One Tool In An Apartment Online Lead Generating Plan

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John Triplett's picture
uploading apartment video tours can be a key part of your marketing

Making it easier for tenants to find an apartment, and for property managers to show apartments, is key these days for many in rental housing.

The technology is rapidly changing but there is one tool that has been around for a few years that still works and is worth considering.

 

By John Triplett

Rental Housing Journal

When my friend was looking for an apartment in a metro area in the Midwest, she spent two days driving around with an apartment locating service person.

Even though she had identified a general part of town where she wanted to locate, there was still a lot of time spent driving, looking at units that did not fit the requirements and spending long frustrating days.

What is the solution to all the driving around and looking with apartment locating services or even your own sales people doing this?

Our friend Jake Meador at Renting media tells an interesting story about how an apartment company with 2,000 units spread around a city in the Midwest solved the problem my friend had run into.

He tells the story of a property management company called Century Sales & Management that managed 2,000 units in a metro area that included both large apartment communities and single-family homes.

“The bulk of Century's rentals were scattered across the city, and one of their biggest problems was that their leasing agents were spending altogether too much time and mileage driving all over town to show the different units,” Meador writes in his blog. “Century, therefore, had enormous costs to turning units because they would have a lot of leads to sift through and then their leasing agents had to give lots of tours to bad leads.  And they had extra costs associated with their leasing staff due to all that drive time.”

Meador’s company came up with an idea to help solve this problem. They created floorplan-specific walkthrough apartment video tours.

Apartment video tours

“Century began to film walkthrough video tours of every floorplan they managed, and they uploaded those videos onto their website,” Meador writes. “With these videos, apartment shoppers began to do most of their browsing, research, and comparison with the help of the video tours on Century's website. Prospective residents no longer needed to make personal trips to each unit they were interested in as they tried to find a new home.”

Apartment video tours can be key to your online marketing

Young woman looking at video. ©Dolgachov via Canva

The upside of this naturally was that the leasing agent did not have to make as many trips to the units to give tours that did not result in a signed lease. “And when leasing agents don't have to give those extra, pointless tours, the management company saves money,” Meador writes.

While this example is from a few years ago, the company did rent two-thirds more apartments year over year using the same amount of staff time.

While video tours can be an important part of generating more qualified leads, they are only one tool available in the online marketing kit for rental housing but one worth considering.

Technology is rapidly changing the world of rental housing and, “You really don’t have to look back more than five years and the only real option for renters searching for an apartment was Craigslist,”  Matt Reilly, Director of Growth at RadPad ,said in a recent article in Techcrunch. “However, the Craigslist experience just doesn’t cut it with today’s digital-savvy renter. More than 90 percent of people looking for their next living situation are searching online first and more than 60 percent are looking on mobile.”

Techcrunch goes on to say that as more user-friendly startups begin to steal market share from Craigslist, the value of disruptive innovation that reduces rental-market opacity has become ever clearer. That speaks to the expectations that renters, agents and landlords now have around enabling the rental process, primarily offline in years past, with new technologies.

‘Even more incremental changes, from video walk-throughs to new ways of slicing community rental data, have begun to play significant roles as startups cram into the real estate market, hoping for even a small slice of a huge pie,” according to the article.

Resources:

Rentping Media

Technology is finally changing the apartment rental experience

Apartment training tips

Zillow offers feature for video walkthroughs

Using technology to generate traffic

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