How to Increase Your Lead to Lease Conversion - 10 Tips For Property Managers

Hibah Khan
Read time
May 16, 2024

Lead to lease conversions can be a tough nut to crack. In fact, 79% of the leads never convert due to an ineffective lead management strategy. Keep on reading this article to find ways to increase your lead to lease conversion rates and fill vacancies faster.  

With a proactive rental advertisement strategy, anyone can generate hundreds of leads in no time. However, for a property manager, the real struggle begins when converting those leads into paying customers.

A vacant property poses a grave threat to your property management business’ profitability. We know how a high vacancy rate can disturb your finances. Even if you manage to generate leads, somehow, without keeping a check, you may get low-quality tenants on board. Such conversions lower your market value and increase the turnover rate.  

But it is never too late. You can always lower the rental vacancy rate by grasping the right ways of lead to lease conversion with a quality renter, we are here for that!    

What is Lead to Lease Conversion?

For a property manager lead to lease conversion is an essential KPI. It means the time it takes to convert a rental lead (coming from a listing website, or referral) into submitting a signed leasing (paying renter).

For example: if your listing ads generate 10 qualified leads, of which 5 leads book tours, and one lead ends up signing a lease, your lead to lease conversion will be 10% (1/10*100). Whereas your tour to lease ratio will be 20% (1/5*100).

Lead to lease conversion needs to be quick, accurate, and healthy. Once your current tenant gives you a leaving notice, gear up, and start your hunt for the next one.

That’s why we suggest automating your leasing operations. It will reduce the time taken for leads to convert into long-term tenants, stabilizing your rental vacancy rate.  

Automating your leasing process helps you save 70% of your leasing staff time usually spent on mundane tasks. An AI-based Leasing Platform can manage all your tasks. It can respond to your leads within seconds, pre-qualify them, schedule the property tours as per your calendar, and keep you updated throughout the process.  

At the same time, you can utilize this saved time to make your rental vacancy rate stable by nourishing your relationships with current and prospective tenants. If you are still not sure, try taking a free trial and decide when to start.  

What Causes Low Lead to Lease Conversion?

There are times when you get the leads, but none of them converts into a successful lease. Wondering if that’s the case with your properties only?

Well, you are not alone. Many property managers struggle with low lead to lease conversion rates. Try to put yourself in your prospect’s shoes for a day, and you will get your answer.  

Here are some reasons why your conversion rates are low, resulting in high rental vacancy rates:

Want to discover more reasons why your renters are leaving? Read our article for learning ways to minimize your tenant turnover.  

10 Tips for Property Managers to Increase Lead to Lease Conversion

Property managers can never be at rest if they have vacant properties, neither can those tenants whose leases are about to end and are searching for a better place to move in. Your occupied properties are barely recovering profits, on top of that, the burden of a vacant property is increasing your expenses.

This is surely a HUGE mess!

To make your job easier, we have shortlisted ten expert tips that will help you convert your leads into leases faster, and reduce your rental vacancy rates.  

1. Reach More Leads With an Efficient Listing

According to research, 52% of people use the internet to find a house. As a property manager, you need to make sure your properties are listed on all the sites your prospective leads might be using for their house hunt.  

Most property managers use Zumper for listing, which is free and outcome-oriented. But with the rising competition in the industry, only listing yourself on Zumper is not enough. There are plenty of other free-listing sites that you can use for reaching out to a wider target audience.

A common issue Property Managers face is, filtering out window-shoppers from a pool of prospective leads. It is better to switch to a property management automation software, which pre-screens the tenants for you and sends you alerts only for high-quality leads.

2. Use Technology to Attract the Rental Leads

Listings can definitely give your properties more exposure, but your job doesn't end there, look around and see how you can make the most out of this pandemic through technology.  

Many property management companies are already attracting leads through advanced technology. As per the Consumer Housing Trends Report 2018 by the Zillow group, 41% of the millennials prefer recorded videos instead of visiting a property. It’s high time you start attracting prospective leases at their convenience.  

This pandemic has also contributed to giving property tours a new perspective. The real estate industry has witnessed a lot of changes. As property managers can no longer conduct open houses they need to switch to new marketing strategies for attracting potential renters.

You need to invest in 3D tours of your property or conduct live virtual tours that can convert leads to leases on the spot. And advertise it prominently in your listings - “Virtual Showings Available”.

Make sure you feature the best pictures of your listing. Properties having captivating high-quality pictures convert leads to lease 32% faster. Use lightening equipment, find the perfect angles, learn how to capture good images, or best invest in a good photographer, attract more leads, and lower the rental vacancy rate.

3. Respond to Rental Inquiries Immediately

Listing your properties on several sites does boost your lead generation, but simultaneously adds the task of filtering through prospective resident inquiries. And it is NOT humanly possible to respond immediately to each one of them. Even if you promise to be on your toes, you just can’t be active 24/7.  

