February 10 2019

A multifamily CRM is essential to increase margins even during times of declining rental demand 

Multifamily property management companies face a complex and competitive environment with declining demand for apartments resulting in a decrease in leads, which are causing properties to lease slower. It’s vital that leasing teams effectively nurture every lead and help each prospective renter find their next home. 

In this context, a robust and well-implemented customer relationship management (CRM) system can make all the difference, streamlining operations, amplifying onsite teams’ productivity, improving renter satisfaction, and boosting the operator’s bottom line.

What is a multifamily CRM? 

A multifamily CRM is a marketing, leasing, and communications platform that stores all communication and interactions with prospective renters and current residents in one place. This makes the CRM the source of truth for all communication, and leasing needs. By leveraging the power of a multifamily CRM, companies automate administrative tasks, automate marketing messages, and provide the data clarity needed to make smart decisions. As a whole, with a multifamily-specific CRM, renters, residents, onsite teams, and property management companies have a better experience and better results. 

What a renter-centric multifamily CRM is, (and what it isn’t)…

A renter-centric CRM, like Funnel, is a CRM that is architected around the individual renter as the source of truth, meaning there is a single guest card, or data record, for each renter (no matter how many communities they’ve inquired at). 

In contrast, a property-centric CRM is a status-quo solution in which data duplication is inevitable, as there is one guest card, or data record, of the renter at each property they inquired. 

This data record/guest card duplication, fragments data for property management companies, and hinders the leasing team’s ability to cater to each renter as an individual. Because each renter’s preference is fractured across multiple properties, there is no way for the leasing team to seamlessly pick up a conversation where it left off. There is also no way for property management companies to garner and leverage data insights without massive data clean-up to de-duplicate records… lose-lose. 

Five key benefits of using a renter-centric multifamily CRM in your property management company:

#1. Improved data management

One of the biggest challenges in property management is managing the vast amount of data that comes from the renter, apartment community, and property portfolio. A renter-centric multifamily CRM creates one record or guest card of the renter. This data architecture provides centralized information transparency and access. Property management companies can download reports, and metrics, to assess processes, leasing velocity, and operational changes. Onsite leasing teams and AI solutions can also access this information to cater to renters as individuals answering their questions and providing them with timely information. 

#2. Streamlined communication

Finding their next home is a particularly emotionally and financially weighty decision. That’s why effective, clear, and timely, communication is a must-have for property management companies. The challenge is that the quantity of communication needed from onsite leasing teams is high. With a renter-centric approach, AI solutions as well as centralized team members, can step in and take many of the administrative tasks and route questions off-site freeing onsite team members to focus on building trusted relationships with prospects and residents. 

A CRM can automate routine communication tasks such as answering frequently asked questions, marketing automation drip campaigns, resident communications, and emergency alerts. This improves response times, creates a consistent experience, and improves accuracy. 

#3. Increased efficiency and productivity

Onsite leasing teams are overwhelmed and need solutions to take some of the manual task heavy lifting off their plates. A multifamily CRM can help property management companies increase efficiency and productivity by automating routine tasks that a leasing team would need to input, reducing manual data entry and renter preferences, and improving communication across teams. 

When there is a single record of all prospective renter communications, any team member can pick up the conversation where the AI solution left off and help that renter find their next home. 

#4. Enhanced renter satisfaction + loyalty

Providing an excellent renter experience requires consistency at scale. In the multifamily industry this is difficult due to the nature of dispersed teams, unique communities, and the difficulty training this kind of consistency, combined with the staffing challenges that continue to plague onsite leasing positions. 

A multifamily CRM can be part of your plan to achieve an excellent renter experience. AI solutions layered onto a center-centric CRM take care of answering frequently asked questions, and then hand off the conversation to leasing team members when the time is right. This gives onsite leasing teams their time back to focus on high-impact interactions like tours, or answering nuanced questions. The single record of all communication helps keep all team members AI, or human, on the same page of a customer’s journey, ensuring that a renter’s experience is consistently excellent from inquiry through renewals. 

A measurement that is important in SaaS software is the lifetime customer value, which is a metric that is, unfortunately, impossible for property management companies to track UNLESS they have a renter-centric CRM. Because, unless there is one record of the renter, it’s impossible for property management companies to understand how long a renter has lived in their communities, and reward their loyalty. However, with one record of the renter, i.e. a renter-centric system, property management companies can take a play out of the hospitality game plan, and reward long-time renters for their loyalty. 

#5. Lead tracking and conversion

Demand for multifamily apartments was decreasing as are the number of leads inquiring about communities. This is causing properties to lease-up more slowly and eats into margins. In today’s climate, it’s essential to have a system in place for tracking leads, capturing renter preferences, recording communication for transparency across the team, and converting prospects into residents. 

A multifamily CRM makes this process easier helping onsite teams to nurture leads and turn them into leases. Then, because all of the data is stored in one place, without any duplicative records as discussed in a property-centric CRM, it gives the companies insight into patterns of what actions lead to leasing success. They can identify specific messages, tactics, and marketing campaigns, that influence conversation rates. By using a renter-centric multifamily CRM, you can identify what is most effective and make data-driven decisions that drive results.

Multifamily CRM to help you win

A centralized platform for data management, communication, lead tracking, and renter satisfaction, you can streamline operations, improve results, and provide a better experience for everyone involved. Happier teams, happier renters, win-win. 

Learn more about how a renter-centric multifamily CRM can help you adopt multifamily’s future operating model.