This year we’ve seen some softening of the rental market in a few select areas around the U.S. While we don’t see a crushing downward spiral in the near future, there are some signals that property managers should be looking for more effective ways to capture attention and secure leases to offset the trend.

As more Millennials become homeowners, the market will tighten. The current rental growth rate is the lowest it has been in 8 years – just 4 percent. As you look for ways to increase community awareness, consider these three tips to make 2018 a smooth leasing season.

1. Maximize Ad Spend to Generate Interest

There is a trend among property management companies to allocate more of the budget to digital ad campaigns. How can you make sure your digital marketing pays off with higher occupancy rates?

  • Educate your team about the importance of building a strong social media reputation.
  • Make sure all web content is optimized for mobile and follows SEO standards to attract those Google bots that put you at the top of the search page.
  • Explore 3D tech and virtual reality marketing solutions to elevate the customer experience.

2. Put out the Welcome Mat: 24/7 Engagement

Current studies show that 75 percent of smartphone users connect with their communities via mobile devices. How do you make sure digital users feel welcomed and understood?

  • Make sure your amenities respect their desire for connectedness. Consider upgrading to keyless locks and voice-operated technology that allows them to control their comfort zones.
  • Streamline maintenance protocol to ensure the fastest service possible by using voice-activated service requests, online portals, and text updates.
  • Redesign your renewal process with a focus on instant access. Make it rewarding and simple for tenants to renew their lease online, whenever and wherever they choose.

Did you know that student tenants expect a response to any inquiry within 2 hours?

Whether it’s a potential client looking for information about floor plans or a current tenant ready to talk about re-signing the lease, make sure you respond as quickly as possible. Happy customers are more likely to stay in any business relationship than customers who feel ignored.

3. Automate Everything

OK, that might be a slight exaggeration. Naturally, you want to build personal relationships with your customers. However, while four out of five business owners think they are delivering high-quality customer service, less than one in ten consumers feel like businesses deliver a superior customer service experience. It’s time to streamline your property management operation so you can focus on service. Automation and an ideal property management software solution will help you optimize your organization. Here’s how you benefit:

  • Streamlined daily routines free up your staff for more important tasks
  • Modern communication provides a digital record of conversations and reduces telephone time
  • Mobile optimization provides an instant access platform to connect with all stakeholders
  • Digital marketing gets your vacancy listing in front of apartment home seekers faster than traditional media channels

As a property manager, you probably worry about the bottom line. Implementing these tips to enhance customer-centricity improves revenue potential. Now, that’s something to smile about.

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