Does it ever seem to you that the process of capturing and converting leads into new residents is like herding cats?

Does it ever seem to you that the process of capturing and converting leads into new residents is like herding cats? So many escape early in the process; others are left to wander off while you focus on closing the hot prospects. And, once you lose a lead, it will be twice as hard to re-engage.

RealPage, a leading provider of integrated software platforms and Senior Housing Forum partner, conducted extensive research into the process of lead capture and management in the area of multifamily property management, one of the most competitive and complex in terms of lead generation and tracking. So when they speak, we listen.

For starters, automation is necessary. If you are still handling leads using a manual process, you are leaving a percentage of them on the table. RealPage sees, on average, a 52% increase in the number of leads captured when automated through a lead management system. That’s a big number, so we sat down with Gustavo Sapiurka, Senior Vice President, and asked him to share some tips on how senior living communities can streamline the process of lead capture and management.

Getting Results

According to Gustavo there are three areas which need to work seamlessly together to get results -‒ namely response, follow up and tracking.

1.  Be the First “Responder”

Odds are that yours is not the only organization your prospect is contacting. The organization that responds most quickly will have a better chance of developing the lead. Your system should:

  • Respond within 2-10 minutes of an inquiry. If a lead comes in online, your prospect may still be out there searching, so you can catch them while their interest is at peak levels.
  • Respond “in context”. Make sure your management system can “read” the content in each inquiry and respond in a relevant manner.

2.  Streamline the Follow Up Process

“Follow up is an area where so many leads fall by the wayside, due to lack of a coordinated, systematic process for handling them,” says Gustavo. “Our research shows that the difference in the conversion potential is huge,” he added.

After tracking 60 multifamily properties over a one-year period, RealPage found that the conversion rate directly correlated to the amount of follow up activity as follows:

  • More than 2 x lead follow up: 12.4% average conversion rate
  • 1-2 x lead follow up: 10.2% average conversion rate
  • Less than 1 x lead follow up: 6.6% average conversion rate

Coordinating your follow up activities is just as important as the follow up itself. This is where automation really helps. Your system needs to:

  • Track when the prospect was last contacted and by which team member.
  • Send reminders for follow up to the appropriate team member.
  • Provide visibility to each action taken and who took it.
  • Show elapsed days since each action was performed.

3.  Measure. Everything!

What’s working? What’s not? Why? Lead performance measurement needs to be multi-dimensional in order to understand the efficacy of each marketing campaign and lead source. It’s not sufficient to know only if you are meeting your goals. You need to pinpoint why you are successful and where the trouble areas are. Only through an integrated process can you ensure that you are converting leads at the highest possible rate. At a minimum you should be tracking performance by:

  • Team Member
  • Marketing Source
  • Referrer
  • Community
  • Lead Type

“We’ve learned from our research that automating the processes surrounding lead capture, follow up and measurement can make a huge difference in conversion,” says Gustavo. “So much effort is often put on the front end in the form of marketing campaigns and promotions. Generating leads is often considered an end point,” he added. “when, in fact, it’s just the beginning.”

By automating the process of response, follow up and tracking, you will free up your team to stop herding cats and start focusing on what they’re good at: building your senior living community with fresh new members.