How Coastal Ridge’s Properties Saw An Extra 6 Leases Per Month

Almost 6 Leases/Property/Month!

Coastal Ridge dives into lease data around automation

Many in the Multifamily Industry are facing the same challenge right now: The labor shortage. More leasing professionals are leaving their properties than are coming in and replacing them is getting even more expensive…if you can find them.

One such company, Coastal Ridge, has been testing and deploying automation solutions to help during this labor shortage. The goal?  To give their leasing agents a better-quality work environment by reducing the volume of mundane, repetitive tasks they have to do on a daily basis and give them their time back.  But at what cost?  And is automation really working for them?

So Coastal Ridge did a deep dive into the data, and this is what they found using 36 of their properties over a period three months using just BetterBot’s web chat skill:

The following are averages per property per month…

2,260 – Number of renters greeted

174 – Unique renter conversations

340 – Total renter conversations

124 – Specific questions answered

14 – Virtual tours provided

29 – Conversational handoffs to the leasing team

19 – Appointments scheduled

5.8 – Leases that BetterBot helped facilitate

67 – Hours BetterBot’s web chat skill saved each property

$1200 – Money saved by deploying BetterBot’s web chat automation skill

And just for fun, when you add up all 36 properties for 3 months, Coastal Ridge saved 7,236 leasing team hours which equals $130,248 in cost savings. Was it worth it? “Absolutely,” says Megan Womick, Marketing Manager at Coastal Ridge. “We really do care about providing immediate service to our renters and reducing the workload for our leasing teams. Deploying this automation accomplished both.”

BetterBot Search

Cost of Onboarding a New Employee Vs. BetterBot

Property management businesses have a lot on their mind in 2022. From developing more innovative customer experiences to navigating changing regulations, there’s a lot for property managers and their teams to consider. Of course, an ever-present challenge continues to be cost of onboarding. If you can’t manage it, there’s no way you’ll be able to keep up with the pace of change. But with the right technology supporting you, it’s much easier to save in the long term. 

Exactly how much can the right tech investment save you? Today we’ll be taking a look at the cost of onboarding a new employee versus onboarding BetterBot. You’d be surprised to find that utilizing a digital leasing agent can help save you thousands of dollars. 

How BetterBot can help lower your operating costs

We all know that retaining your current employees is much more cost-effective than onboarding new ones. But if someone retires or resigns, you might think you have no choice but to add a new member to your team. The good news is, there’s another option. 

Before we get into the other option property management teams have, it’s helpful to break down just how much onboarding a new employee can cost. 

How much does it cost to onboard a new property manager?

Let’s start with salary: While property management salaries can vary wildly between different areas, the average leasing agent in the US makes around $18 an hour, which comes out to roughly 34k per year. But employees don’t just walk in the door with all the skills they need. Training costs can add up to a significant amount as well. The National Association for Talent Development found that the average cost of training a new employee will set a company back $1252. But suppose you’re a property management company paying both a trainer and that $18 average hourly wage to get your new employee up to speed. In that case, that cost will likely be significantly higher. 

And if you’re already facing rising costs, making that decision to onboard someone new can put a strain on your finances. This is where investing in the right technology can help keep those costs down. 

The cost of onboarding BetterBot

Onboarding with BetterBot is one-time, $150 fee. That’s it. Our team will even handle set-up for you. Plus, we’ll walk you through how to integrate our chatbot into your workflow and explain our extensive integrations. For about 3 hours’ worth of pay for one employee, you’ll have an intuitive property management chatbot that will leave no source untouched. 

At the end of the day, though, true cost-effectiveness isn’t just about saving money on onboarding expenses. 

Don’t forget time = money

It may be an old cliché, but every business knows there’s truth behind it. Time is money, and the more time you can save your teams, the more opportunities they’ll have to generate new business. In fact, on average, BetterBot saves properties 66.8 hours per property each month. At a minimum, that’s just over $1,200 that your team could be saving using BetterBot. Instead, properties could be spending a fraction of that cost by investing in automation.  

As we like to say, business hours are a thing of the past. Today, people expect excellent, informative customer service 24/7, 365. However, this excellent customer service doesn’t have to come from live human agents. Leasing automation can jump in and help. Most people are more than happy to speak with chatbots – granted, you’re not trying to masquerade your chatbot as a real person. 

