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DS News December 2022

DSNews delivers stories, ideas, links, companies, people, events, and videos impacting the mortgage default servicing industry.

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Page 53 of 99

52 Feature By: Rachel Richardson a virtual video of the apartment they will be touring or a link to the website for further details ties back to the whole experience and keeps them engaged. Renters are also often under time constraints. Make responding easy with two-way email or text communications, simple rescheduling options, and clear directions for onsite tours. ANTICIPATE COMMON RENTER QUESTIONS AND NEEDS Exceptional digital experiences answer common questions that shoppers are trying to solve for. Your property can answer frequently asked questions from your renters in a variety of engaging ways—from property photos and maps to reviews. Here are a few ways to develop digital experiences with common questions in mind: "What's the neighborhood like?" Renters can quickly get a feel for your community if you have "places nearby" enabled on your listings. Photos and videos of events, partnerships with local vendors, and welcome kits with local recommendations also showcase your property location in a fun and experiential way. "Can I trust that it will be this good once I start living there?" Ratings, reviews, and social media are powerful word-of-mouth indicators of what it's like for residents of the community. Ensuring that they are available, recent, and responded to will help you build trust early and get ahead of renters' remorse down the line. "Is this property pet friendly?" Clear pet policies in listings and the website, fun photos of community pets, and other examples of your community (dog park photos, pet washing stations, etc.) are all ways to effortlessly address this. "What shape is the apartment in?" e key question most properties answer can inspire a variety of digital content. ink about how your 3D tours, videos, photos, floor plans, and other visual guides reflect the on-site experience. WORK WITH NEW BROWSING BEHAVIORS WITHOUT WORKING AGAINST YOUR BUSY SCHEDULE Touring schedules have changed post- pandemic. e rise in remote work has prompted many renters to research apartments on their own time—during what used to be off-hours. In a panel at the 2022 Apartmentize conference entitled "What Do Post-Pandemic Renters Need? Data & Industry Expert Perspectives," speakers shared how this has impacted leasing schedules. In the past, days surrounding the weekend—Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays—used to be the most popular times to tour. However, Tuesdays have recently become a popular tour day as workers make time to quickly explore a new property. e digital evolution of leasing has also made late-night browsing easier. Instead of overextending leasing teams, properties use automated communication channels and support to fill in outside of office hours. To provide a high-quality renter experience, also ensure outside support teams understand your team's priorities and can interact with renters as an extension of your team. Virtual leasing solutions, text and email communication, web chat, and other digital messaging services can fulfill this need. Important to look for here are services that integrate with your PMS (property management system) or other platforms and FHA-compliant vendors. CAN YOUR LEASING PROCESS PASS THE ULTIMATE TEST? e best way to fully understand the renter journey is by taking it. Test out the leasing process for yourself and with your team. Fill out a lead form on your listings and property website to see firsthand what automated communications you receive. Test out booking, rescheduling, and canceling a tour to see how simple or difficult moving through each process is. Write down any questions that come up ("Where could I call the leasing team from this page?"), natural responses you had ("I want to see more but am not sure where to find the website"), and wish-list items for where you want to see improvement. en, use your findings to make tweaks to the current process. e renter experience is constantly evolving. With simplicity in mind, you can make adjustments or shift strategies according to a time that works for your team, your budget, and your current processes. Rachel Richardson is a Content Manager for Rent. a rental marketplace. The best way to fully understand the renter journey is by taking it. Test out the leasing process for yourself and with your team.

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