No Excuses..Track your Leads!

There was a bit of a conversation yesterday on Twitter on lead tracking.  Apparently there is a bit of a problem in keeping track of all traffic that comes to your property.  The conversation helped validate a couple of key points for me.  You can’t rely solely on technology to respond to leads and as Eric Brown pointed out if there is no incentive to input the data then they don’t do it.

Eric Brown tweet 300x93 No Excuses..Track your Leads!

Technology can be very useful in tracking all of your traffic but the point is you have to use it.  Property management software and lead tracking companies help optimize data into a much easier format to make decisions with but there still needs to be a human driving the bus in order for any destination to be reached.  Sometimes we can get very complacent with technology.  What did you do before you had these options?  Endless paperwork? Spreadsheets ten feet high?

Moving on to Eric’s point now, there needs to be much more than a policy.  True you’re the boss and policies should typically not be questioned but there is always the buy in challenges whenever a team is asked to accomplish a task.  Hanging out onsite a few times and running my own team for many years we hear the same old expressions: “I am too busy and I don’t have time”.  This is where it needs to become more than just a policy.  Get rid of the opportunity for excuses to hinder results.


Sometimes little visuals like the one here help a team get the overall picture.  It’s all about current and future residents! However itNo excuses visual 300x238 No Excuses..Track your Leads!needs to go much further.  What incentives are you providing? (Please comment below.)  If you don’t have incentives necessarily at the very least does the team understand that by tracking data it helps with current and future occupancy?  Policies are easy to write but can be a pain to implement.  At Brainstorming sessions in September I was able to meet quite a few folks from CLK Multifamily Management who had won the trip to the sessions as a result of meeting their leasing goals.  I was so happy for those team members and thought highly of their corporate individuals who implemented this.

Please share your thoughts on this in the comment section below.  What are you doing to make sure data is entered and used to optimize occupancies? If you value the blog posts I write please think of subscribing so you don’t miss a post.

Written by Jonathan Saar

pf button No Excuses..Track your Leads!
  • Brian Barfield

    Excellent topic! Having spent many years on the advertising side of multifamily, I was always perplexed about the amount of time/effort that was spent on trying to track traffic. It is a very complex idea to try and track a lease back to one source when prospects are using multiple sources to research before visiting, calling and/or emailing a property. It was always my thought- who cares where the traffic came from. I know that properties and companies must see a ROI on their advertising dollars, but it seems that we can learn a little from other businesses and advertising when it comes to this and find realistic soltutions and not burden the leasing team with more “non-leasing” work.

  • Jonathan Saar

    Hey Brian thanks for jumping in. That was one of the reasons I posted this as well. Is there a solution for onsite teams? What works and what doesn’t? From the discussion we had yesterday on twitter it seems like traffic sources are being missed especially foot traffic. I can understand why that would be an issue of concern. If 10 potential residents walked in but were never recorded but 10 internet leads came in and were recorded automatically, how would those number show up to those who make marketing decisions? With marketing dollars being tight the correct data is becoming more and more important. Thanks for you thoughts. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment.

  • BSitko

    On the last day at AIM after listening to Donald Davidoff speak (from Archstone) I asked a question related to this topic. A typical prospect might drive by the property, go home and google you, go to, browse to mynewplace, and then fill out a contact form on your website. Who wins? How can you base major decisions on flawed data? No one really had the answer and I’m not smart enough to have it either. It depends on your point of view. First source… combination of all… last?

    We use a lead management system to process ALL email leads, and we use LevelOne to answer our source phone calls. Lead Tracking is like swiss cheese. You can try, try, try but you’ll always have holes in the system. You need to use the best metrics available to measure your performance; even if you know its flawed.

  • Jonathan Saar

    Excellent points and like you said Bill that becomes a real challenge on where to give credit to. What about foot traffic? What are you guys doing to track that and how does the data help your marketing approach?

  • BSitko

    Foot traffic is only as good as the people entering it. We don’t have contests for it. We make it a part of their job. It shares the same philosophy as rewarding residents who pay their rent on time. They are contractually bound to! I could certainly argue for and against our policies but I am not the policy maker in this case.

    The data helps in tracking our cost per lease. We use as our benchmark. ($350).

  • Llarocca

    Jonathan, such an important topic. As you know from my recent tweet, I am looking for ways to get consistent input from site teams. Given the tremendous amount of focus we lend to this daily effort at our Trillium properties, the foot traffic reporting has become stronger and more accurate although I am now struggling with getting teams to log phone lead traffic and answer every rental lead that comes through our website. As you know, we make high cost dollar decisions on how we spend marketing dollars based on site input. Short of driving this concept home with every property visit and email blast reminders, my goal is to create an internal program that is empowering for the team and gets the job done at the same time. I like the idea of a reward system through results tracking….although the best professional leasing specialists fully understand the value of good, solid data to bring them more qualified prospects. It’s a work in progress for sure and a component of managing site teams that will certainly be a continued focus. Thanks for the great blog!

  • Jonathan Saar

    Lesa it was an interesting conversation yesterday for sure and I really appreciate your great insights on the topic. It sounds like you are a ramping up for some good old fashioned education and training. I like your thought about professionals understanding the need for data to gather qualified prospects. What we need is just more of those type of pros. What I have found is that some have a hard time wrapping their head around the concept and thinking on their feet so to speak to take it to the next level. If they are trained and empowered to do so then it becomes a really well laid out connection system that optimizes results. Thank you again for taking the time to comment!

  • Jonathan Saar

    @mbj (Mark Juleen) has some great conversation going on a somewhat related topic on his blog.

    Like you commented on earlier Bill tracking is becoming more of a challenge from a marketers POV. It starts with the fundamentals like entering the data and from there it’s the challenge to drill into the data and make solid decisions for our business model.