People looking for rental units are browsing through multiple properties at once, and responding immediately to their queries helps you stand out among competitors. By responding within 1-2 minutes, you increase your chances to win the lease.  

We know you are not a robot, and nobody likes working on weekends or working after-hours. But you can still win. You just need to start looking at technology that automates the monotonous processes like an AI chatbot. Property Management Chatbots are smart, secure, can answer renter inquiries and book tours within seconds.  

4. Always Follow-up your Rental Leads

An immediate response from the prospects is not always the case. They can be busy somewhere, or maybe were unable to spare minutes when you responded. Keep a follow-up channel always ready as your prospective leads might just be an email away.  

Draft an email and retarget those leads. Also, never forget to add a call-to-action at the end of each follow-up, pushing them to take a step forward by viewing properties on your website. If you are quick and follow-up within 10 minutes, the chance for a conversion increases by 185%.  

Ideally, you should send out 3 –4 follow up emails within a week. If they respond, you’ve made it to the next step. But if they don’t, stop spamming them with emails and move on as that affects your overall brand image.  

And if you are already working with a property management company, no need to worry, your follow-ups are automated.

5. Be Prepared with Alternative Listings

Once you gain a prospective lead, don’t let it go. They might not find the listed property suitable for them, even after all the inquiries. Suggest other rentals which you think will suit them the best. Before they move on to some other listing, prepare an email with all the information, including answers to all the possible inquiries they might have.  

Sounds hectic? Well, cross-selling is hectic.

But not when you manage your properties through AI property management company that can highlight your other listings and cross-sell your units.

This method improves your chances of lead to lease conversion. Showcasing all these options gives potential tenants an opportunity to choose from a broader portfolio.

6. Go Digital

To have a stable rental vacancy rate you need quality conversions of leads to leases. Be sure about the leasing process you’re using. There were times when the property leasing process was all about heaps of paperwork but now it has become obsolete. People are moving forward.  

Research showed that 43% of property managers now prefer digital leasing. Your prospective residents can give up on you if you aren’t up-to-date with modern tech.  

Property management automation is completely efficient when you have a digital leasing platform. To keep up with your competitors, you should implement a digital screening process, an online fee payment setup, and an online lease signing process. It not only saves your time but also speeds up the lead to lease conversion process.

You can have a gradual start. Only by adopting a digital leasing agreement, you can start witnessing notable changes. Prospective leads are attracted towards simple and convenient methods. And digitization is one of them.

If you haven’t planned this yet, start investing in digital leasing processes right now, and grow your portfolio.

7. Explore Online Paid Advertising

Property managers are already using online advertisements to convert their leads to leases. But are you only relying on free advertisements?  

There are plenty of mediums for online advertising, with Pay Per Click (PPC) being the most effective one for lead to lease conversion. You can place an ad on websites your potential renters engage with the most. The best thing about PPC is that you only get to pay when someone clicks on your ad. PPC also boosts your property management company's visibility in search engines.

Another common advertisement medium is Facebook ads which is a rather costly medium but has high conversion rates.

Decide a budget, shortlist suitable keywords, and design an appealing ad for prospective residents. Soon you’ll start generating your listing traffic. And if it sounds like an extra burden, outsource your online advertising to an expert.

8. Create an Appealing Property Management Website

Once you start using online platforms efficiently, your website will also get more traffic from potential renters. The generated rental leads always research your company before taking any further steps.  

Your website needs to be appealing and user-friendly to create a positive image. You have 50 milliseconds to make yourself count. We understand it takes time, but you need to make concrete efforts if you want a low rental vacancy rate.  

Your prospects will likely think negatively about you and your property if the website is slow, has a poor interface, or irrelevant content. And you will lose your almost successful lead.

9. Be Active on Social Media

As a property manager you have a high chance of attracting quality rental leads and converting them into leases through social media. You can upload appealing pictures along with the details and a call-to-action. You can also request your current tenants to share your ads for better outreach.  

Due to COVID property managers can no longer solely rely on referral programs, or word of mouth as a part of their marketing strategy.

Having a presence on social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter now plays an important role in property management marketing strategy. It increases your brand name’s authenticity.

According to the National Association of Realtors, 47% of high-quality leads for a rental property are generated from social media. After all, your target audience is browsing through several real estate groups and you need to keep a check on them too.

10. Monitor your Lead to Lease Conversion

Now, this last tip matters the most. Would you spend your time, money, and energy without keeping a check on outcomes? No, obviously!

Closely monitor every step you take. Calculate and analyze your conversion rate, vacancy rate, and the turnover rate at the end of each month. Evaluate your listings and ads, whether they’re free or paid. For calculating the effectiveness of your paid ads, you can divide the amount you invested in it by the leads you generated.  

Keep your leasing team happy and organised

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Hibah Khan

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