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 Property Management
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for the next tour. Take this opportunity to ask the prospect what they thought of the home, what did they like the best? Ask for any objections so that these can be addressed and discussed and hopefully overcome.
Quality of photography and videography is important for on-line tours but the physical appearance and attributes of the asset must be addressed before photos. How is the curb appeal of your property? Do you need to have the maintenance staff or the landscapers tidy up your entrance with a few freshly tended flower beds and fresh paint on the curbs and parking areas? Are the signs and directories clean and up to date? Has the parking lot been swept and is the asphalt in good condition? Are the weeds under control and have the sidewalks been swept and maintained? Check out the path to the model or vacant apartments too.
Inside the apartments, sounds and smells are important but not as important as the lighting and layout of the floorplan. Mini models are still a great way to highlight apartment features. Try adding a few eye-popping items to pique interest and make the viewer remember your unique apartment. Add something quirky and fun in an unusual spot in the kitchen or bathroom. Use color to enhance the experience. After setting the stage, make sure you choose a professional photographer or videographer to create your photos and videos.
All the closing techniques you learned can still be used but you have fewer opportunities to use them when a prospect is doing a self-guided tour. You may no longer have the luxury of a stroll around the community with your prospects so be sure to close them whenever possible. The window of opportunity is much, much smaller now. Need a refresher on all the different ways to close on a prospect? We have an e-learning course for that!
Say you knocked their “socks off” with your greeting and descriptions and they have gone on their virtual tour. What is left? The follow up is really your last opportunity to close and collect! A timely follow up by telephone, text, mail, or email expressing your
desire to welcome them to your community will set you apart from the competition. You would be surprised how many apartment owners do not follow up with their prospects and studies show that 25% of your prospects you follow up with will lease from you.
So perhaps without ever meeting your prospects, they chose your property to be their next home and have submitted their application and qualifying documents on-line. You and your great customer service were the icing on the cake. All leasing paperwork is now computerized and finalized with e-signatures. If a “wet” signature is required, a special area inside or outside of your leasing office can be designated for pick-up and drop-off of documents.
Of course, by now we assume that everyone is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Guidelines regarding sanitizing everyone and everything and are following the proper social distancing rules. That includes procedures for making each vacant market ready. Be ready to explain to each prospect the methods your company is using to keep prospects, residents, employees, and vendors safe. If you have special cleaning chemicals and protocols, tell your prospects about them. Knowledge is power. Make them feel comfortable about their decision to become a part of your community.
And what about the keys? Agree upon a specified time for the move-in and unlock the home in advance or upon arrival. Leave the keys inside the apartment with a written request to text or call the office upon receipt OR use the packet approach again. Do a pre-inspection and mark all items that you know are not perfect and leave the list for the new resident to complete and return or scan and email back to the office. It is still all about the basics with a few new twists and turns.
Elaine Simpson is the President of Occupancy Solutions, LLC, the operations, leasing, marketing consulting and training specialist. She has been involved in the housing industry since 1986. Visit Occupancy Solutions’ website at www. or call them at (800) 865- 0948 for your free consultation today.

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