Modernize the Customer Journey

By on Feb 2, 2024 in Technology

In the dynamic world of multifamily real estate, implementing the latest technology is not just an option, it’s a necessity. Modernizing your leasing strategy is more important than ever as renters increasingly demand instant, automated and personalized experiences.

But above all, they value experiences that put them in control of their journey.

We’ve identified five key tools and strategies that you can implement or enhance in 2024, putting your customers in the driver’s seat while elevating your NOI. These solutions not only enhance the customer experience, but also streamline your onsite teams’ efficiency. Let’s dive in!

1. Chatbots as virtual leasing assistants

Chatbots are revolutionizing customer interaction across industries, and the multifamily industry is no exception. Chatbots can free up leasing teams by fielding the bulk of common inquiries, but what’s the point if it only creates more hassle for your teams with multiple logins and disjointed data?

As customers expect more instant gratification and answers, it’s more important than ever to leverage a chatbot that can do more than just chat — the right bot will act as a true extension of your team, answering chats, texts, emails and calls in the voice and tone your organization prefers.

Additionally, a chatbot that has access to your property and customer data can help you provide consistent customer experiences from the start. Chat IQ has direct access to Voyager data, providing accurate unit availability, pricing and tour appointment schedules.

Here’s a quick overview of what else the right chatbot can bring to the table:

  • Generate conversions with prompt customer service and automated tour scheduling
  • Improve resident retention by facilitating rent payments, maintenance requests, lease renewal notifications and more
  • Reduce operating costs by automating repetitive tasks and streamlining workflows

2. Self-guided tours to empower prospects

Want more interested prospects, a speedy leasing process and fewer vacant units? Implementing self-guided tours can help.

Self-guided tours offer a more convenient and flexible way for prospects to explore units. Unlike traditional tours that require a leasing agent to be present, self-guided tours can be booked outside of leasing office hours. Plus, you don’t have to hire additional staff.

Onsite teams also benefit greatly from self-guided tours, shifting the focus from just showing prospects around to more strategic efforts for enhancing the customer experience. This focused approach not only generates more high-quality leads, but also paves the way for job satisfaction and subsequently, better staff retention.

3. Automated screening for better efficiency and security

Your leasing agents are leasing agents, not detectives. Automated screening tools eliminate the need for tracking down lost papers, tedious back-and-forth emails and the responsibility of ensuring whether documents are legit.

Automated screening is also a win for prospects. Facial recognition and automation technology reduce obstacles prospects face in trying to apply for an apartment, accelerating their journey to becoming your resident. The same goes for technology that allows prospects to verify their income on the spot. With technology that seamlessly allows prospects to take a selfie and upload a paystub, they’ll be able to get approved for that unit faster.

4. Centralized data for operational excellence

Centralization is more than just a buzzword. It’s a strategy that has the potential to yield lower costs, increase efficiency and increase satisfaction for both renters and staff.

But a long-term strategy to centralization requires a more nuanced approach. When considering how to centralize, focus on your onsite staff’s expectations, how roles will be specialized and the structure of your centers of excellence.

Kim Young, vice president of shared services at Fogelman Properties, suggests refining your automation strategy before jumping head-first into the centralization hype. “Until you know what humans don’t have to do, you can’t know how and where to centralize,” she said. 

No matter how you go about it, a thoughtful approach to centralization paves the way for long-term operational efficiency. Need a place to start? CRM IQ gives you visibility into customer information across your portfolio and organizes workflows by applicant, prospect and resident, giving your teams everything they need to see on one screen.

5. Modernizing conventional strategies

While embracing new technology is crucial to staying ahead in the multifamily game, it’s also important to remember the power of conventional community-building strategies.

Your onsite teams gain back more time as technology takes on the brunt of repetitive tasks and common inquiries. Make sure that time counts by empowering them to focus on enhancing in-person engagement. Organizing community events, giveaways, gift cards and referral incentives are just a few of the ways in which your teams can help build more vibrant communities and cohesive living environments.

Traditional approaches, combined with modern technology, create a comprehensive customer experience that address both the technical and human aspects of property management.

Looking ahead to 2024

Gearing up for the new year? Yardi is here to help you navigate 2024 with one connected solution that helps you provide one frictionless customer experience. From the moment your prospect first interacts with your property, all the way to when they renew their lease — Yardi helps you make it happen with seamless data continuity and unmatched customer service.  

Contact us to learn more about how one connected platform helps you improve NOI, deliver frictionless experiences and increase resident and staff retention.