As a property manager, your success depends on your ability to attract and retain high-quality renters for your clients. The best way to stay ahead of your competition is by altering and optimizing your leasing funnel to change with the times. However, this can be a complex and overwhelming process.
We’re breaking down the property management leasing funnel — detailing the newest generation of tenants, steps you can take to market to young renters, and more!
What is a Leasing Funnel?
A leasing (or marketing) funnel is a consumer-focused model that shows your lead’s journey from awareness to advocacy.
It’s imperative to optimize your leasing funnel so that you can capture as many leads as possible at the top of the funnel and make sure that you prevent as many leaks (a prospective tenant ending their journey before making it to the conversion stage) as you can.
Here’s an example of the leasing funnel for rental listings:
Before we get into funnel optimization, let’s talk about who the biggest groups of renters are right now.
The Age of On-Demand: Renters Under 35
According to Pew Research Center, over one-third of all renters are 35 years or younger. Similarly, an adult under age 35 heads one in every three renter households, but only one in ten homeowner households.
Here’s what you can expect from the newest generation of renters:
- 40% of Gen Zers say they’re more likely to use social media platforms like Instagram or TikTok over traditional search engines like Google or Bing
- More than any generation, 62% of Gen Z renters say that high-speed internet is extremely or very important factor when it comes to choosing where to lease
- 30% of Gen Z renters say that high ratings and positive reviews are the top decision factor when choosing which properties to tour, closely followed (24%) by virtual tours and videos
This generation is also projected to spend the most on rent in their lifetime. According to a 2019 analysis from HotPads, Generation Z is estimated to spend over $226,000 on inflation-adjusted rent in their lifetime — about $24,000 more than millennials and $77,000 more than baby boomers. Thus, adjusting your marketing efforts to cater to the newest influx of tenants is crucial to your business’ success.
Keep in mind: this demographic has grown up with a smartphone in their hands. They’ve become accustomed to convenience, instant gratification, text messages instead of phone calls, and an on-demand lifestyle (think Uber, Doordash, and Amazon Prime).
So how does this connect to marketing your listing? If you can change how you market and communicate so that you can match their expectations of instant gratification and convenience, you’ll stand out and be much more likely to fill your vacancy.
Matching the expectations of younger renters:
- List your vacancies on platforms that have apps (Zillow Rentals, Apartments.com, Zumper, Facebook Marketplace) so you can be where your target audience is — in the palm of their hand.
- Optimize your listing with high-quality images, 3D/video tours, transparent pricing, and explicit instructions for how the prospect should proceed through the process.
- Respond to inquiries as quickly as possible. According to a study from Harvard Business Review, businesses that responded within an hour of receiving an inquiry were seven times as likely to qualify the lead as those that waited longer than an hour, and 60 times as likely as businesses that waited 24 hours or longer.
- Offer convenience through self-showings, virtual, or on-demand agent-led tours.
How to Optimize Each Stage of the Leasing Funnel
The awareness stage begins when a prospective tenant lands on your listing page. Like we mentioned, make sure your listing is complete with high-quality photos and clear instructions on how to inquire. Anticipate any questions and make sure to describe the unique features of the property in the description.
While leads will typically start their journey on your listing page through a third-party platform, ensure that your website, Google Business Profile, and any social media pages are updated. If you’re interested in improving your SEO, check out these tips and tricks for real estate professionals!
When a lead schedules a tour of the property, they begin the consideration stage. As you probably know, getting the lead to show up for the tour is an entirely different battle.
If the showing is scheduled for more than 2 days in advance, make sure to check that the chosen time still works for them with a quick text or email. If you’re a Showdigs user, we’ve got this taken care of — we ask the prospect to confirm the tour at 7PM the night before as well as 2 hours before the tour.
During the showing, make a mental note of the lead’s likes/dislikes about the property. If it’s not the right fit, you’ll already know what they’re looking for and you’ll be able to suggest alternative properties.
After the showing comes the conversion stage. Make sure to follow up with the lead and ensure you’ve addressed all of their questions and concerns! Send a direct link to apply immediately after the tour to help boost conversion — if you use Showdigs, the prospective renter will automatically receive a link to apply via text and email after the showing while they’re still at the property.
If you haven’t heard from the lead a few days after the showing, reach out to see if you can help them along.
The advocacy stage, also known as the loyalty stage, can take many different forms in the property management industry — 5-star reviews, referrals to friends and family, and repeat renting. Client satisfaction and retention is extremely important, especially since 85% of renters say they heavily consider online ratings and reviews when searching for a property to lease.
The goal of advocacy begins in the awareness stage. By offering the best customer service possible, tenants will likely remain in their current property, or move to another one of your properties due to the pleasant experience associated with your business.
Help your leasing funnel with Showdigs
If you’re looking to offer your leads the most convenience and the highest-quality customer service possible, chat with a member of our team! Showdigs offers several types of showing options so you can choose the option that’s right for your prospective renters and your business.