Do you recall the memories of some of the most important events of your life, graduating high school, going away to college, landing your first job, getting married and becoming a parent? In recalling these memories, what also comes to you is the recollection of an emotional experience. What we remember the most out of our life experiences is the way the event made you feel. Another life event that is a highly charged emotional experience is finding and moving into your first home. So are you engaging in the F.U.N. when assisting your customers in one of the most influential decisions they will make? F.U.N. — feelings, understanding and needs — are the necessary elements of turning an experience from unpleasant and uncomfortable to a positive memory point. As leasing professionals, we are all leasing four white walls and a piece of carpet. It is the way that the experience makes them feel that makes leasing from you at your community a positive and influential emotional experience. Your initial contact with the newest member of your community could be online. Are you presenting your prospective resident the information in a succinct, friendly and personalized fashion? Gone are the days of the flowery details. With 90 percent of our customers conducting their apartment home search online, they have visited your website, looked at your floor plans, reviewed your pricing and have decided that your apartment home meets most of their criteria. Make sure your response addresses their specific questions and most importantly, extend an invitation for them to meet you and visit the community. If a prospective resident calls you, more than likely it will be on a cell phone, and more specifically, a smart phone. By December of this year, 52 percent of owners of cell phones will be using a smart phone. With this new complexity of communication, this places an elevated significance on listening carefully to your clients needs. Use this new technology to your client’s benefit; text directions from Google maps directly to their phone, send a short video you made that shows the view from the balcony of the apartment or send them a link from YouTube of a video depicting the lifestyle that your community has to offer. You have listened to your client and it is during the tour that you demonstrate your understanding of your clients needs. Change the emphasis of your tour of the apartment home from those obvious, tangible items to mentioning and creating memory points of features and benefits that will evoke more of an emotional connection. If the apartment will have four occupants, mention the size and recovery time of the hot water tank as it will mentally register as a feature that your competition didn’t mention they had. For students, be sure to talk about cell phone coverage and Internet speed. So how has all of this new technology changed the way we close the sale? Certainly, you can get clever and add some new and refreshing approaches to closing but what has not changed is that the prospective resident wants you to ask them to become a part of the community. You have gotten them to come and tour, listened to their specific needs, customized a demonstration that is jammed-packed with F.U.N, so while in the living room of the model apartment, ask a form of a closing question or comment. Now that you have incorporated all of the newest technology into your phone and demonstration toolbox, how you follow-up with this very savvy consumer; the possibilities are endless. What we do know is there is F.U.N. in follow-up. Are you texting a short Thank You message as the prospective resident leaves the community? Use tools such as Google voice where you can schedule a variety of different types of messages over the next 48 hours, direct the prospect to your Facebook page to become a fan, find them on Twitter and request to follow them and send them a link to a video of their new apartment home that you have personalized. Use whichever method of this innovative technology you are most comfortable with but be sure you enjoy yourself. Your FUN will definitely create a memory point with your customer.
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