Keeping Leads Inside Your Portfolio (and Out of Your Competitors') in the Multifamily Industry


Generating and retaining high-quality leads is a top priority for many property management companies. With all the time and budget devoted to attracting residents, leasing teams should do anything to keep those leads inside their company's portfolio.

But if the initial property a prospect considers doesn't have exactly what they're looking for, they likely will head next door to your competitor — when instead, they could be referred to a nearby sister property.

Referring prospects from one property to another isn't just a resource saver. It also greatly impacts your bottom line: Our data shows that referred prospects are twice as likely to convert to renters as non-referred prospects.

So, how can you leverage sister property referrals for sustained business growth? It all comes down to embracing a customer-centric leasing strategy — and finding the tools to help you deploy that strategy.

1. Maintain a consistent customer experience

When referring prospects from one property to another, a key part of providing a great customer experience is a consistent customer experience.

How do you get started? "Get back to the basics," says Pauline Houchins, Executive Vice President at First Communities. "One of the things that we've done is add a beverage cart. It forced our associates to ask the prospect if they want a refreshment, bring the beverage cart and give them a small experience before you even tour them or talk about your amenities."

To bolster in-person customer service, you should also allow leasing agents to capture and share lead information and preferences quickly. This enables all leasing agents to see a record of prospect interactions (like a beverage cart chat). It also ensures that prospects experience the same great level of service throughout their leasing journey.

A Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) solution with a guest card does this work for you. By tracking a prospect's amenity and unit preferences, a guest card makes that information accessible to any property in your portfolio — teeing up leasing agents at the sister property to pick up where the previous team left off.

A next-level guest card, like Knock® CRM's 360 Guest Card, can even keep track of prospect preferences given over the phone — automatically adding them to the related guest card — with tools like Call Intelligence.

2. Centralize your leasing operations

For the past few years, centralized leasing has been a much-touted solution in the multifamily industry, and for good reason: Among other benefits, centralized tech can make leasing teams more efficient and can be customized to the level of support your company needs.

A centralized solution is especially helpful for keeping leads within your portfolio. For example, centralization makes enhancing your company's website easy by showcasing sister properties. This enables you to cross-promote available units, amenities and other unique features that pique prospect interest.

Centralization can also help recapture lost prospects. With the ability to send automated communications, leasing agents are empowered to refer lost prospects to sister properties, pass along information about property amenities, schedule follow-ups and more.

Some centralized solutions, like Knock's Centralized Leasing Suite, also streamline the tour scheduling process. By allowing leasing agents to book tours at sister properties, tools like Knock provide a seamless experience for prospects and make it easy for them to explore multiple communities in your portfolio.

3. Leverage next-generation resident referral programs

The third way to keep high-quality leads inside your portfolio is to institute referral programs for current residents.

Beyond good ol' word-of-mouth referrals to friends and family, today's property management companies should take advantage of digital referral programs that are easy for your staff to use and rewarding for your residents.

Programs like Community Rewards™ turn current residents into brand ambassadors by encouraging them to promote their community through social media. This is a crucial yet often overlooked area: Socially influenced leads are significantly more likely to turn into leases, closing at a 2x higher rate.

Resident referral programs like Community Rewards also make it easy to offer residents digital rewards for their referral efforts, like a gift card of their choosing.

(By the way, rewarding residents helps retain them, too! RealPage® data shows that engaged residents stay 12% longer.)


When it comes to keeping leads inside your portfolio, the best solution is often the simplest: Provide a great customer experience, no matter where prospects are (physically or digitally) in their journey to find a new home.

Look for a CRM that enables your company to provide a consistent customer experience, centralize your leasing operations and leverage current residents to attract prospects. Tools like Knock make this easy — and set your properties apart from the competition. (Plus, Knock is user-friendly for leasing teams, so they can hit the ground running.)

Want to learn more about Knock CRM? Get in touch with us!

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