Case Study

Lincoln Property Company Innovates Demand Management with ILM and LRO

Lincoln Property Company

Profile

  • Established – 1965
  • Headquarters – Dallas, TX
  • Regions Served – All 50 states
  • Units Under Management – 184,167 (Lincoln owns approximately 30 percent of those apartment homes. The rest are units the company fee manages for other owners).
  • Rainmaker Products Used – LRO and Intelligent Lead Management (ILM)

Executive Summary

Lincoln Property.pngLincoln Property Company is one of the true heavyweights of the multifamily industry. Founded more than 50 years ago, the company consistently appears near the very top of the NMHC's prestigious annual rankings of the largest apartment developers, owners and managers.

With such an established presence, one might think Lincoln is prone to complacency. And you would be wrong. With its adoption of Rainmaker's LRO in 2008, the company helped lead the industry charge towards the use of revenue management. Once it began using LRO, Lincoln played an instrumental role in helping Rainmaker develop a lot of LRO's reporting features. About half a decade later, the company further cemented its credentials as an innovator when it began using LRO on some of its lease-ups.

Now, with its adoption of Rainmaker's Intelligent Lead Management (ILM), Lincoln is once again on the leading edge of multifamily. That's because the company's use of the two solutions is paving the way for meaningful collaborations between its pricing and marketing teams to drive demand.

Business Objectives:

  1. Maximize rent growth regardless of market condition.
  2. Minimize the "terrible twos" of lease-ups through optimized asking rents and sound lease expiration management.
  3. Enhance demand through superior business intelligence and collaborations between pricing and marketing teams.

Results:

  1. Lincoln has leased up 25 communities with extraordinary results through the use of LRO.
  2. The Rainmaker-Lincoln partnership has led to the creation of a wide range of enhanced reporting features that benefit Lincoln and all LRO users.
  3. Consistent and market-leading year-over-year, top-line revenue growth for communities on LRO.

The Challenge: Achieve Superior Returns on Stabilized Properties and Lease-Ups for Range of Owners

When Lincoln Property Company began implementing LRO across much of its portfolio nearly a decade ago, it did so for a couple of reasons. Not only did the company need a solution that could drive considerable rent increases, it needed revenue management software that could provide Lincoln and its owner clients with powerful business intelligence. 

In the years since, Lincoln discovered a need for revenue management on the lease-ups of new communities and again turned to LRO. And now, with many markets across the nation beginning to show signs of slowing demand, the company is implementing Rainmaker’s Intelligent Lead Management (ILM) in portions of its portfolio, setting the stage for close collaborations between pricing and marketing teams that will optimize demand regardless of market condition.

Results, ROI and Future Plans

The lasting partnership between Lincoln and Rainmaker was built on performance and profound long-term results.

LRO has consistently delivered a 3 to 6 percent lift on both new leases and renewals, relative to market, bringing Lincoln substantial top-line revenue growth year after year. This proven success and a confidence in the system’s capabilities allowed Lincoln to push the apartment pricing envelope even further. Lincoln was one of the first companies to leverage revenue management on a lease-up. Since then it has successfully completed the lease-up of 25 managed communities with LRO in place.

New Call-to-actionMuch of LRO's positive performance with lease-ups stems from its lease expiration management capabilities, which strategically times expirations to increase pricing strength and limit vacancies, said Talisa Dever, Revenue Manager for Lincoln.

"LRO is setting up our lease-ups for success right from the get-go by giving us strong lease expiration management and detailed reporting that allows us to always know how we're performing against our goals," she said.

"We've got all-hands-on-deck, and that's really allowing our lease-ups to move into year two and avoid that sophomore slump, the terrible twos," Dever added. "We aren't seeing some of the pitfalls of concessions and things like that when we transition into that second year."

Fostering Greater Success

And now the partnership is forging new ground for Lincoln and the multifamily industry by bringing revenue management and marketing together.

As the company begins implementing ILM, which integrates advertising effectiveness, lead scoring and leasing team performance data with LRO, Lincoln is preparing for heightened collaborations between pricing and marketing teams to optimize demand.

ILM offers a completely different approach to lead management by capturing and scoring every communication touchpoint between a community and a prospective resident. This creates a brand-new data source in simple, yet intuitive dashboards that give users visibility and control of the leasing processes, helping to increase conversions.

With the detailed data provided by the two solutions, Lincoln's revenue management and marketing teams will have a comprehensive overview of the factors affecting demand at a community and can work in close concert to address the most pressing issues.

"The unique data in ILM gives us deep insight into all of the factors that affect demand – not just price," Dever said. "If leasing is a little bit slow, and we need to generate traffic, often an operator's knee-jerk reaction is to reduce the price. But a lot of times it's not price that we should be adjusting. Perhaps we're not generating enough quality leads, or maybe there's an issue with the performance of onsite staffs in managing leads."

Rainmaker recently unveiled a major innovation by giving LRO and ILM the ability to incorporate data from each other, and Lincoln has seen a significant impact from that integration. "With ILM and its integration with LRO's pricing trend report, we can see all the different aspects of leasing in one screen shot and have those comprehensive discussions on our pricing calls," Dever continued. "This will help us pull whatever demand lever is appropriate at the time and get us away from reflexively pulling pricing."

Perfecting Performance

The technology is critical but the essential ingredient that enables Lincoln to lead the pack in pricing and lease-up performance is the vital teamwork with Rainmaker in the development of many LRO reports. Together, the two have built and/or improved reporting functions around pricing trends, renewals, lease expiration and lease-ups.

Rainmaker's comprehensive reporting has the flexibility to address the diverse needs of Lincoln and its partners. For example, "with the pricing trend report, we're able to actually set pro forma rents that they had written during development and we can track where we are in comparison," said Michelle Dabroski, National Director of Revenue Management for Lincoln. "The report shows here's where you wanted to be, here's where you thought you'd be at this time. We're able to track if we're moving in the right direction to meet up with the budget goals."

Lincoln also appreciates Rainmaker's ability to listen to and incorporate user feedback.

"Rainmaker is constantly enhancing its reporting, and some of the most beneficial developments have been in on-demand accessibility," said Oma Rassul, Senior Revenue Manager for Lincoln. "Our site teams have been really relying on those reports, and we've noticed that a lot of our owners really rely on those reports as well. They look to them as a tool to gauge performance. We're not creating reports for the sake of data, data and more data. Rainmaker has worked diligently with us to ensure that we are able to mine actionable insights that benefit the operations of our portfolio."

And as the partnership between Rainmaker and Lincoln enters its second decade, Lincoln is confident it will continue to outperform its competitors, generate top-line revenue growth and exceed lease-up pro-formas regardless of market condition.

"It is impossible to overstate the impact Rainmaker and LRO have had on our company and our operations," Dever said. "They have been incomparable partners with us over the past decade. With their expertise by our side, and as revenue management and marketing collaborate closely, we're excited about the innovations and strong portfolio performances ahead."

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