Davis Development Realizes Lease-Up Lift with Knock

Georgia-based Davis Development builds, owns and manages traditional and mid-rise multifamily communities with a boutique feel. With over 34 properties and 4,800 units across the country, plus more in the pipeline, the firm needed a streamlined way to manage their developments and stay ahead of the competition in crowded markets.

Before Knock

Before using Knock’s front office SaaS platform, the onsite teams at Davis’ developments started leasing when the doors to a new community opened. They weren’t using a customer relationship management system (CRM) to track interest or conduct pre-leasing – however, Jessica Gooden, director of marketing, would still receive questions about leasing velocity and metrics. 

“We don’t typically staff a property until 2 weeks from opening, and upper management would expect to see confirmed leases right away,” she said. “You can’t typically expect a property to open with limited communication and expect people to come flowing through the doors. You have to start advertising and building quality relationships with prospects in advance.”

In addition, Carissa Brogdon, director of marketing and brand development, added that before using Knock, Davis’ onsite teams communicated with everyone via email for the most part, and kept a handwritten list of prospect details they had to manually input into their PMS. 

“Reporting was limited,” she shared. “Upper management relied on staff inputting their email leads and appropriately sourcing them in the PMS. We want to see as much traffic as possible, so we look at lead-to-lease conversion and cost-per-lead. It took us forever to get that information because of the number of reports and various dashboards we would have to extract data from to create a uniform report.”

Approach

Now, when Davis Development opens a new community, they start the marketing process by getting the property running with Knock at least a month in advance, before the new community even has a staff. 

Jessica leverages other teams during this time to go into the Knock dashboard and work the leads.  

“It’s so easy for the teams to work together, and more importantly, our prospects are getting those quality touches,” Jessica explains. “People aren’t losing interest. Knock gives us the ability to offer prospects information, get our advertising in, and see what works, which is really important.

Now, Davis’ front office teams communicate with prospects the way the prospect prefers – not just emails. 

“Knock makes it easy to communicate in the ways that the prospects want,” Carissa said. “Having the ability to ask someone what their preferred method of contact is, and then catering to them in that way is the best. And Knock enables us to do just that.”

Results

Using Knock, Davis Development is seeing traffic, leads and leases increase across their portfolio, and pre-leasing velocity is up at their new developments. 

Take, for example, Satori Frisco, a 331-unit community in competitive Frisco, Texas. The community opened its doors a year ago with 45 leases – something Davis had never been able to do before Knock. 

“We were able to get 45 leases in just 4 weeks of pre-leasing,” Jessica said. “Most management companies I have worked for hire one person to start pre-leasing a property at least 2 months in advance. We have proven that with proper lead management through Knock, we can accomplish the same if not greater results in half the time.”

Carissa added, “Before, we would open up a property without a single lease. Now we’ve seen the ability to open up with leases—with Knock, and it’s completely changed our mentality.” 

Today, Satori Frisco is over 91% occupied, with a top-performing “Knockstar” onsite team.  

“As the property experiences its first set of renewals this month, Knock has not only helped us with our front door, the platform is now helping us manage the back door as well,” Jessica said. “We are able to communicate with residents who are coming up on renewal, manage communication throughout their lease, effectively share news and events, and provide a better overall customer experience for both our prospects and residents.” 

After seeing firsthand how Knock up-leveled their lease game, Davis Development is hooked.

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