5 Unique ways to follow up on a prospect
There is no doubt that internet has drastically altered the buying patterns of today’s renter. One such change is an extension of the “search time” or the period of time from when a prospect starts looking for an apartment to the time that they actually put down money and apply. A decade ago, the buying process began with a call or visit to the property, followed by a tour. Today, potential renters are using a larger number of tools to assist them in their decision. This includes visiting the property website, ILS’s, Facebook page, review sites, calling the property and multiple property tours.
As this search time as increased, so has the importance of follow-up. Today’s renter is looking for a community that caters to the resident and provides a sense of community. This extended search time provides our Leasing Specialists with even more opportunity to establish a relationship with potential residents before they make their decision. With LRO and other rent optimization software now populating the market, more properties within a given submarket have the same relative value per unit. This means that even more emphasis should be put on building rapport with your prospects, because if everything else is equal, they will rent from the person they like.
Here are a few follow up tools that your property should consider implementing.
- Re-targeting campaigns. A re-targeting campaign is code that you put onto your website that will drop a cookie on the browser of any visitors to the site. Then the prospect can be re-targeted via banner ads on different web-sites they visit. These ads will follow visitors to your site for 30-60 days. If you have ever been to an ILS and then seen ads for properties you visited on non-industry related sites like espn.com or Hotmail, you are getting re-targeted. These campaigns are very efficient because they work on a pay per click basis. Given that most people will visit your property website long before they decide to move, this can be an extremely effective follow-up tool.
- Visit your prospects at work. You should always discover where your prospects are employed, and if that office is nearby, you can visit your prospects at lunch with a free pizza and some resident referral flyers. Your prospect will be very stunned and appreciative of the lunch and it will make a splash with their co-workers (other potential residents!)
- Provide testimonials. Resident Testimonials are the most trusted marketing you can provide for your property. If you have good testimonials online, provide a link so a prospect can view them. You can also compile your testimonials into a PDF or attachment and email them to the prospect. If you can make a video compilation of resident testimonials, the click through rate for video links within emails is off the charts. It’s always a good move to include a video.
- Utilize Facebook. Incentivize the prospect to “like” the property Facebook page during the tour or before coming in. If you can generate some “reach” on your Facebook posts then it is very likely that updates to the page will be seen on your fans newsfeeds. This can act as a very effective method for follow-up. But this can only be done by posting content that generates interaction from your fans so make sure utilize your Facebook best practices.
- Text your prospects. During the tour or on the phone, ask if you can text them to stay in touch. Many young renters prefer this method of interaction and a quick text message can be a great way to follow-up with your prospects. If you notice that your follow-up calls are not getting answered, this may be a preferable mode of follow-up.