The Excelsior Group

By on Jun 4, 2019 in People

How do you create a better online experience for prospects and residents? Just ask the dynamic marketing duo at The Excelsior Group (TEG). Meet Brenda Studt, vice president of marketing, and Shelly Steitz, marketing manager. Together with their team and tools from the RENTCafé Suite, they’re transforming the online renter experience to better match the expectations of today’s digitally savvy consumers.

When Brenda and Shelly visited the Yardi studio recently to film their Real Estate Questions Answered videos, we chatted about marketing, websites and themselves. Keep reading to find out what you can do to make your sites more appealing to people who are searching for a place to call home.

Q: How does marketing work at TEG?
Brenda: TEG is a group of real estate related businesses operating on a unified platform. Shelly and I work for TEG’s Creative Studio. We’re an in-house, full-service creative and marketing agency offering a variety of creative solutions specifically designed for real estate related clients.

We focus our marketing strategy around client goals and consider owner goals and expectations for specific assets. Our largest client is TEG’s multifamily business. Shelly manages all marketing activity for this client and works with their property management and development teams daily to develop and execute annual plans for each property across the portfolio.

Q: How do you make sure your property marketing websites engage and convert prospects?

Shelly: We create engaging websites through strong visual storytelling. We take a “show, don’t tell” approach and that includes 360 tours, high quality amenity photos and vibrant gallery pages. And then we give the prospect as many ways to engage with that content as possible.

Brenda: Using RENTCafé has been great for our clients. We’re able to understand user patterns and user experience better with reporting in the backend of the platform. We convert 28% of digital leads using high-intent calls to action, like nudge marketing and self-scheduled tours. Also, having the ability to customize our website templates is awesome, because each of our properties has a unique brand.

Q: How do you create a better online experience?

Brenda: Understanding our audience is important to creating a great user experience. We try to make it easy for them. Our RENTCafé websites encourage prospects to email or text us. If they’re looking at our sites on their phones, it’s a seamless transition.

Shelly: We provide a good prospect experience by allowing our client’s onsite teams to use RENTCafé CRM which helps them keep up with their follow-ups. They know how many leads have come in, they know who they need to respond to, and it really just helps organize their day.

From there, we also use automated responses through both email and text so that a prospect isn’t waiting too long to get a response. When emails and texts come in, our client uses RENTCafé CRM to automate follow-ups, so prospects get an almost instant response. 32% of prospects who text come in for a tour!

Q: Can you share any website tips that readers can use right now?

Shelly: Sure! To make a successful nudge marketing campaign, start by looking at your website analytics. See where your site visitors are bouncing from and how long they’re staying on certain pages. If you find that your prospects are staying on the site longer, and you might not want a nudge message to pop up right away; you might want to give them more time to interact with the content.

It’s also important to match the message to the page. For example, a lot of times, we will put a concession message on the floor plans page because we already know that those prospects are engaged. They may be just need a slight push, and then we’re more likely to get a highly qualified lead. And we don’t ever recommend putting a nudge on the homepage. We find that a little bit too invasive. We like to have a more seamless website experience for our prospects.

Brenda: Agreed. Also, you should keep your nudge messages short and sweet and on brand. And don’t let them run for too long. Keep the content, messaging and goals fresh.

Q: What would you like to achieve over the next year?

Brenda: I would like to see TEG’s Creative Studio grow. And personally, I would like to be able to do 10 pull-ups unassisted. Right now I can do five.

Shelly: My goal is always to make marketing a more tangible thing. I want to celebrate our team successes by showing the value of marketing through metrics and KPIs. And personally, when I’m done growing this baby, I want to continue trying and sharing the best nachos in the Twin Cities and beyond.

We’d like to thank Brenda and Shelly for taking the time to chat with us on camera. Watch all TEG’s Real Estate Questions Answered videos to keep learning from these two phenomenal marketers and get more practical website tips.