The Demand Solutions Blog

The Research Is In On Multifamily Lead Conversions

Posted by Donald Davidoff on May 21, 2019 10:39:47 AM

If - like me - you're in the business of demand optimization, you'll know that it's been getting harder and harder to talk about any trend in multifamily without first referencing the ten years of unprecedented growth that the industry has been experiencing.  For as long as anyone can remember, residents have been relatively plentiful. That's great news for operators and investors, but a growth environment can paper over cracks in sales and marketing performance.

This inescapable trend was on our minds when we embarked on a new study of lead conversion tactics.  A couple of weeks ago at the AIM Conference, we published a new white paper "Converting Leads to Leases." It is an update to a study that we had run previously in 2014 and 2017.  

The results of the first study were instructive, presenting a call-to-action for marketers and operators.  They highlighted the extent to which operators were failing to implement some of the most effective and least expensive tactics for increasing lead conversion.  We updated the data nearly three years later with an identical study, which yielded mostly similar results. The 2019 paper reproduces the methodology from those studies to report back on how the multifamily marketing has progressed in the last five years. 

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Topics: multifamily sales, lead management, Multifamily Trends

Why Grouping Floor Plans Is Like Selling Shoes

Posted by Trachelle Spencer on Feb 26, 2019 9:12:51 AM

Last week we were talking about the experience of leasing up big projects, and it reminded me of something that I’ve advised companies against doing for years.  It’s to do with the setup of pricing and revenue management systems (RMS) – a set of tasks that do not always receive the attention that they should.

When companies set up new properties on an RMS, one of the most frequent missteps, even for experienced revenue management departments, is the execution of floor plan groupings.  It’s an essential set-up step, as it determines the level at which the system will forecast and make pricing recommendations.

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Topics: multifamily sales, Leasing Performance

Why The Challenger Sale Matters to Multifamily Leasing

Posted by Dom Beveridge on Jan 16, 2019 10:00:00 AM

If you're anything like me, then this is the time of year when your nightstand groans with books that friends and family kindly sent you over the holidays. You feel grateful and daunted at the workload entailed in reading those books in equal measure! You reach for recommendations and reviews and other data points to decide which text gets to the top of the pile.

Every now and then a business book comes along that everyone in your field seems to talk about and recommend. One such book from a few years ago was The Challenger Sale - a text that was so revolutionary when first published in 2011 that it has become a framework for sales strategy, talent management, and training in sales-driven companies ever since. While the book centers on research carried out in B2B sales organizations, its findings are highly relevant to multifamily leasing. Here I will explain why that is.

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Topics: multifamily sales, Sales Coaching

Apartment Leasing: Are You Looking in the Right Places to Differentiate your Property?

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Nov 8, 2018 9:22:35 AM

A headline about consumer preferences caught my eye recently. It was from the recent annual meeting of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) in Boston, and it read: "Walkability Now May Outweigh Transit Access in Valuing Location."  

The idea is interesting for several reasons: proximity to transit has, after all, been one of the most critical attributes of apartment locations in the urban core for decades. What can be happening in our ever more densely populated cities to push it down the list of priorities? The short answer - according to the panel of industry luminaries including Green Street Advisors and AvalonBay Communities - lies in changing workplace demographics and travel habits. Read More

Topics: apartment marketing, multifamily sales, Multifamily Trends, Customer Experience

5 Steps for a Coaching Culture & Why it’s a Must for Sales Teams

Posted by Donald Davidoff on May 11, 2017 2:00:00 PM

The following is taken from our viewpoint document, The Keys to Effective Multifamily Sales Performance. You may download it here.

