By Dennis Kaiser
Text messaging is commonly overlooked as a tech resource for property owners to connect with customers better. Yet, consider this: Texting is the most widely and frequently–used app on a smartphone, with 97% of Americans using it at least once a day.
Connect Media wanted to find out more about how IRIO is building custom programs to help property managers find and engage potential and current tenants via text messaging. The company’s Taylor Davis shares what’s behind the recent launch of its Live Chat product, and how the text messaging-based approach is paying off for large multifamily landlords in our latest 3 CRE Q&A.
Q: What is Live Chat, and how does it increase customer engagement?
A: IRIO’s Live Chat solutions is essentially a one-on-one conversation between the property manager/owner and the prospective renter via text message. All the renter has to do is text in a keyword “Chat” to a shortcode “47464” that they find online or on a leasing sign, and the sales rep will be notified and can then respond right away.
Here is a conversation between a potential renter and member of the leasing team:
Potential Renter: “Chat”
Leasing Rep: “Hi there, how can I help you?”
Potential Renter: “I see you have a rooftop deck on one of the levels. Can I schedule a tour soon?”
Leasing Rep: “Of course! How does tomorrow at 3pm work?”
This ability drives engagement because the solution (texting) taps into a medium that delivers 98% read rates – which far surpasses the 20% open rates of email. The instant effect of text messaging rises above other marketing efforts because 95% of text messages are opened within 3 minutes of delivery.
Q: How can this technology be utilized by property managers to generate higher quality leads?
A: The Live Chat solution enables real-time conversations with prospective renters that lead to appointments and tours fast. The product is designed to engage with prospects that have the information they need and are ready for the next steps.
Live Chat delivers a higher quality lead because the prospective renter is notifying you they want to chat to learn more or make an appointment, and the chances of that lead scheduling a tour and signing a lease are higher than the prospect who only texts for information. This allows the property managers to be more efficient with their time, and focus on the leads that have a higher chance of conversion.
Q: In what other ways can text message solutions generate leads, communicate with and retain tenants?
A: For lead generation, property managers use our text-for-info solution to display a keyword that allows potential renters to text in for more info about the property. Once the person texts in, they receive an automated message containing unit/property info, links, videos, or images, and is then considered a lead that can be followed up with in a variety of ways depending on the data captured.
One of the largest land owners on the West Coast utilized our SMS lead generation solution and received more than 2,000 qualified leads in six months, which is approximately $24 million in potential new annual leases. Similarly, the text-for-info solution was utilized by the nation’s fifth largest multifamily developer, according to NMHC, to increase leads and engage with prospective residents.
For communication with residents, IRIO offers a robust text-to-community solution featuring two-way messaging, tagging, customizable templates, custom integrations, reporting and other features that are built and designed to enhance the multifamily experience for both tenants and property managers.
Dennis Kaiser is Vice President of Content and Public Relations for
Connect Commercial Real Estate. Dennis is a communications
leader with more than 30 years of experience.
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