Following a Prospect's Journey

Posted By: Jon Lowder Blog,

The Nov/Dec 2020 issue of Units Magazine has a good article about how prospects search for apartment communities. Some of the highlights:

As technology evolves and more ways to communicate emerge, the renter’s journey becomes increasingly complex. In research curated by RentPath, apartment searchers often evaluate a community using multiple sources of information. About 84 percent of prospective renters start with a broad search on a search engine, 70 percent then land on an ILS, and the average apartment searcher uses four ILSs while searching for their next apartment home. Then, they often go back through different channels even after the tour is scheduled, either to show their friends the community, do additional research or ask follow-up questions.

“While attitudes may vary based on renter persona, the search process really doesn’t,” said Jennifer Anderson, Director of B2B Marketing for RentPath. “It’s a full omnichannel experience. They’re using all of these different channels to search for your community. We need to start measuring our performance based on that.”...

“You have to make sure you have different information everywhere they go,” said Holli Beckman, Vice President of Marketing and Leasing Operations for WC Smith. “People expect much more from a property website than they expect from the ILS. How many times do you look at the property website and it has a gallery just like the ILS? They can get all that from the ILS. They want to know more.”

That means prospects will check your ratings and reviews and social media sites to see what residents think about the living experience.

If you don’t have a four-star rating or better, you’re in trouble...

If they find your ratings are strong and your social media accounts tell a compelling story, they just might call your community. Unfortunately, they might not get an answer. According to the RentPath study, more than 40 percent of calls go unanswered and 75 percent of renters report that a community never got back to them after they left a message. Fifty percent of them just moved on to the next option on their list.