The argument has always been that corporate office people don’t understand what it’s like to work onsite. We can get gruff and less patient. We can be snippy with you about some random paperwork, not having any idea that a resident had just been in your office for 10 minutes screaming about their faucet. Some say that because of that deficiency, we expect too much. Leasing calls often go unanswered but it’s hard for “The Corporate” folks to understand that you had to help that resident in 405 get into their apartment, and the one, you know the one, from 609, she called relentlessly about her garbage disposal. The important work stacks up, time gets away from everyone, and you don’t get more budget money to help.
So, what can you do when time is of the essence, the leasing needs to get done, and you have no money to spend? You reach out to the internet for help, of course! Technology is a wonderful thing. I’ve tried to grab a few things for you to add to your Free Leasing Toolbox.
Email is still a powerful method of communication. Most people have smartphones, which often house email accounts. The tricky part, of course, is creating a message that people will read. Mailchimp is a great service where you can create beautiful emails, easily, and send them to custom created lists. Some property management systems have a limited ability to do this but Mailchimp makes it nice and easy for you to pull segmented lists of your residents or prospects and craft an email that is specific for them. Having a Happy Hour next week? Pull a list of email addresses from your PM system, upload it to Mailchimp and create a really flashy email invite. Mailchimp will even track how many people opened and clicked on an email so you can determine how effective it really is.
Taking it a step further… Create an account at Surveymonkey.com and link it to Mailchimp. (http://kb.mailchimp. com/integrations/other-integrations/integrate-surveymonkey-with-mailchimp) Then, you can send surveys to people asking about how a particular event or service was and get feedback. Remember… both of these services are free. (Free SurveyMonkey accounts allow for 10 questions and up to 100 respondents. Mailchimp Free Plan allows up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month).
GOOGLE KEEP / EVERNOTE Both of these apps do the same general thing – note taking. I love using this app to keep track of notes for myself - Post-it notes are a thing of the past.
Walk around with your smartphone and speak into the interface and it will transcribe it for you. Setup reminders for later. Categorize your notes. Have your maintenance teams take pictures of repairs they make. Have the system remind you of important notes. If others are using Evernote, you can collaborate together. Plus, when you download the apps, it will sync across all devices, including desktop! In addition, you can use these notes for our next service…
This site is a vital addition to the Free Leasing Toolbox. There are so many things you can do to help you become efficient. Taken from their website,
“IFTTT is a website which gives you creative control over the products and applications you use”. Want to store all Facebook posts tagged to your page’s wall? Done. Want to store a list of Twitter handles who are searching for an apartment near you? Done. Want to have an email sent to your work email if a resident texts you? Install the iOS or Android app. Done. Depending on your work email setup, want to have leasing emails tagged for follow ups? Done. To do it, you need to create an account first and then start adding channels. Channels, in this case, are websites and/or services you might use. This whole thing works by having you create a recipe, which you can fully customize to your needs. Want to save all Facebook links that you post to your Evernote account? Just use this recipe (https://ifttt.com/recipes/13209-save-the-links-you-post-on-facebook-to-an-evernote-notebook) Save the links you post on Facebook to an Evernote notebook. You can have IFTTT email you all new apartment Craigslist ads in your area so you can keep an eye on the competition. The list goes on and on. Once you’re done reading this article, pull up a browser window and look at all of the things you can do to have it help you, I’ve barely scratched the surface.
Now, go in search of leasing awesomeness!
Good luck out there. Onsite can be a tough place to work, but utilize some of the products in this your Free Leasing Toolkit and it can really help make a difference in how productive you can be.
Happy renting everyone!