Episode 20 – JuvoHub Podcast
Apartment leasing has changed virtually overnight. Virtually is the keyword. Samantha Hoard from First Communities takes us down the journey their organization embraced with the instantaneous culture that has taken place. How did the “Apartment Leasing Concierge” program come into life? Be sure to dive into the full episode.
Our Special Guest: Samantha Hoard from First Communities Management
Samantha Hoard is a Senior Marketing Director with First Communities Management, based in Atlanta, GA. Since joining the Century team, Sam has overseen branding initiatives and technology rollouts; including a new reputation management dashboard rollout, resident engagement platform overhaul, lead management dashboard transition, branded storefront buildout, and integration of a self-guided tour platform.
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Samantha Hoard joins us and talks about how thriving, not just surviving, was the name of the game as the pandemic took hold.
She shares with us how the creation of a virtual concierge leasing assistant changed how they did business with outstanding results and discusses how this came to be via amazing leadership that fostered teamwork and commitment, along with a little help from Mark Howell and his time management classes.
There were many moving parts that were needed to make a success out of such a huge undertaking. So join us as she shares how her team took the conception of a virtual concierge leasing agent and made it a reality.
Key Topics Covered
Strong Leadership- What did leadership do to motivate you?
I think we are fortunate in the leadership that we have at FCM. We’ve got a group of executives that really support value and believe in us and provided a space where we could still thrive and create and grow despite some of the challenges we were all facing globally.
There’s a commitment to each other that is unparalleled. It’s really allowed for us all to flex the right muscles, to thrive, to showcase our talents, and we really have just been able to overcome a lot in the last year.
Leasing Concierge- New program to assist leasing
As things evolved, we all had to be nimble, had to think on our feet. And one of the things that we realized, probably in April, that we wanted to consider exploring was a virtual leasing position.
March 16th, the day the world stopped, there was a lot of quick, decision-making, quick, concise communication. We were able to get our policies and procedures buttoned up in place. So by April 1, we were really thinking, “What’s next?” And over the course of the summer, our team got to work.
We had a couple of focus groups. We spoke with clients and spoke with vendors to make sure we would set up the technical components. But by the fall, we were in a position to roll out a full-time virtual leasing concierge role.
KPI’s- Tell me about the key performance indicators
Part of what we were doing during that April to October period is putting together the metrics by which we would determine if this was successful. Once we were actually live with our VLC, we put together our target performance goals for this position.
And it’s really exciting to see that several months in, we’ve been able to move the needle in almost every category. From a conversion perspective, across the pilot properties sample, we’ve seen a 2% increase in prospect to tour across all properties. We’ve also seen a 2% increase in the number of prospects that have actually applied, which is huge.
Today’s Consumer Needs – Gen Z’s and millennials (compliments on-site experience)
The average consumer today are millennials and Gen Zs. They are not going to do what we used to do. Get in the car and spend hours driving up and down apartment row. And they’re so much smarter than we ever were.
They will call you; they’re going to expect that they’re going to have an intelligent conversation with the person that is answering that phone.
Having this hybrid approach of a virtual leasing concierge and on-site agents really appeals across the board.
What one actionable tip could you share that has served you well as an educator?
“Good things come to those that hustle.”Samantha Hoard
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