If you can save your team, say, 10 hours a week of reaching out to and responding to leads, they can put those 10 hours into more valuable tasks – like following up with the most qualified leads. In turn, utilizing a digital leasing agent can help boost your closing ratio. And your team will be more than grateful to have all of those hours back. 

Maximizing value is all about making intelligent decisions. Don’t keep wasting funds that you don’t have. Invest in an automation solution that will have your team’s back and integrate into your tech stack. Learn more about how BetterBot can take your customer experience to the next level here

Boosted Their Leases Using BetterBot

How Morgan Properties Boosted Leases

Morgan Properties boosted leases by leveraging its Google My Business listings with links to Better Bot For Leads.

How does BetterBot for Leads boost leases?

BetterBot for Leads is the next iteration of BetterBot, helping apartment operators and their marketing teams improve performance by qualifying lead traffic.

Here, the bot immediately follows up with leads from marketing sources and can convert them effortlessly to tours. 

When someone finds a community on an ILS and decides they want to contact a community, they will be led to BetterBot, which utilizes Guided Conversation to guide the prospect through a text-based conversation process of setting an appointment and learning more about the community.

Results-driven platform

Kim Boland, Director of Digital Marketing, Morgan Properties, is using BetterBot for Leads at five pilot programs after rolling out BetterBot’s flagship solution, BetterBot for Web, to a majority of their properties. 

Boland posts BetterBot For Leads links on Morgan Properties’ Google My Business pages as well as ILS sites such as Zillow, RentPath, and Apartment List, and then has BetterBot nurture the email leads. She said Morgan Properties soon will use Better Bot on her Apartments.com listings as well.

Boland said with BetterBot’s Yardi integration, she has been able to track the originating source for the prospects that reach out to her properties much easier than with other solutions they have tested.

“BetterBot for Leads is definitely generating more appointment leads for us than any other avenue,” Boland said.

“We’re getting these better-qualified leads, but our leasing teams still need to close the deal. But just getting our online visitors to schedule an appointment is a huge step.

“If we can get the APIs that allow BetterBot to push our appointments directly to our CRM – third party to third party – eliminating the middle man, then that would be a huge game-changer for us.”

BetterBot For Leads works to determine which leads are most viable for the property and then funnels those leads to the community’s CRM for further action. 

Leads that are not qualified will funnel to a different channel to be handled as the leasing team sees fit. BetterBot For Leads means no more sifting through leads to find out which are going to take action. It does the hard work so onsite teams can focus on converting those qualified leads.

Why use BetterBot for Leads?

Renters want information 24/7/365. BetterBot for Leads works around the clock to ensure that no prospects are ignored.  

BetterBot manages leads from any marketing source and converts 3x faster than the standard ILS. It has demonstrated that nearly 37% of prospects become leads. 

Working onsite has become overwhelming lately. It’s understandable that team members would rather be working to establish relationships with prospects and residents alike, not spending all their time qualifying leads. That’s why BetterBot for Leads does all the heavy lifting by identifying which leads are most likely to turn into leases.

To learn more about BetterBot for Leads, click here!

Looking Back at 2021

2021 was a year that had us hopeful for change. The previous year was challenging for everyone with the emergence of COVID-19 in 2020. However, we were excited about what the year ahead would bring. It’s an understatement to say that 2021 exceeded our expectations. In the last year, we have worked tirelessly to create a product that serves the multifamily industry in a way no product has before. Here are some of the things we were able to accomplish in 2021.

Q1

The most exciting part of the new year was that we could raise capital to expand product offerings and reach. This also allowed us to increase our team by __%. During Q1, we worked with our team to integrate with Rently. We also launched two new products — Affordable Bot and Student Bot. These two new products were created specifically for these communities built with unique features that help promote this property type. We also launched our latest version of the BetterBot dashboard, which allowed us to provide our customers with insights into the bot’s conversations.

Q2

During Q2, we expanded our partnership by working with Tour24. We also greeted our 50 millionth renter and were able to share what we learned with the industry. Underscoring this achievement is the internal growth BetterBot has experienced over the past two years. This has allowed us to set the foundation for our product and work on expanding into new areas.

Q3

During the summer months, we improved our multifamily chatbot user experience by updating the interface of our bot. We made sure to provide users with a simple but effective design to have the best user experience. In addition, we launched our newest product — BetterBot for Leads. This offering allows us to help teams nurture their leads throughout the leasing process and ultimately save them time. During Q3, we were excited to meet for the first time since the pandemic started at Multifamily Social Media Summit and Multifamily Women’s Summit. We were ecstatic to see familiar faces once again. Lastly, we announced integrations with both Entrata and Yardi. This allows us to reach more of our customers and provide more accurate information to our clients.

