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 Property Management
Leasing During the Global Pandemic
By Elaine Simpson
E“The times, they are a change’n’.“
ven though the first point of contact for a prospective tenant is still a phone call or email, in today’s “pandemic” environment, leasing and move-in practices have temporarily changed. Basically, a person can rent an apartment and
move in without having to be face to face with management. Who knows, these changes could become the “new normal”.
With limited opportunities to build a relationship with your tenant prospects, first impressions based on telephone techniques and customer service, community and apartment interior appearance, quality of your virtual tours / photography, closing techniques and follow up become your best tools of the trade.
Let us begin with the telephone. Your prospect has been surfing the world wide web and your property has made their “short list”. They picked up the phone and called you first. How are you going to make that great first impression that will ultimately influence their decision-making process by making your property stand out above the rest? Your customer service skills must shine!
Do you have a “suggested” leasing script for you or your employees to follow? It really helps to
coach your employees and is a great guide when speaking to your prospects and while trying to make positive first impressions. The person answering the phone should have a smile in their voice and introduce themselves before asking each caller for their name, a preferred telephone number to use in case of disconnection of call, and to also ask how they heard about the community. Follow that by asking what type of floor plan they are interested in and how soon they need to move. Please ask if they are familiar with the property and then offer to simultaneously review the listing with them on the listing website, and if available, to take a virtual tour.
Be sure to have description of the property along with its’ amenities and layouts. Paint a picture with words so each prospect can follow along and visualize each amenity and each room of their new home. Remember to sell the features and benefits while personalizing the call by using the caller’s name during the conversation. Be friendly, energized and start using your assumptive closing techniques from the beginning.
Some property managers are allowing self-guided physical tours, but by appointment only. When the prospects show up, they are given a packet by a staff member standing behind a protective shield. The packet contains a key fob and a map with directions on how to find the models and or vacant apartment homes. When the tour is over, the packet is placed in a box on the way out and the key fobs are sanitized
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