Too many multifamily operators have a culture of supervision and compliance rather than one of coaching. There is certainly a time and a place for compliance; however developing adults’ skills requires a supportive environment, where leasing associates are allowed to experience failure and be coached towards success. Here are five easy tips to start creating a coaching culture:

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Topics: multifamily sales, Sales Coaching

How the ZMOT Changes the Multifamily Sales Dynamic

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Jan 25, 2017 12:00:00 PM

I’ve written before about Google’s seminal research on the “Zero Moment of Truth” (ZMOT). For those not familiar with this, Google identified that pre-internet, every prospect had to talk to a salesperson in order to get information needed to make a purchasing decision. They referred to this as the “First Moment of Truth” (FMOT).

With the internet, prospects now do research on their own, often intentionally avoiding salespeople until (and only if) they absolutely have to do so. This “Zero Moment of Truth,” happening before the FMOT radically changes the sales dynamic in many ways:

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Topics: multifamily sales

Is Pot the New Pets?

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Jan 18, 2017 12:00:00 PM

(Warning: Don’t read this if you’re not interested in hearing a provocative point of view)

I was meeting with a client of mine who has communities in California, and they shared a letter they were sending their residents. The letter was informing residents that, while California had passed a recreational marijuana initiative, the law gave apartment owners the right to declare their property to be marijuana free. The letter went on to inform residents that this company was exercising that right and that any use of marijuana in their apartments would be a violation of their lease and could result in eviction.

As a resident of Colorado (one of the earliest states to approve recreational use in homes) and a demand management modeler, this got me thinking. I wasn’t surprised that my client exercised their right; in fact, I expect that virtually all professionally managed communities will do or have done so already.

But is that really the right business answer? Perhaps the continued disconnect between these state laws and federal laws makes it the right answer. Perhaps there are indirect liabilities I’m not fully aware of (though not a lawyer, I would struggle to understand how liabilities surrounding marijuana would be any different than what already exists with alcohol consumption)? Or perhaps there are legitimate concerns related to managing issues like the potential for, shall we say earthy, aromas to permeate a building and annoy other residents (more on that later)?

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Topics: multifamily sales, Demand Management

The Most Effective Email (or Voicemail) in a Salesperson’s Bag of Tricks

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Jan 11, 2017 12:00:00 PM

I was talking with one of my clients about sales management, and the topic of how many unanswered follow ups are appropriate before declaring a lead to be 'lost'. He admitted his company had no standard, but surmised that if they did have one “It would be at least three, maybe four”.

I generally agreed with him that three or four was reasonable, provided he added to that one more email or voicemail…the most powerful and effective email/voice mail in a salesperson’s bag of tricks. It’s so powerful that it can only be used once with a prospect; and like many powerful tools, using it too early will negate its power.

What is this magical email or voicemail, you ask? Well it’s not really magical, but it does have strong results. At D2DS, we call it 'the break up email' and it goes something like this:

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Topics: multifamily sales, lead management

Why More Training Isn't Enough to Solve Your Multifamily Sales Problems

Posted by Joanne Chapman-Reps on Nov 17, 2016 4:00:00 PM

Everyone wants positive sales numbers, right? After all, when leasing/sales numbers are strong, it means the overall financial health of the organization should also be strong.

But what happens when those numbers aren’t as strong as you’d like them to be? How does leadership react? What steps are taken to improve results? In my experience, it is often tempting to reach for the ‘easy’ button…and believe “everything will improve if we just do more training!”

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Topics: multifamily sales

Is Your Sales Process Prospect-Centered?

Posted by Stacy Bouchard on Oct 28, 2016 3:00:00 PM

This week we have a guest column from Stacy Bouchard, D2 Demand Solutions Marketing Manager.



Recently, I found myself in the market for a new laptop. Based on my experience, I had a general idea of what I wanted but hadn’t done any research for a while. So I started my process there…with research. I sat down with my friend Google and we searched and found many reviews from third parties, user stories and a lot of information on the specifications available for the models on my short list.

While I felt confident in my research, I decided to visit my local Best Buy to talk to an actual person before making my final decision. From my research, I knew that they carried every laptop I was considering. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to talk to a knowledgeable sales person but wanted to give it a try and I’m so glad that I did.

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Topics: multifamily sales