This post was originally written by Omer Navaid, Online Marketing Specialist at Apartments.com
Do you know where your residents are coming from? Knowing the source of your leads – especially the ones that convert to leases – is critical in terms of determining where to spend your advertising dollars. Here are five friendly suggestions on how to keep track of your various lead sources:
1) Just ask – It may seem obvious, but providing a quick and simple survey as part of your leasing process will go a long way in determining where your residents are coming from. Keep your survey short, but specific. For example, knowing that someone found your property online isn’t quite as helpful as knowing if they found you on and ILS like Apartments.com or Craigslist. Keep in mind after visiting several apartment search websites, your residents could be confused about which ones they used. Try giving them a visual representation of websites that you advertise on to help jog their memory.
2) Stay organized – If you use multiple Internet Listing Services, be sure you are keeping track of how many leads you receive from each one. Note the date, prospect’s name, lead source and if you have followed up. This will make it easy to cross reference information to make sure it’s accurate.
3) Be thorough – Prospective renters may tell you that they found your property by just driving by, but, these days, there’s a good chance that they also researched your property online. Whether it’s a TV, a car or a new apartment, many purchases that happen away from the computer are a direct result of thorough research on multiple websites. Ask your prospects if, besides driving by, they also conducted online research to find your property. Then cross check their name on your list of leads from ILSs. This should help paint a more accurate picture of how they came across your listing.
4) Incentivize – If prospects are reluctant to take your survey or otherwise provide information as to how they found your property, try giving them an incentive. It could be a gift card to the most popular neighborhood coffee shop or an entry into a gas card drawing. Get creative with your giveaway and don’t miss out on this valuable information from prospects.
5) Keep in touch – If one of your residents decides not to renew their lease, ask them where they’re moving, as well as how they found their new place. This can be a great way to find out how your competitors are bringing in residents. If there’s one source that keeps coming up, it can be a good indicator of what’s working for other properties and bring to your attention any missed opportunities.
Once you have all of this information, be sure to bring it to the table when discussing your advertising budget. And remember, it’s not just about quantity, it’s also about quality. A few highly qualified leads from one source may be much more valuable than a plethora of leads from another. Keeping all of this in mind could make all the difference in making sure you’re getting the most bang for your advertising buck.
Have you found a good way to keep track of your leads? We’d love to hear your thoughts!