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The Conversion: Using Data to Optimize Lead-Management Strategy

Optimize Lead-Management Strategy
September 2017

Lauren Curley, Mary Herrold and Amy Barricelli tackled everything from what’s currently working in the industry to properly utilizing data resources during “The Conversion: Optimized Lead Management Strategies that Deliver” session at the NAA Education Conference & Exhibition in June in Atlanta.

“Getting the value out of the data you have is what propels business forward,” said Herrold, JVM Realty Corporation’s Vice President of Marketing and Business Development. “Before you start working with lead data or any data, you need a ‘North Star’ and you need consistency.”

Herrold defines the “North Star” as the single source of truth for an organization. It is not only identified, but agreed upon and measured consistently by all key stakeholders. She urges every company to have candid discussions with each subject matter expert (think the end user not necessarily the executive in charge) and decision-makers from all departments on what defines an organization’s single source of truth. Who are the final end users?; How will performance be measured?; How do we define top of the funnel?; are all questions that need to be openly discussed.

“Be clear on expectations deadlines, cadence, performance to goals, or face a data train wreck,” Herrold said. “To stay on the tracks, reassess every six months.”

Bonaventure has successfully determined its single source of truth as the firm understands the connection between data and how leasing is conducted.

“We are starting to think about lead management the way the Oakland A’s used Sabermetrics to revolutionize the game of baseball. The A’s didn’t alter the game; they used data to understand where the wins came from,” explains Curley, Bonaventure Realty Group’s Chief Operating Officer. “We believe there is an epidemic failure in the property management industry to ‘understand what is really happening’ during the leasing process.”

Curley shared that Bonaventure has built various proprietary platforms and formulas designed to deliver data and analytics directly to its teams, helping drive its marketing, advertising and operations decisions. 

“We’re stepping outside of the typical analytics dashboard environment to deliver snapshots of information when and how our teams need it,” she said. “Mirroring the kinds of mobile notifications you get from Facebook or Twitter, we’re triggering text messages, emails and push notifications based on onsite activity so that we can drive real-time performance. It’s business intelligence outside of the box.”

Also thinking outside of the conversion box is Barricelli, Director, Resident Marketing for The Bucinni/Polin Group. She challenged the audience to think not about conversion but about convergence. 

Barricelli proposed that the industry is missing a key opportunity by not proactively bringing revenue management and marketing together.

“Are you consistently participating on revenue management calls or meetings? Is this even something you and your company have considered,” she asked.

According to Barricelli, revenue managers and marketers are both measuring lead conversion, but are doing so to track different areas of effectiveness. Too often, each discipline works within a silo focused on the agenda presented by the very nature of the position and the department’s responsibilities. That can lead to the all too often answer of price being too high, she said.

“Prospects typically know in advance of making the trip out [to your property] and spending an hour on a tour, what the price is and if it’s affordable to them,” she said. “Today, it’s fair to say that there are no major surprises when it comes to pricing—so why do we seem to go right to the price objection as the reason for non-conversion?”

She believes that converging the two entities instead of working on separate silos will deliver a truly holistic approach to marketing strategy. “We are able to utilize metrics to best determine not only the effectiveness of lead conversion, but the points and reasons for that effectiveness — or lack thereof,” she shared.

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