Single-family property managers have seen a drastic shift in the industry in the past few years with consumer habits favoring convenience, digitization, and AI-powered technologies. However, property managers’ goals have remained fairly unchanged with portfolio growth ranking as the #1 priority for the sixth year in a row, according to Buildium’s 2024 Property Management Industry Report.
Let’s take a look at how property management companies can lease their properties quicker and more efficiently this year while lowering their vacancy rate and freeing up more time to grow their portfolios!
1. Automate lead response and follow-up
With the recent influx of new property management automation software, prospective tenants have little patience for waiting even a few hours to hear back after their initial inquiry. Adding an AI-powered leasing assistant to your listings page allows leads to get their questions answered, complete pre-screening questionnaires, and schedule tours within minutes without ever leaving your website.
BONUS: When peak leasing season arrives, you won’t have to worry about answering “Is this unit still available?” 20+ times per day, leaving you free to focus on more important tasks. Tori, the first fully customizable AI leasing assistant for single-family property managers, handles 100% of lead communication, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, providing your prospective renters with a personalized, thoughtful customer experience via phone, SMS, or chat. Tori can even suggest properties from your portfolio based on each lead’s unique preferences, budgets, and move-in dates.
2. Include high-quality, updated listing photos
According to the NAR 2023 Profile of Home Staging, more than 75% of home buyers rated photos as the most important element in listings. While we’re focused on the rental market, high-quality, updated pictures of your properties are sure to boost your conversion rate.
If it’s time to update your listing photos, try to schedule this task in the early morning or late afternoon during the golden hours, when the warm natural lighting will provide a welcoming feel. If you’re using your smartphone camera, utilize the wide-angle lens setting to capture more of each room as seen below.
Consider adding a watermark of your company’s website to each of your pictures in Canva. This decreases the chance of your property’s photos ending up in fraudulent listings on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
If you’d rather hire a professional, consider utilizing the Showdigs Agent Network! Order marketing photos with one click, and get 20 enhanced, professional listing photos delivered straight to your inbox within 48 hours.
3. Encourage tenant referrals during the slow months
Property managers are experiencing challenges when it comes to attracting and retaining high-quality renters. As rent prices increase and the pool of qualified renters consequently decreases, consider offering referral incentives to your existing tenants.
While these programs are typically more common in the multi-family space, sourcing leads from your current renters can help you attract higher-quality renters while building personal connections with existing tenants.
4. Combat rental scams before they happen
Rental scams are on the rise, with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reporting $400 million in losses in 2022. It’s becoming harder and harder for property managers to prevent rental scams as scammers are finding new, savvy ways to prey on renters. Consider putting your preventative measures in place during the slow months so you’re prepared when peak leasing season hits and the likelihood of scams and squatters increases.
As we mentioned earlier, watermarking your listing photos is a great way to discourage scammers from using them in fake listings. Consider scheduling time each day to check popular online marketplace sites like Craigslist and Facebook to ensure that your properties aren’t listed, or use Showdigs’ Listing Shield™, which crawls these websites once per hour to detect and remove fraudulent listings. Finally, if your business utilizes self-guided tours, make sure to check in on your vacant property frequently to ensure it remains free of squatters.
We’re sure that 2024 will be a year of growth for your property management business!
Showdigs offers the first AI-backed leasing automation platform for your entire rental funnel. We’re reimagining the leasing experience for single-family property managers through our all-in-one software and on-demand agent services like showings, condition reports, marketing photos, and more.