Understanding Property Management Automation Systems
These days, the property management leasing process can be quite sophisticated, with the seemingly endless influx of technology and automation partners available. You may not have taken a step toward automating your leasing process for a number of reasons. For some, the thought of rolling out new technology is daunting. “Like, how do I do that?” For others, it is cost-related or you may have a team that says, “We just like doing things the way we’ve always done them”.
As a technology-minded marketer, I constantly imagine that there must be a technological solution that solves a particular issue. It's that very thought that has generated such an explosion of opportunities in this space of property management automation. Below I breakdown what automating parts of your leasing process can involve, and I hope to help ease any concerns you may have about implementing automation into your property management workflow.
Automating The Leasing Process
Awareness - Top of the Leasing Funnel
First and foremost, property marketers and leasing professionals need to generate awareness and interest in their properties, and how they are differentiated from their competitors. Depending on your location and property, you might need to attract prospects from afar. Before you can get a prospect to consider your property, they must become aware that it even exists in the first place.
Love it or hate it, multifamily listing services have cornered the market on online search. While it may pain you to pay for these services, there are automations that can make these listings super powerful. Start by connecting them to your favorite leasing CRM. A good leasing CRM will automate or syndicate the distribution of your key information and easily manage property listing details, simplifying your workload. They will also automate the distribution of your pricing and availability, so prospects have real-time information. And the retrieval of your leads from these listings makes it super easy to work all your prospects into one application.
Once you have automated awareness, it is time to automate the consideration phase with a well-designed property website and consumer touch points.
A well-designed property website will position the key differentiators that you offer. Prospects will get a clear picture of your location, amenities, your available units, and pricing. But where does automation come into play? The answer is: SO many ways. Where do I start?
Begin by ensuring you have automation between your website and your property management software. At its core, this will allow your considering prospects to have a real-time view of available units and pricing. Adding a slick visualization and mapping tool (e.g. Engrain) will allow visitors to see the location of available units on your property map, enabling them to choose a desirable location near the pool and away from urban traffic, for example.
Virtual leasing assistants, like Quext Digital Human, automate the conversation by allowing a prospect to have a conversation with an AI personality. This human-like personality knows your property like the back of its digital hand. The virtual agent is programmed with a conversational engine and artificial intelligence that works on your behalf. A virtual assistant will take care of these predictable conversations and schedule tours based on the availability of your agents, allowing your team the time to be unpredictably awesome at serving your customers.
Furthermore, your leasing CRM will allow you to automate messaging like text and drip email campaigns that constantly nurture these leads after hours or when your team is just too busy.
This leads to the final step, conversion.
Every good salesman masters the art of the close, and automation can help you get there as well. There are a number of solutions that allow your prospects to tour your property and available units at any time of day, in person or virtually. And, both are important.
Last, and certainly not least, is the holy grail… full end-to-end lead-to-lease automation. There are a number of pieces to this puzzle that are automated. You can certainly offer digital signing of applications and leases, send prospects for automated screenings or background checks, and assign credentials for WiFi passwords and smart locks.
Automation systems is absolutely headed towards streamlining the entire leasing process, and they only get better every day. Your technology partners should make implementation easy, and the cost/value equation should be there before you make a decision. When you look at the opportunity that property management automation presents, it is not difficult to see the value. Rather than just labor savings, we have a real opportunity to be much more efficient and allow leasing teams to be unpredictable and extraordinary to our prospects and existing customers.