Beware Of The Lead Snare
Snare: verb, To catch or involve by trickery or wile
We’ve heard it before: “Come stay at our beautiful resort for the weekend free of charge! And all you have to do is spend 1 hour with our wonderful resort sales consultants.”
If you’ve ever had the truly mind-numbing experience of a time-share review, you understand the uncomfortable feeling that comes with it. The feeling you got tricked into a sales pitch and the guilt that comes with saying no to these folks who are putting you up free for the weekend. Nobody likes feeling trapped.
Well, that’s exactly what lead snares are. Consumers are lulled into what seems like a valuable interaction only to discover that they’ve been duped into becoming a lead for some business. And it’s unfortunately all too common for prospective renters in the Multifamily Industry. Often, many of these leads end up being unqualified.
Lead snares come in all sizes and shapes in our industry. Though some may argue a lead is a lead, that is not true. Many prospective renters don’t even know they’ve become a lead, have little knowledge about a particular apartment community, nor any desire to live there because it doesn’t fit their income profile, desired location, or property type. So, becoming one of these leads is frustrating to the prospective renter and the property who is spending time responding to these low-value, uninterested, uninformed renters.
Below are just a few lead snare examples that are most common in Multifamily:
ILS Proliferation Tactics
Some, actually most, Multifamily Internet Listing Sites (ILSs), to generate more leads for their advertising properties, proliferate leads. Meaning they turn one lead into many. One example is when a renter fills out a personal profile or a web form for a specific property, and the ILS says, “There are five more properties near this area that fit your profile. Would you like to contact them as well?” Because the ILS makes it so easy to send these additional leads with the click of a button, the prospect will often do this. So that high-value lead going to go to one property of interest just became a low-value lead to 5 more properties, none of which the prospective renter likely knows much about.
Lead Generation Bots
As bots increasingly enter the Multifamily space, you can typically drop them into one of two buckets: Lead Gen Bots or Conversational Leasing Bots. What’s the difference? Lead Gen Bots fall into three categories:
Call Center Bots
These bots are not designed to manage the bulk of renter inquiries within the bot experience but instead pass the conversation off to a call center employee. This terrible user experience drives a sub-30 % CSAT score.
Social Media Bots
These bots can be deceptive because a prospect has all their personal information shared with the property simply by clicking on the bot itself. How? For example, if it’s powered on a platform like Facebook, it has all your information, which is passed along to the property simply by clicking on the bot. The prospect might not be interested in the property but will show up in a CRM just the same.
These bots focus on one thing and one thing alone…get more leads! That’s why they ask for a prospective renter’s personal information up front, such as name, email, and phone. This is a bad user experience as consumers don’t want to provide personal data initially. They want the information they want first, and then they might be willing to provide their contact information for additional purposes such as an appointment or a brochure. Data shows that for every piece of contact information asked for upfront, and the user defection rate grows from 10% upward to 75% depending on how much information is required.
So what’s a Conversational Leasing Bot? These bots are designed to answer questions and provide information upfront simply. No contact info is required to use these bots. Only after a prospective renter wants an action such as an appointment, a brochure emailed to them, etc., does the bot ask for contact information. And if the prospect has a question the bot can’t answer, it’s not hot-transferred to a human, which sounds nice, but provides a poor overall experience. The information is packaged and sent to the property in seconds for an asynchronous response.
These are buttons and widgets on a property website that ask a series of questions to get more leads. Some of these Survey Widgets will entice people to use their solution by offering to put the user in a drawing for free rent. This tactic can certainly generate more interaction and inquiries but no leads. These survey widgets have very little value once the math is done.
Today’s technology and marketing solutions should decrease costs and time spent driving and managing renter leads. Anything else is a lead snare sending low-value leads, making your people work twice as hard for half the results. Find out what automation tactics can help your communities save time and money HERE.