Q4

The final months of the year had us out and about! We took over both AIM and Optech conferences and were able to see so many friends, clients, and team members. We are super grateful for this time to reconnect in person and take in new industry insights. We also announced our latest integration with Rentgrata.

If 2021 has taught us anything, we can be open to new ideas and new partnerships. We have rolled out exciting updates and products that we never dreamed of in the past. We have grown our team exponentially and made meaningful connections. This past year brought us so much to be grateful for and has us excited for what 2022 will bring. If you’re wondering what lies ahead in 2022, check out our article on trends to watch for the year to come.

How Morgan and Paradigm Properties Solved Lead Fatigue With BetterBot For Leads

Bots Solve Problem of ‘Too Many’ Unqualified Leads

For the everyday consumer, the “You Might Also Like” button can certainly be your friend. But for many apartment marketers, it’s become an enemy.

It’s a nuisance because one of the industry’s most nagging problems – receiving “too many leads” – persists because so many of those leads are unqualified.

Karen Kossow, Marketing Director, Paradigm Companies, says her teams were wasting too much time on unqualified leads, a lot of which were generated by “You Might Also Like” links on websites.

“In the past, our team was responding up to three times with a lead and was getting no response,” she said. “Our team started to ignore many of them. When a bot can segregate the leads based on quality – such as prospects who engaged with the bot – it makes us much more efficient and successful.”

Since it rolled out the bots at five communities in March 2020 and nine more in late summer last year, Paradigm Companies has had 777,948 people greeted and 2,604 appointments scheduled through the bot.

Newest Product: Lead Optimization

Kim Boland, Director of Digital Marketing, Morgan Properties, has had 14,672 appointments scheduled through Better Bot (an average of 30,380 conversations per month) while running at 346 of its properties. It enables its customers to schedule appointments, schedule virtual tours or to talk to the onsite staff.

She’s taken the next step with the company’s newest offering – Better Bot for Leads – and is testing it at three communities through listings on an ILS that provides her portfolio with a great deal of leads.

“We all know there are a lot of renters who are looking, but who are not that serious, yet,” Boland says. “They might inquire at four or five properties at a time. Our staff was spending too much time following up with prospects and when they did, it was going nowhere.”

Better Bot for Leads looks to determine when that lead is ready to take the next step and it nurtures the leads through email follow-ups, inquiring only if the person is deemed truly interested or wants to schedule a tour or engage in any way. The bot has summited 22,448 leads to Morgan Properties of people who wanted more information.

At a community in Maryland, for example, Boland received 396 leads from Better Bot for Leads. From that, four appointments were scheduled and three of those wanted more information; 23 open and engaged with the email, 145 opened and at the current time did not engage and 220 remained unopened. “If these were sent to our team, they would have been wasting their time on empty requests,” Boland says.

Websites Can Be Intimidating

She says the bot is reasonably priced, “and for our customers, it creates a positive experience because they get the information that they lead without getting frustrated or impatient. They don’t have to click through a bunch of pages on a website and deal with drop-down menus, etc.”

Kossow also finds the bot to be a worthy alternative to the community’s full-display website. The bot discreetly sits on the home page.

“Websites are great, and we all love our own community websites, but they can sometimes be intimidating to new visitors who don’t always know where to click to do certain tasks or to look for certain things,” Kossow says. “The bot comfortably leads them through the process with the right prompts and links. We were able to include videos and “360” images in the links sent by the bot to the prospects.”

Paradigm also has the bot on its Google My Business accounts, includes it on its prospect e-blasts, and has it linked to its Facebook accounts, using it to communicate through Facebook Messenger.

Boland links Better Bot to its Google My Business (GMB) listings. “We all know that Google is taking over the world, so we want to put as much information about our property on our GMB listings,” Boland says. “A link to our bot makes that happen. So many people who have contacted us have never even visited our website because they found us through Google My Business and the bot gave them the information such as availability, scheduling, etc., that they wanted.

Constantly Looking to Improve

Kossow says Better Bot has been one of the easiest products to install in her property management software. “It has allowed us to operate our marketing 24-7, which has become so important,” says Kossow, who is looking to install it at affordable communities in the near future.

