As we approach the first anniversary of Texas’s first lockdown order, we cannot help but reflect on the long-term changes that are a direct result from experiencing our first (and hopefully last) global pandemic. A majority of industries have had no choice but to adapt to survive, and the multifamily industry is no different. Even though the move toward digital processes and services had already begun, the incorporation of physical distancing only increased the need to implement these practices on a larger scale. While we were all forced to quickly accept these changes, industry leaders are suggesting they may not change once the pandemic has come to an end.
The Normalization of Digital Processes
Over the last year, multifamily leasing professionals have been forced to come up with creative solutions to continue sales and ongoing marketing efforts while continuing to follow safe social distancing practices. This task isn’t so simple when we’re speaking of not just individuals’ homes, but their communities as well. Digital-first products can be a great means for success, including systems such as: virtual tours, on-demand delivery and concierge services, virtual communities, online contract and payment portals, and contactless access options. While these are some of the more popular options, many more are available depending on your specific needs. It has also been found that as individuals begin adopting and accepting these digital approaches, the result will be a higher sense of customer loyalty while simultaneously streamlining the communities ability to meet the needs of their residents.
Benefits of Virtual Leasing
Studies suggest that over 50% of new leases signed in 2020 were done completely virtually, giving companies the ability to understand more clearly some of the benefits to digital processes. These processes not only impact long-term tenant relations, but they improve leasing operations as well.
- Quicker Rental Processes
A number of programs have become standardized throughout the industry, eliminating the time-consuming process of emailing, printing, signing, scanning, emailing back, etc. Having the ability to create, send, receive, and save documents will help to save your precious time, allowing you to focus on more pressing tasks.
- Streamlined Marketing
Between 3D Virtual Tours and interactive site maps, prospects are learning more quickly if an apartment community is the right fit for them. Combine that with auto-generated email marketing software, and you have the ability to instantly send your available rentals out to potential residents with ease. This has not only proven to be successful on the leasing side, but surveys suggest that tenants prefer these methods over previous marketing and in-person methods.
- Automated Organization
Online services, such as automated assistance, have helped leasing professionals streamline their internal processes as well. From having the ability to automatically schedule showings, answer common inquiries, prequalify applicants, and collect and organize information, automating your leasing processes ensures you don’t miss a beat.
- Reflecting Professional Appearances
In the multifamily industry, first impressions are everything. You are not just selling an apartment home after all, but a community. Online processes and experiences provide your residents with safe interactions, professional communications, and easy-to-use portals for not only their leasing process, but their living experience as a whole.
- Good for the Environment
The pandemic demonstrated to us how even the smallest changes can have big environmental impacts. “Going green” with your leasing and continued management processes will not only shine a positive light on your brand, showing a “we care” attitude, but can also save you a lot of money in the long run. The reduction of paper, stamps, ink, and envelopes may seem like a small cut in comparison but businesses who have made the switch have found that it greatly reduces their long-term operation costs overall.
The “New Normal” doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems. Leasing professionals across the country have adapted, proving that not all changes resulting from 2020 are bad. Utilizing and incorporating digital processes in your day-to-day can help save time, increase revenue, and create a more cohesive relationship between your residents and staff alike, leading the way to the better future we are all looking towards. Hire Priority is here to help you on this journey. As one of Texas’s leading multifamily staffing agencies, we pride ourselves in keeping up with current multifamily trends, allowing us to effectively match the right candidates with the right positions. Please visit our website to learn how we can assist you along the next stage of your journey.