Operational Struggles: Call Abandonment for First-Time Callers Doubles During Outbreak

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Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., the apartment industry has been closely monitoring its effects on leasing behavior. One unfortunate trend we are seeing right now is the rise of call abandonment. This trend means apartment communities are missing valuable leads and, as a result, operators may need to revamp their leasing processes.
Answer Rates Have Materially Shifted
First, let’s dig into some data. For analysis purposes, let’s compare the leasing call volume data of Anyone Home customers from February 25 to March 14 against March 15 to March 25. The analysis below looked at calls made to apartment community customers that don’t use our contact center; the calls met the following criteria:
•Only leasing calls to multifamily properties
•First-time callers only; any repeat or follow-up calls from prospects were excluded

Since March 15, leasing call answer rates dropped by nearly half, presumably because apartment communities have scaled back their onsite staffs in the wake of COVID-19 concerns and restrictions. What does this decline mean? If a community isn’t using a contact center to answer calls missed by the onsite team, those calls are being abandoned by the prospect. In the analysis above, the difference between a 65% and 33% leasing call answer rate means the properties are now losing an additional one-third of all leads, whereas prior to the outbreak, those leads were receiving some immediate level of engagement. To make matters worse, we did not see any material change to the number of prospects leaving voicemails,……

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