Some apartment owners are facing increasing vacancy rates and trouble filling them quickly with restrictions on showing units and health and safety requirements. AppFolio experts recommend that landlords employ new strategies to fill vacancies faster, and among the top method is a cross-sell strategy. Cross-sell strategies showcase more available apartment inventory, and can help owners fill vacancies faster.
“If a prospective renter comes to an owner or property management team with an inquiry on an apartment, why speak only to that apartment when you likely have other vacant units that have similar qualities that can be cross sold to prospects? The whole idea behind cross selling is that it enables teams to highlight more of their inventory—the more choices a prospect has, the more likely they are to make a decision and actually convert,” Stacy Holden, industry principal and director at AppFolio, tells GlobeSt.com.
A cross sell strategy can begin at the initial inquiry. “AI leasing assistants, like Lisa, can actually do the cross selling at this stage on behalf of property management teams, automatically sharing with prospects units that are similar to the ones they inquire about initially,” says Holden. “Relying on technology to do some of the cross selling is important when trying to fill vacancies quickly, as, with AI, it occurs immediately, in the very first interaction with a prospect.”
However, operators can employ this strategy at any point in the leasing process. “After touring the unit, a prospect may determine that the unit doesn’t actually meet their needs,” says Holden. “However, because technology has automated the leasing agent’s busy work, they’ve developed a better relationship with the prospect, understand exactly what they’re looking for, and can cross sell another vacancy that better suits their needs.”
Renters look through hundreds of apartment listings, and they likely click on dozens of units. Cross selling can promote units that could be overlooked during the initial search, but the property description is equally as important. “How units appear online is vital to quick leasing cycles; you only get one chance to make your first impression,” says Holden. “In apartment descriptions, it is important to share as much information as possible to help prospects come to a decision to see the unit, faster.”
Landlords should also leverage technology during this process, particularly during the pandemic, to hook prospective tenants. “We’ve seen the power of embedding interactive 3D tours and interactive floor plans that give prospects a much more engaging understanding of how the unit is set up, something that might not be immediately obvious with just a few photos,” says Holden. “3D tours embedded into a vacancy listing provide flexibility and deeper exploration of the unit on-demand, which gives teams an edge in securing initial prospect interest.”