Boland says that Better Bot’s willingness to listen to its customers has led to greater success.

“They listen and make adjustments based on requests,” she says. “They want to hear your point of view and ideas.”

One example was that we helped them craft the initial follow-up emails that were sent to prospects, asking that they include a link to the bot to make it easier for apartment searchers.

“People these days want information and answers immediately, and they are getting that with Better Bot,” Boland says.

Why Multifamily Social Media Summit Is So Valuable

Multifamily Social Media Summit is one of our favorite conferences, and we will tell you why. We always get precious insights and make great connections at this event. Multifamily Social Media Summit is typically hosted in Napa, CA, each year, and this conference is the only one specifically focused on social media in the multifamily industry. It is specifically developed for property management teams leveraging social media, influencer, and content marketing to retain and attract residents. 2021 was year nine for this event, and it keeps getting better every year. Here are some reasons why we find it so valuable:

  • Strategy
  • Connections
  • Resources

Strategy

Multifamily Social Media Summit helps teams form their social strategy. They provide valuable information into the ever-changing world of social media. With the insights gained at each and every session, multifamily marketing teams gain the knowledge and confidence to host a thriving online community for their properties. This is just one of the reasons why this conference is so important. 

Connections

The connections cultivated during this event are priceless. This event allows individuals to get to know each other and discuss some of the trials and triumphs in the multifamily industry. The event boasts several events where attendees can network with others and form genuine, professional relationships. 

Resources

During this conference, attendees are given the opportunity to connect with many resources. A section of the forum dedicated to multifamily-specific vendors and resources solely focused on helping property management companies. Not only do guests get the opportunity to connect with these resources in person, but they can take those relationships back with them and find solutions to dilemmas they have been facing. 

Overall, Multifamily Social Media Summit is one of the most valuable conferences in the industry. Along with providing a space to create a social strategy, grow connections, and find resources, the conference offers lasting memories. The experiences that are available at this conference are so meaningful and will continue to last. For more information on Multifamily Social Media Summit, CLICK HERE

Best Apartment Software For Leasing

As the years go on, it seems that properties become busier and busier. Leasing teams have more responsibilities than ever before, and they are expected to lease at high rates. Automation tools can make life easier for on-site teams in several ways. Bringing on new programs can be stressful, but these tools are designed to take the burden off the property, practically filter through traffic, and help analyze what’s working. Here are four of the best automation tools for leasing: 

  • Chatbots
  • Virtual Concierge
  • Lead Automation
  • Marketing Analytics

Chatbots

A chatbot is a tool you can add to your community website to assist prospective renters in real-time. They can answer any questions prospects have about living in your community. Chatbots can insert you into the conversation at the prospect’s convenience so that you stay top of mind during the decision-making process. Heather Anderson, Head of Partner Sales at BetterBot, says, “Our bot helps save leasing teams time and allows prospects to find your community where they are searching rather than having them come to you”. 

Marketing Analytics

One of the things that can be helpful when it comes to marketing automation is automating your analytics. However, it’s completely understandable that you may not be able to pull this information as often as you’d desire. That’s why analytics automation is crucial for you and your teams. There are many tools you can use to automate reporting, so it comes straight to your inbox. 

G5’s new MTA Journeys report removes the blind spots in your marketing by stitching together full renter journeys.

G5 | Digital Marketing Software and Services is one great example of in-depth analytics. We had the opportunity to catch up with their Product Marketing Manager, Chris Hanson, and he shared that “Having an integrated and easy to use analytics platform is a crucial tool that every marketer needs. From monitoring baseline interactions like traffic and leads, measuring automation investments, and predicting campaign returns, it’s the glue that holds your activities together.”

Virtual Concierge

Virtual concierges are used in a number of different industries including hospitality, airlines, and restaurants. When it comes to multifamily, a virtual concierge typically offers prospects and residents assistance on their timelines. It may help give information about the community or assist with scheduling appointments. Residents may also be able to do things such as submit a service request, find a pet sitter, locate discounts, or even connect with other residents. 

Lead Automation

Taking advantage of lead automation is excellent for keeping in touch with your audience. There are many ways you can utilize lead automation but the most prominently used is an automated email outreach. Rent Dynamics CRM offers a great example of how this can be used with automated follow-ups. For example, there may be a prospect interested in a particular floorplan, but if that option is not available, their automated follow-up will send the prospect a notification once it becomes available. Harvard Business Review shares that leads are 60x more likely to convert if contacted within the first hour, which shows how important this touchpoint truly is. 

