"A great website enhances great service"
Avenue Living Communities has embarked on an initiative to improve the technology it uses to better serve its rental property tenants across Western Canada.
The technology and communication improvements began late 2018 and included the company's website and social media channels as well as enhanced electronic leasing and online booking capabilities.
Avenue Living is known as an innovative real estate company and it's the reason it continues to introduce cutting-edge technological solutions for its customers to ensure a greater rental and living experience.
William Akoto, Director of Marketing and Communications for ALC, said the company felt that a website is a true reflection of the service and the product it was offering.
"A great website enhances great service. We felt it is the most important marketing tool that prospects and current tenants will visit before they have any interaction with us," said Akoto.
"For prospects to get a better idea of the kinds of suites and apartments that we have, the first place they're going to go to is the website. Therefore, the importance of having our website accurately reflect our brand in a concise and engaging manner cannot be overstated. So we developed a new site we thought is very comprehensive and really takes into account everything that we provide here. Slick design. Mobile friendly. Social media integration. Easy way for a prospect to contact us. Great display of our product and services."
The refreshed website became more modernized and intuitive for new clients in their search for apartments and more efficient for current clients. Also, existing social media channels were re-invigorated, while new ones were introduced, creating a multi-channel platform that includes Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
The new website was launched on November 21, 2018.
"Since then we've had an uptick on traffic of about 13 to 15 per cent," said Akoto. "We've received a lot of emails and a lot of testimonials from current tenants, prospects and vendors saying the difference between our previous website and our current website has been day and night."
The push in the social media direction is also an initiative the company is undertaking to better engage with customers and open the channel of communication with them.
Avenue Living has a long-term goal of being an industry leader in modernization and technology with a vision of setting a new standard for the real estate industry.
Part of its technology improvements has been the introduction of electronic leasing capabilities, allowing rental agreements to be signed digitally and remotely, making the process more efficient and convenient, said Crystal Li, the company's Chief of Staff.
"We recognized the need to optimize our processes and technologies to make things more efficient for our employees and our tenants as well," said Li.
"We partnered with a Toronto-based company called Yuhu, which is that specializes in developing technology platforms for real estate property management operations. . . Their platform spans everything from bookings and applications and leasing, to inspections and maintenance. It's a slick web-based platform that includes things like a tenant portal and much more robust communication abilities. Their whole operational platform spans about 10 different modules. We kicked off the relationship by implementing three so far and we are looking to expand the relationship further."
The three include online bookings, online applications and electronic leasing. People can now make bookings online any time of the day. Applications are now automated which will save time and can be evaluated within minutes. All of the company's leasing staff in the field are now equipped with touchscreen computers where lease signing can be digitally handled in person with a tenant. The electronic capability allows for saving time and paperwork.
"There are lots of great implications in terms of customer convenience, efficiencies and time savings," added Li.
"We're really placing a lot more emphasis on modernizing the technologies that we use both internally and customer facing, and we're going to continue to be investing in new technologies to enhance the customer experience going forward."