Charmaine Wan Career Background
What is your biggest career achievement?
- My biggest career achievement is what I would like to call a triple delight: 1) winning Greystar’s Marketing Master 2020 Award, 2) winning Greystar New England’s Above and Beyond Award, 3) being promoted to Senior Marketing Manager all in the same year! I attribute the start of my success to the stabilization of two of my lease ups in 2019: One Beachmont in Revere, MA and Radius in Boston, MA. They were the first two brands I helped develop and launched on the East Coast. I leveraged my three plus years of lease up experience from the West Coast as well as data from our Greystar Analytics database to craft various strategic digital campaigns to build brand awareness and increase lead generation. One Beachmont was pre-leased at 24% or 47 units, and Radius was pre-leased at 50% or 58 units when they opened and welcomed the first batch of residents. One Beachmont opened on 1/15/19 and stabilized on 7/31/19, just half a year later with three months of preleasing. Radius opened on 6/1/19 and stabilized on 9/31/19, just three months later with three months of preleasing. Both communities stabilized ahead of schedule and are by far my best lease up track record to date! These accomplishments are the hard-working results of my experience and knowledge in understanding what it takes and how marketing plays a role in the predevelopment, lease up and stabilization process.
What is your ultimate career goal within the rental housing industry?
- My ultimate career goal is to work exclusively on new development and rebrands within the multifamily industry, particularly mixed-used communities with multiple retail components. My passion is in branding and creating unique experiences throughout the customer journey. People have really embraced the live, work, play lifestyle and supporting local. It is imperative for us to brainstorm partnership and cross-promotion opportunities with nearby businesses and organizations to create a more integrated neighborhood. Our goal is to become the local community ambassador for our prospects and residents. You only have one chance to make a great first impression. I enjoy the challenge of creating the brand experience and presence from start, and figuring out how to inspire brand loyalty, which are online reviews, social following and resident retention. Our job as property marketers is to bridge the gap between management and what the prospects and residents want. If we can get prospects and residents to fall in love with our community and help them make meaningful connections and friends through various touchpoints, they are more likely to sign the lease and renew. It’s cheaper to retain than to acquire new residents.
What's one rental housing trend you have your eye on?
- I believe virtual reality (VR) can continue to improve and transform the rental housing search and tour experience. We have seen how Covid has changed consumer behavior, expectations and the prospect search and conversion lifecycle. Virtual tour is now a normal option to offer, and most prospects expects videos and photos as part of the leasing follow-up. Prospects want information readily available at their fingertips to help them narrow the search. The challenge with selling a home or an apartment digitally is the inability to make personal connections with prospects and allowing prospects to get a genuine feel of the community lifestyle and resident activities.
With 360 virtual tours, we can seamlessly plan and personalize a digital tour in an organized manner from start to finish by mirroring the in-person tour path. This tool allows our leasing teams to “physically” walk prospects through our amenity spaces, the model unit and even their desired floor plan layout. The overall experience is more interactive, engaging and professional compared to just sharing static images or emailing video files. To take it one step further, we can now virtually stage 360 tours of a vacant unit to aid us in selling the dream! We can toggle the furniture “on” and “off” to allow prospects to get a better sense of how they can furnish the space. If you have an interactive floor plan viewer, you can also add these tours as well as the apartment view to give prospects even more specific information to enhance the digital and virtual experience. Prospects can also turn these tours into VR through a headset and walk through our spaces themselves in the comfort of their home. This technology can be applied to new development and renovation projects as well through virtual rendering. As the VR gaming industry continues to grow, people are more accustomed to using it and develop a preference for it. Incorporating virtual reality tours as part of the digital experience can serve as a differentiator and resonates well with the current renter market.