Why the Quality of Rental Leads Trumps the Quantity

The age-old saying quality is better than quantity holds particularly true when it comes to rental marketing and leasing. Sometimes rental property owners and operators will put more stock in the quantity of leads generated, rather than quality.

A flawed rental marketing strategy would be to try and maximize the number of leads possible by posting rental property listings with every free-to-post service online, and then renew on a continual basis. A ton of rental leads may give the illusion of marketing success; but if they aren’t qualified leads, is this really a successful marketing strategy? The answer is no, and here is why.

  1. Low Quality Leads: This type of lead is one that is very unlikely to generate an actual lease signing. The problem is that they consume time, resources and often don’t produce results.
  2. Time: Time is money and a precious commodity. Allocating time effectively can help streamline the leasing process. The task of having to respond to hundreds of unqualified or low-quality leads can take a lot of time; often not generating a lot of leases. Furthermore, the constant need to post and re-post listings can eat up even more time.
  3. Low ROI: Even if money isn’t being spent on an advertisement, there is still an investment occurring. This is in the form of staff hours to handle the inquiries and leasing process. Low ROI means that the number of leases being signed doesn’t match the investment being put forth.
  4. Frustration: It’s incredibly frustrating to follow-up and respond to dozens of rental inquiries, but not sign any leases. If a property owner or frontline staff member are constantly replying to inquiries but closing very few leases, this will progressively take a negative toll on morale.

For these reasons, the number of leads should not be the primary indicator of whether or not a certain marketing strategy or advertising platform is working. Instead, there are a few better solutions to generating higher quality leads.

  1. Targeted Advertising: A rental property doesn’t need to be advertised with every listing service. This blanket marketing approach will generate quantity, but not necessarily quality. It’s better to focus on which advertising platforms generate the best leads. For example, if a landlord is specifically looking for student renters, using Places4Students.com would be an ideal platform to use (shameless plug!).
  2. Specific Criteria Listed: Show the exact qualifications and requirements of tenants directly in all advertisements. Sometimes this information is left out in order to appeal to a broader demographic and get more inquiries. The problem again is a lack of qualified applicants. For example, if a property doesn’t allow for pets over 20 pounds, be specific, rather than saying just ‘pets allowed’.
  3. Lead Tracking: This goes beyond just tracking where emails and phone calls are being generated from. It’s best to analyze which marketing methods produce actual lease signings. For example, one advertising platform may generate 100+ emails and/or phone inquiries; but if only 1 or 2 leases are signed, is this method really doing a great job? Probably not.

In the long run, the ability to generate better quality leads, not quantity, should be the goal. This will inevitably lead to higher renewal rates, as well as a higher ROI, for rental property owners and operators.

Originally published at www.places4students.com.