5 Quick Ways to Upgrade the Multifamily Customer Experience
How technology can improve residents' experience and prioritize their satisfaction.
Before the digital revolution, property management was all about the experience you could give prospective and existing residents at a physical location. Helpful employees, contracts signed in ink on paper and a simple leasing process used to be enough to satisfy the multifamily customer.
But behaviors and priorities have changed. In light of the pandemic, the customer experience is more important than ever, and brands across all industries—including property management firms—must continue to innovate and prioritize customer satisfaction.
The development of analytics and artificial intelligence led to the emergence of new multifamily customer service strategies in recent years. For example, virtual assistants are now prevalent across a broad range of sectors. When used properly, these technologies can enable businesses to get smart about the way they approach prospective renters and do business.
A popular form of AI that people have started using—both as customers and businesses—is live chats. Today’s multifamily customers want to receive an immediate response. Starting with automated welcome messages such as, “Hi and welcome! How can I help?” is a good way to break the ice. Also, remember to end each conversation in a sincere and personal way.
Another AI-powered application gaining traction is the chatbot. Similar to live chat, chatbots provide appropriate recommendations in response to the customer’s query. The sole distinction between the two is that chatbots point users to websites with the answers to their queries, simulating conversations with customers as a human would. Modern chatbots also possess the capacity for self-learning, meaning they can learn from prior consumer behavior and adapt it to address more complicated problems.
These improve the resident experience by simply giving them another channel to contact the property management office aside from e-mail, phone, or in person. What’s more, chatbots are easy to access via mobile phone, computer or any device connected to the internet.
Chatbots also offer quick answers to simple questions. For example, instead of residents calling the property management office to ask how long it’s open, a Facebook Messenger chatbot can quickly respond with the open hours. A chatbot might even provide the consumer with an estimated wait time if a pressing issue came up while the live support staff isn’t available.
Modern residents place a high value on convenience and speed. They want to get the pipe in their kitchen unclogged by requesting virtual help and also receive a notification when their request was accepted. For those who seek immediate access to information and services, personal assistant apps or concierge technology can meet these needs.
Tech concierge services can also keep residents updated about the upcoming events in your community. These can also suggest events they may want to attend based on their preferences. Some of the benefits of concierge tech include lower operation costs, higher resident support standards, increased resident loyalty and engagement, as well as new revenue sources.
Robotic process automation
Tapping into robotic process automation allows property managers to streamline high volumes of repetitive tasks. Rental application processes, for example, can span multiple pages and contain more information than the human eye can go through. To validate credentials and the legitimacy of the information submitted, the application must go through a strict sequence of tests.
Before robotic process automation, the staff had to process these applications—sometimes hundreds of files—manually. It is a painstaking process, where human error can cost more than just money. Robotic process automation not only speeds up this process, but also eliminates the chance of human error.
Follow-up automation allows you to create a follow-up campaign using e-mail, voice and SMS channels. By automating the follow-up process, the property management staff can concentrate on other tasks, further improving the multifamily customer experience. Follow-up automation is also known to increase resident retention, reduce costs and help solidify your business’ reputation.
The follow-up automation process also plays an important role in keeping a prospective renter interested. You can follow up with prospects consistently and effectively by employing automated drip campaigns and triggered notifications. By facilitating the tour with appointment confirmations, tour reminders, tour follow-ups, links to FAQs and other useful things, it’s easier to keep a prospective residents involved in the lease process.