If you live in a city, it’s hard to drive 10 minutes in any direction these days without seeing eye-catching signs that boast images of a beautiful new apartment development making its home there.
Apartment construction has reached some of the highest levels in 30 years, according to the Freddie Mac Multifamily 2017 Outlook. This growth is expected to continue this year, in fact, Senior Reis Economist Barbara Denham told CNBC that new construction is expected to exceed demand in 2017. With urban lifestyle preferences and an increase in renters-by-choice, competition in this industry is fierce.
But it isn’t just in multifamily. If you’re a business owner or a decision-maker, you’re also feeling the competition. Optimism for the future success of small businesses “is at a near record high”, says the NFIB. And with much of today’s customer audience having grown up in the computer age, their preferred shopping method has shifted to finding you or your competitors, rather than waiting for your business to come to them. Whether you are a small business or a multifamily giant, this has great implications on your marketing strategy and your ability to speak a digital language, and this coupled with how you respond to leads can make or break your success.
Why Are Leads Critical?
Those of us who grew up in the era of GI Joe likely remember that, in fact, “knowing is half the battle.” So what’s the other half? Doing something about it.
If a lead is a piece of information that tells you someone has found your business and is considering your product or service, how you respond to that lead is the difference in whether you actually gain their business. A healthy lead pipeline is beneficial because it will help you avoid seasonal slumps, and will ultimately help you scale when tested.
Why Are You Losing Leads?
A critical question to ask about your lead strategy is what it typically does after a lead comes through. There are two avenues here: it contacts to make a sale, and when a sale is not made it moves on to the next, removing energy and expelling it from the pipeline, OR, it nurtures the lead and seeks to better understand the needs of the potential customer.
If your answer is the former, here’s the problem: they might not be ready to buy now, but they were interested for a reason. In a market that is increasingly buyer-directed, they found you. And they might be ready to buy in the future. Perhaps it’s not the right time, or perhaps they need something slightly different. Either way, “lead nurturing emails are a great way to learn more about your leads,” and results in a “23% shorter sales cycle”, according to HubSpot Marketing. Establishing contact immediately, following up with relevant questions to understand their interest and pain points, and maintaining consistent communication with your pipeline will keep it healthy…and keep it interested.
How Can You Recapture and Maintain Leads?
Get Personal, and Get Digital.
In a recent blog post, we discussed the value that persona driven content has for the apartment industry when they describe their new properties online. Renters don’t just want to see the amenities you offer, rather, they want a personal connection – a home – and they want to feel that you understand that need.
Customers today want to be reached on a personal level before choosing a product, and your lead strategy should take this into consideration. Rather than simply following up with a lead, plan to nurture it. It might take time, but regular touch points focused on your potential customer’s needs, and a marketing culture that educates them through the decision making process will lead to a healthier pipeline and future growth during the cyclical slumps that businesses often experience.
According to eMarketer, nearly 80% of Americans are now using internet daily, and an astounding number of them are using their phones to get online. A marketing plan is only worth the customers following it, so make sure yours is on their platform. And when they find you, take the time to understand them.
As Baby Boomers look towards retirement, the businesses they have started and run will soon be restructured, if not reinvented, by generations who have grown up with, and trust, online technology. And while these processes are critical to your success, digital marketing is not a one-size-fits-all, and neither is your lead strategy.
Fortunately, this is a world we love to live in. Let us help you determine the digital marketing and lead strategies that will resonate with your audience, increase your conversions, and exceed your goals.