Is Your Virtual Leasing Experience Converting to Sales?
In the past year, the willingness of customers to lease without an in-person tour has nearly doubled, increasing from 16% last year to 30% as of April 2020 (Kingsley Survey April 2020). While that’s great news for our industry and current situation, the same individuals noted that 48% of the time, their virtual lease experience didn’t give them sufficient information to make a decision. Without being able to go onsite, it’s up to leasing professionals to do a stand-out job of making the customer comfortable leasing sight-unseen.
Because it gives you the ability to show prospects what they want to see faster, virtual leasing has the potential to significantly increase lead-to-lease conversion rates. But for virtual leasing to convert, you have to ensure that every step of the process builds the trust, rapport, and confidence customers need to make a final decision. Here are a few of the most common reasons your virtual leasing might not be converting.
Leasing Agents Aren’t Using Video to Converse with Buyers
Having a strong connection with your buyers makes them more comfortable sharing their objections, giving feedback, and just being real. Showing genuine interest, a friendly smile, reading the customer, and finding a connection are important components of developing rapport that can be difficult to achieve over email or phone alone. Video allows smiles to be shared, body language to be read, and connections to be made. Building this trust and having this connection increases buyers’ comfort level in making a decision with you.
Virtual tours are NOT the same thing as virtual leasing.
Virtual Tours Are Self-Guided
The Internet is flooded with images and digital content. Even before this pandemic, 95% of customers started their apartment search online–looking at pictures, checking out 3D tours, and viewing videos. How can you be memorable in this space if you’re simply sending the customer a link to a self-guided video tour? A live leasing presentation is what makes the difference between a generic experience and a personalized one. Selling the features based on a particular buyer’s custom preferences makes the experience memorable.
Leasing Presentations Aren’t Collaborative
The ability to get buy-in and commitment from a prospective resident can be one of the most challenging parts of virtual leasing. It is up to the leasing professional to ensure the customer has the information and experience they need to feel confident in their decision without seeing the apartment in person. This is done through meaningful collaboration with the customer, engaging in conversation, asking purposeful questions with immediate, helpful responses that match their needs with the features of the community. It’s this investment in the customer that demonstrates the leasing professional’s genuine interest and achieves a higher level of customer service.
Optimize Your Virtual Leasing
If your goal is to maintain a high standard for customer experience, then it is important to know what is or isn’t happening in your customers’ virtual leasing experiences. Unfamiliar practices, new technology, stressful circumstances, and lack of training can all lead to missed opportunities and lost sales. Download our virtual leasing guide to find out how you can overcome those challenges and increase your sales.