According to Bloomberg News, U.S. Apartment Vacancies are on the rise for the first time since 2009, a sign that supply has caught up to rental demand after and leveled off after a boom in multifamily construction. This means competition has become fierce among apartment communities in attracting future residents.
Communities spend thousands of dollars each month to generate traffic to the community, and while initial research may begin online, more often than not that traffic takes the form of telephone calls. Many communities wouldn’t think of making visitor’s park three blocks away, then greeting them with locked doors and cold, standoffish leasing professionals, so why treat them poorly when they’re waiting on hold? Remember, the telephone is also a window through which people view your community and on hold messaging creates a positive first impression.
Putting future residents on hold is part of daily business. Studies have shown that nationally, seven out of 10 business callers are put on hold. It can be aggravating and create conflict between you and the caller – OR — it can be an informative and helpful experience. On hold marketing at your apartment community is the only solution to make the most of each inquiry, and stand out from the competition.
Here’s 5 ways message on hold can help win them over:
You want to be perceived as a community that cares about its residents, and including information about your community activities is a great way to sway prospective tenants. Inform callers about your community’s monthly events such as meet-and-greets around a pool or the community center, free exercise sessions or other activities. If you publish an online calendar of community events, then invite potential residents to check your activities calendar.
Your on hold marketing should also focus on your services. In regions with fierce rental competition, include information on your messaging about important services not available from other apartment communities, such as free tax prep at the beginning of the year, dry cleaning pick up or grocery delivery. If security is a problem in your area, talk about door keypads at the community entrance or onsite security patrols.
Everyone is looking to get the most bang for their buck, and your future residents are no different. If you offer outstanding amenities not available at other communities, then include that information in your message on hold such as an olympic-sized swimming pool, spa, clubhouse, tennis courts, basketball court and on-site gym.
4. Special Offers
Financial incentives can often make the difference with a potential renter who is undecided. An on hold message mentioning financial incentives can help entice future residents to sign a lease. For example, let prospects know that for a “limited time”, you’re offering a free month’s rent, discounted security deposit or apartment upgrades. Some communities conduct contests, to generate leads, and this should also be mentioned in your hold message such as “enter our contest and win a free apartment for a year.
Capitalize on the relationships that have already been established with your current renters. By asking those who currently reside in the community to spread the word regarding available units, a property owner has the advantage of reaching an untapped market. In addition, these prospective renters will potentially have an established relationship with the current tenant, leading to the creation of a more pleasant and familial living environment. Offering incentives to residents, such as discounted rents or merchandise giveaways, can be an affordable incentive to encourage them to spread the word.
While an initial search for apartment communities may begin online by prospective tenants, it’s the telephone that is the next step in their hunt to find a place they call home. A successful apartment community understands the power of the telephone, and adding on hold marketing will help get the caller interested.
Apartment communities spend substantial money to make their leasing centers warm and friendly to deliver positive first impressions, but are you falling short when it comes to first impression via the telephone?