Q: How has RentPath changed or evolved over the past few years in response to technology?
RentPath‘s evolution over the past 3 years has been massive and largely driven by the mobile revolution. Our goal is to be where the renters are, hence in late 2013 we printed our last renter publication and offered a fully digital renter experience. At that time, in the state of Arizona, 25 percent of all leads delivered to apartment communities were coming from a mobile device. As of June 2016, 69 percent of all RentPath’s visitors come from mobile devices. Almost triple in a 3-year time span.
To ensure our customers also dominate their individual mobile experiences with renters, RentPath has expanded our product offering to assist communities with text message communication, mobile responsive email communication, online social media and reputation management. All of which go beyond just driving leads, but help in converting leads to leases and retaining current residents.
Q: How do you stay ahead of the curve and meet the needs of your customers?
Our “customers” are not just our clients, but the renters using our product to find their new home. There are 8 types of renter personas that each have different drivers in choosing their new home. For example, “The Elevated/23 percent of renters” care more about what the inside of the apartment looks like, specifically the kitchen, where as “The Scenester/21 percent of renters” care more about the location of the community so they can walk to the best dining and coffee shops. Understanding each renter persona and allowing them to customize their search to fit their desires has been key to RentPath’s growth.
In August, RentPath completed its first company-wide hackathon, where six teams looked at the various renter persona segments and how we could customize the search experience to “delight” each of the various customer types. This hackathon has birthed an exciting map of product enhancements and new product development that will begin releasing as early as December 2016 and throughout 2017.
Q: What are some of the newer technologies or products that you offer that some may not be aware of?
Community Reputation PRO: RentPath will monitor AND respond to all reviews with an average response time of 20 minutes. In addition, RentPath will actively manage and post to your communities Facebook, Google+ and Twitter pages.
Media Center: Communication platform that allows you to text message with your residents and prospective renters. It also offers 100’s of mobile responsive email templates to ensure all your email communication is optimized by device.
Live Response Solutions: 24/7 bilingual call center to ensure every renter and resident gets their needs met at any time of the day.
Q: What trends in marketing should AMA members be following to grow their businesses?
Watch your online reputation: 66 percent of renters look at ratings and reviews prior to making a renting decision.
Mobile Presence & Communication: With the vast majority of renters using mobile, you need to make sure your community’s presence and communication via mobile are optimized.
Q: How has your work with the AMA helped you grow your business?
At RentPath, we strongly believe in supporting the associations that make our industry stronger. The AMA’s ability to monitor and influence legislation that ensures consistent and steady growth of the multifamily industry in Arizona has a trickle-down positive impact on all its regular and associate members.
Q: What’s been the program or experience with the AMA that has helped you professionally or personally?
There have been many, but I would say my favorite was being one of the AMA’s first Lyceum graduates. Spending a year developing my volunteer and leadership skills with some of the industry’s top future leaders was time well spent and helped shape the direction of my career.
This interview was originally published in the December 2016/January 2017 issue of Apartment News, the official print publication of the Arizona Multihousing Association. To order copies of this magazine, contact the AMA.