When your team has a little help and support, it becomes easier for them to focus their attention on what’s happening on-site in real-time. Chatbots, virtual concierges, autoresponders, and marketing analytics are all resources that are designed to support your teams effectively and help your communities thrive. These four tools can help ease the burden so that they can make people a priority.

KETTLER and BetterBot Success

We are so grateful for our valuable partnerships. We’ve seen some amazing success at KETTLER using the BetterBot platform. Daryl is the SVP and Chief Marketing Officer at KETTLER and mainly focuses on building a fully integrated omnichannel marketing platform while growing KETTLER’s brand presence. Daryl boasts over 20 years of experience and is highly motivated in the areas of consumer acquisition, retention, customer experience, digital marketing, and communications strategy. He has worked closely with some of the largest Multifamily companies and is an advocate for the consumer. He is also passionate about connecting brands through digital technology and data. Daryl shares his experience with BetterBot and how he has been able to leverage this partnership to bring success over at KETTLER.

Wondering how it’s done? Daryl Smith, SVP & Chief Marketing Officer at KETTLER spills the beans. Find out how BetterBot helps lease more apartments.

Interested in learning about some of the results that BetterBot has produced? We’ve got you covered.

On the fence about adding BetterBot to your site? Daryl has some great insight for you.

Again, we are so grateful for relationships such as ours with Daryl at KETTLER. For further information on how BetterBot is improving the renter journey and making things easier for leasing teams, CLICK HERE.

7 Things Our Apartment Chatbot Learned From Greeting Over 50 Million Renters

At BetterBot, we’ve reached a huge milestone! We’ve greeted over 50 million renters through our platform over the last two years. Our product has evolved into a more effective platform over time, and we’ve learned so much. With that being said, we want to share seven things we’ve learned from greeting over 50 million renters. 

1.After Hours Traffic Is Increasing

We’ve found that on average, 58% of our customer’s traffic is coming after hours. That’s over half of their traffic! We see this as a trend industry-wide. This highlights the importance of having service for prospective customers after the offices are closed. 

2. Onboarding Should Be Easy

No two properties are alike, so why should your onboarding experience be cookie-cutter/copy and paste? We know that bringing on new technology can be overwhelming. Over time we have maximized our onboarding process to ensure that it’s easy and accurate for our customers. It takes a 30-minute conversation to get our users onboarded, and it’s the most straightforward thing you’ll ever add to your processes. 

3. Guided Conversation is Effective

It’s crucial to guide renters so that they want to schedule a tour. However, you can’t force it. Lead gating can disrupt the prospect journey, which is why it’s been important to our team to create a flow that naturally guides the conversation so that prospects are eager to visit your community. 

4. Different Properties Call For Different Experiences

We know that all properties are different, especially when it comes to working with different property types. When engaging with an affordable community or a community built for students, the experience a prospect has when engaging with an affordable community has other parameters, qualifications, and even a different way of leasing. So we created Student & Affordable Bots to handle that and create a custom experience for your prospects.

5. Accuracy Is Important

Prospects expect a seamless, effortless, and easy interaction when engaging with a chatbot, including excellent access to property information while providing accurate and up-to-date answers. With Natural Language Processing (NLP) bots, we’ve seen a 33% error rate on average. That’s an F average if we’re looking at a typical grading scale! With Guided Conversation bots like ours, the conversation is natural and accurate all the time. 

6. Accessibility Is a Non-Negotiable 

It’s important that your prospects can reach you anywhere. Renters want real-time information, and they want to be able to contact you on any channel. That’s why with BetterBot, we’ve found great success using omnichannel marketing. Using our omi-channel marketing, you can reach prospects on any platform, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp, Craigslist, Apartments.com, Apartment List, and so much more. You’ll never miss a prospect, and you’ll acquire more qualified leads. 

7. Time Is Valuable

Time is the most valuable thing we have, which is why we understand the importance of spending it wisely. We’ve developed our bot to handle the menial tasks so that leasing teams can focus on what’s essential….being human! 

Greeting over 50 million renters sounds daunting, but for us, it’s been fun. We’ve learned so much about what renters crave, and we are continuing to evolve as we learn more. Stay tuned to find out what enhancements are on the horizon and see how we’ll keep improving!



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