Gables Residential

Leasing Associates Tools to Inspire Prospects

QUESTION

Gables Residential is one of the largest multi-family real estate companies in the United States. They manage over 31,500 apartment homes and 500,000 square feet of retail space. Managing and tracking all of that square footage can be a difficult task, so Gables Residential contacted Digital Scientists for help. They needed their associates to have better marketing and sales tools for all of their properties.

Through an investment in their customer experience strategy, Gables made improvements that allowed them to spend less---a savings of over 1 Million---on sales and marketing, and get more out of their current investments.

    SERVICES UTILIZED
  • digital strategy
  • UX design
  • iPad application development

“Digital Scientists also allowed us to look at the journey of the searcher and see the various sources they were using. That allowed us to say to vendors like Apartment Guide and Rent.com: “Now, instead of paying you a subscription, we want to pay you per lease...during the first year the site went up, we saved over $1 million in advertising costs because we were only paying for leases that we got.”

Testimonial Lynette Hegeman Gables

Lynette Hegeman, Vice President at Gables Residential


Need sales enablement help?

EXPERIMENT/HYPOTHESIS

Overview: We developed the Gables iPad sales application, giving leasing agents all of the needed tools at their fingertips. Agents access unit availability, floor plans, amenities, and leasing applications. Prospects can specify a rent range and get a preview of available units and floor plans. We automated numerous CRM communication tasks such as mailing brochures and “thank you” notes.

As the former “Digital Agency of Record” for Gables, we produced a large number of projects together, including:

  • Gables Corporate Site and Enhanced Search
  • Tablet & Kiosk Sales Application
  • Lead-to-Lease Customer Dashboard and Custom APIs

ANALYSIS

After our successful creation and launch of a search application and corporate site for Gables, we were thrilled when they asked us to bring our design thinking to their sales and leasing process.

We collaborated with the Gables technical, operations and sales teams to understand their current leasing process. Then we worked with the cross-functional team to create a new iPad-enabled sales process. The new app gives the leasing associates everything they need right at their fingertips:

  • Support the Gables sales process using a checklist of all the important steps to community amenities to a lease application.
  • Prospects can specify their rent range and get a preview of available units and floor plans.
  • The app automates tasks like sending brochures or thank you notes.
  • Eliminates the manual entry of paper forms and notes at the end of each day.

We also worked with the Gables IT team to design and implement APIs that make it easy for leasing associates to pull up information prospective residents have already provided by web, email, or phone. Part of creating a luxury experience is only asking your visitors to provide their information once. We started by collaborating with the Gables technical, operations and sales teams to understand their current leasing process.

The Result: A state-of-the-art, touch-enabled experience for prospective residents and leasing associates.

Interested in the full story? Read it here. 

TECHNOLOGY STACK
Ruby On Rails - Mvc Framework For Databases, Web Services, And Web Pages

Ruby on Rails
We created custom web and application layouts, as well as a CMS for managing content in the corporate site and tablet application.

Built With Ember Js

EmberJS
Used to build application layouts in the tablet sales app.

Sphinx - Search Ledet Courseware

Sphinx Search
Search across all Gables properties with ease. Enhanced search features included creating keywords for location proper names and neighborhoods, like “Virginia Highlands.”

BY THE NUMBERS

+1M

saved in advertising costs

In the first year, Gables Residential saved over 1 Million in advertising costs with a cost-per-lease model that bypassed expensive subscription services

35

percent

Gables experienced a 35 percent increase in organic leads in the first quarter after the launch of the new website platform

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