencies and training events, as well as busy leasing periods.
“RENTCafé Connect is exactly the call center we want,” concluded Reed. “We like that it’s easy to control, and we can see what we need to see. We're very happy with it.”