In the quiet corners of a Chicago office building, a team of visionaries is hard at work.
We don’t know who they are. They’re in the office next to ours, and their door is made of that smoked glass you can’t see through even when standing really close (not that we would ever do that… again). Nevertheless, the mere presence of these visionaries occasionally motivates us to dream up our own visions, and that motivation has kept us working feverishly the past six months. To what end? That’s what I’m here to discuss.
Since the launch of RentSentinel twenty short months ago, our goal has been to make the posting process as painless and rewarding as possible. We’re still working hard to achieve that goal. In 2011, we plan to enhance the Property Marketer tool (starting with a refined new name: RentSentinel Marketer) with better setup features, faster performance, and more robust reporting tools.
Of course, we also realize there is more to online marketing than posting and syndication. Marketing success involves the full interaction between you and your audience. Where do your leads come from? What questions do prospects most often ask? How quick and effective are your responses? How many interactions occur before a prospect visits the property or signs a lease? To fully evaluate the success of any marketing campaign, these are the types questions we know you’re asking.
RentSentinel will help you answer every one.
Some of you may be aware that we announced our leasing product in November at the NMHC Conference. RentSentinel Leasing will allow prospects to complete the entire application process online at home or at your property, including background screening, credit checks, fee and deposit payments, and culminating in an electronically signed lease. But RentSentinel Leasing is just the beginning.
What about the steps between the original posting and the signed lease? What about the phone calls? The emails? The property visits and tours? What if you could effectively track every interaction with a prospect and see the entire history wrapped up in a neat little package? You could theoretically analyze your marketing efforts so thoroughly it might be possible to identify the specific words and phrases in a craigslist post that result in the highest number of signed leases. That idea started to get us excited, and excitement drove us to build three entirely new products that fit seamlessly (well, there are a few seams at the moment, but we’re patching them as fast as we can) into your RentSentinel experience.
The first new product is RentSentinel Prospector. Use it alongside Marketer (and I literally mean ‘alongside’, because the tabs for Marketer and Prospector touch each other at the top of our redesigned interface) to be notified of new email leads and quotes. When a prospect responds to a craigslist ad or sends an email from an ILS, you’ll be notified right away and can respond immediately from within RentSentinel. You can track and view all interactions between your property and your prospects. New reports will help illustrate response time and success across all sources and methods of contact. Where Marketer measures the quality and effort of your content distribution, Prospector will measure the speed and effectiveness of your response. With Prospector and RentSentinel Leasing together, you can measure how quickly and efficiently your property converts an ad or listing into a signed Lease.
But wait! There’s more! (Can you tell we’re excited?)
RentSentinel Phone extends the usefulness of Prospector by automatically tracking your Phone Leads. You start by assigning numbers to various marketing sources. With the click of a button, RentSentinel can retrieve new campaign numbers and automatically assign them. When prospects call those numbers, RentSentinel notifies you on screen of the incoming call. When you answer, you can convert that call into a prospect or tie the lead to an existing prospect. You can play back a recording of the call at any time, track missed calls, and listen to voicemails. Essentially, RentSentinel Phone gives you a more complete history of your interactions with prospects, and those interactions will tie into all of your RentSentinel reports.
Next comes one of our most fun new products: RentSentinel Tablet. We visited many leasing offices during our research, and we were amazed by the amount of work required during and after a property tour. We searched for ways to speed up the process and eliminate duplicative efforts. For example, why should a leasing agent need to sit down after the tour to record a prospect’s opinions or preferences about every unit shown? Wouldn’t it be faster to do this while on the tour itself? That initial thought gave birth to the RentSentinel Tablet. With it, leasing agents can pull up a prospect’s record, show photos and floorplans, view and filter available units, save quotes, set up a Tour Queue, drag and drop units from the queue to the actual tour, and easily record a prospect’s opinion of things like apartment size, layout, and amenities. Best of all, every action performed on the Tablet will automatically sync with RentSentinel, eliminating duplicative work and providing an even clearer understanding of a property’s interaction with a prospect. Version one will be available exclusively on the Apple iPad, but we anticipate future versions for Android and other tablet operating systems.
Did you get all that? That’s what’s coming very soon to RentSentinel. The rollout begins in February, when we’ll begin piloting the new Prospector, Phone, and Leasing tools. RentSentinel Tablet will appear shortly thereafter.
If you’re interested in a sneak peek (otherwise known as a demonstration), call us now at 312-283-1420 or fill out the demo request form on our leasing page at rentsentinel.com/onlineleasing.
Exciting things are on the way, and we hope they will make your jobs easier and your businesses more successful. The visionaries in the office next to us have no idea what they’ve unleashed upon the world. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.