The Age of the Agile Renter
We know that six-feet apart is here for a little longer. Plus, we’ve been in *gestures dramatically* all of this for almost a year, so it’s not necessarily about getting back to where we were, but figuring out the best way to move forward. Here are our top takeaways from part one of our five-part MarTech Series.
1. Expected to Stick
The world, (the virus), online-school-in-your-sweatpants, work from home, technology…things moved FAST this past year. Not to be too dramatic, but on a certain Friday in March 2020 (the thirteenth!), our lives and world as we knew it changed, likely forever. According to McKenzie, in the United States, this meant jumping three years forward in technology adoptions. But technology adoption is a one-way street, and consumers aren’t likely to change their behaviors back to a clunkier ecosystem that demanded more effort…aka, back to how things were. Your renters are no different. As renters spend more of their time on devices, and buy more things online, they raised their digital expectations for your properties right along with their click-list grocery shopping.
E-commerce isn’t necessarily a new trend. Consumers were already shopping online more and more each year, but The Virus That Must Not Be Named accelerated the trend. Bottom line, if you’ve been dragging your feet about adding a chatbot or virtual tours to “wait until COVID is over,” do not pass go, and do not collect $200. Let’s stop and reassess. These aren’t temporary solutions, they’re online experiences consumers expect. So exceed their expectations and make them feel like renting anywhere else will be a sub-par experience.
2. Amenities Have Changed
Your renters are home more, and along with this homebody lifestyle, there is a focus on safety. Individual amenities including in-unit laundry, and in-unit mini-split ductless heating and cooling units to provide in-unit climate control (to not share air with others) are popular. High-speed wireless internet and excellent cell phone service are work from home and learn from home must-haves. Moreover, outdoors are in. Does your property have a rooftop patio? Are you near parks or green space? Do your units have balconies or patios of their own? Include these amenities in your digital advertisements and on your website to appeal to renters’ needs.
3. Contact Us, Contactless
In the age of the agile customer, renters want easily accessible information about their potential new home, and they want it contactless. Meeting this need demands a multipronged approach and can include anything from a website with flawless UX and SEO, to chatbots ready to answer quick questions, to virtual or self-guided tours, to curated video content. Connecting in these accessible, socially distanced ways provides value to future renters. Perhaps this laundry list of contactless communications is a little overwhelming. Think critically about your properties and decide which options are a top priority, and which, while still valuable, you’ll be able to revisit later.
Relate to Your Renters
Ready to learn more tips and tricks to take your marketing to the next level and authentically connect with decision-ready renters? Download the first report in our monthly MarTech Series focused on The Multifamily Online Experience.