The time it takes to fill a vacant unit can have a significant impact on your bottom line. That said, the challenge here lies not in generating enough leads, but in quickly and successfully converting those leads into long-term lease-signing tenants.
Use technology to your advantage.
There are plenty of ways to leverage modern technology as a tool to help attract and convert more leads. For instance, you can utilize as many online resources as possible to get your listings seen by more candidates. Then, once you start collecting applications, you can use property management software to help screen and organize them. By reaching and thoroughly screening a larger pool of applicants, you’ll be able to narrow your options to those who are most likely to be high quality conversions.
Respond to inquiries promptly.
Never assume that you’ve got the upper hand when it comes to filling your rental property vacancies. If someone inquires about a listing, provide a prompt and professional answer. This could literally mean the difference between converting a qualified lead and losing them to the landlord down the street. Will every inquiry be worth your time? Not necessarily. But it’s not worth taking a chance, so make sure you’re prioritizing your responses accordingly.
Always follow up.
As much as we emphasize responding right away (ideally picking up the phone as it’s ringing), there will obviously be times when this isn’t possible. In those instances, be prepared to follow up in a timely manner. This can be as simple as setting up an automated email response through your property management tool. Don’t forget to include a compelling call to action, whether it be a link to browse your properties or a prompt to call you back.
Be prepared to provide alternatives.
There will most certainly be times when a particular lead either isn’t a good fit for the specific property they’re inquiring about or they’re too late and it’s already been rented. In those cases, offering an alternative property that you have available can help keep them in the funnel and improve your chances of converting. Applicants will appreciate the option of choosing from a broader portfolio and you’ll improve the odds of filling additional vacancies.
We’ve mentioned property management software a few times (for obvious reasons), but another benefit of utilizing a tool like this is attracting and retaining quality tenants. These days, people appreciate the convenience of being able to access what they need right online. By offering things like a tenant portal for electronic rent payments and easy online communication, you can separate yourself from the pack and make the possibility of renting your properties that much more appealing.
Getting applicants to consider your rental properties is really only the first piece of the puzzle. The next important step is getting them to sign the lease. The tips above should help improve your lead-to-lease conversion rate and keep your vacancies at a minimum for maximum profitability.