5 Ways to Improve Collections in Residential Leasing
April 12, 2021
The residential leasing world is experiencing unprecedented levels of default on lease agreements. Eviction had always prevented the need for a high level of sophistication in collections processes, yet now, the industry has been forced to think differently*. We outline in this two-page white paper the top 5 ways to get to collections readiness.
The Challenge—Old Strategies Don’t Work
It’s more critical than ever to target residents who can pay, provide viable options for those who need help, and keep yourself compliant and out of the red. You need a collections strategy that gets the best outcomes for you and your residents.
You may be experiencing these challenges already:
- Significant increase in rental debt and residents facing financial stress
- Reduced contact, collections and kept payment rates
- Former payment plans, treatments and communications no longer work
- Agents do not have the training needed to successfully handle calls
- Inability to predict future ability to pay and apply differential strategies
- Your digital systems and tools lack the ability for agents and residents to effectively update circumstances, review options and make payments seamlessly
Currently, we have found that clients aren’t sure how to prioritize their time and investment. Several companies in residential leasing are not ready to handle the current volumes and feel behind the curve. Our 5 steps help to get in front of the curve.
By following these steps, you could achieve an uplift of greater than 40% in dollars collected and over 25% in arrangements secured within 16-24 weeks. These estimates are based on actual performance uplift from a previous client after we helped them make enhancements based on these steps.
Step 1: Segmentation
Predict “ability-to-pay” by analyzing all existing data to identify resident attributes that help you segment your portfolio.
Step 2: Collection Strategies
Assess contact channels, contact strategies and treatments to design an enhanced approach by segment that ensures you target residents who will most likely work with you.
Step 3: Written Communications
Review all written communication and develop targeted messaging by segment with clear calls to action, options, consequences and contact/payment methods. Make sure your written communications provide all the following elements.
Step 4: Agent Skills
Evaluate agent calls to identify skill gaps in establishing ability, stability and willingness to pay. Once you know the gaps, you can address them through enhanced training and coaching.
If you need extra help in Step 4, we have a 30-minute webinar that covers agent training. Watch the recording here.
Step 5: Digital Capabilities
Assess the benefits of investing in an all-round digital collections system. Such an investment means that leadership can design and manage contact strategies/campaigns by segment, that agents can easily access and update resident files and that residents can set up and make affordable payments.
We have helped many clients accelerate digital capabilities with vendor selection, read the 9 steps for successful tech selection here.
Bridgeforce Can Quickly Get Your Collections Up to Speed
Our experience and expertise in default management spans over 20 years. We’ve mastered each element within the 5 steps above while tailoring solutions for each client. We deliver real results in weeks not months, and are confident that our unique way of working alongside your team to enhance collections while minimizing down-time, will position you for long-term success.
Client Reviews: Don’t just take our word for it
A recent 8-week engagement delivered residential lease collections enhancements and training on all changes. The client sponsor stated, “I went through this training myself last week…IT IS EXCELLENT!!” following the all-virtual training portion of the engagement.
Our client achieved these outcomes from our efforts:
- Full assessment and suite of enhancements with a 4-6 week execution roadmap
- Gained buy-in and support from c-suite, operations, compliance, marketing, technology, finance and HR to implement all enhancements without exception
- Delivered enhanced collections training to all agents
- Provided the following, and more to embed all changes and secure an expected 40-50% increase in collection rates:
- Lease-level segmentation with tutorials and guide to replicating in-house and increasing sophistication as data capture improves
- Set of revised treatment and payment plans to target residents by segment
- Contact frequency, messaging, channels and approach by segment
- Enhanced call model and script with agent phrases for all key scenarios
- Call rating sheet and agent coaching framework