By: Shad Bookout
No one has ever said, “I love shopping for a new apartment.” The reality is that, for most people, the entire process of finding a new place to live is a complete pain in the neck. The prospect that is touring your apartment community is likely to have visited up to eight others that same day. For most apartment shoppers, after the third of fourth community tour, they all start to look the same. Each is within an area that would be good to live in. Each has around the same rental rates. On paper, any of the options would be a great fit.
Then the tours begin, and what was supposed to be a positive experience quickly dissolves into a mind-numbing ordeal. As one tour leads to the next and the next, each apartment community starts to look the same. The same amenities are promoted at every stop and, with the exception of the basic look, nothing really sets any particular community apart from the rest. In fact, each tour is a near carbon copy of the other. Apartment shoppers are greeted in the leasing center and asked the same series of questions. They are then taken on a tour using the “golden pathway”, wherein each amenity (whether it is one they would use or not) is explained with the same pre-scripted overview. The model, which looks more like a museum what a “normal” person’s apartment, receives a visit. Prospective residents are then returned to the clubhouse where they are asked, “What did you think?” and “Are you ready to put in an application?”. They depart after explaining that they are touring multiple options, only to receive the same cold template email for follow-up (if anyone even bothers to follow-up at all). The entire process is boring, repetitive, and a complete drain of energy.
However, every once in awhile, something happens… something different… something unexpected. The generic community tour is replaced with an exciting, energized visit. This time, the leasing agent seems to really be engaged and paying attention to what their prospective resident is saying. By listening more effectively, they are able to deliver a more fetching presentation. The journey is memorable and not only sets the leasing agent apart in the crowd; the community itself is far more impressive as a result. Even better is when the follow-up is not a generic form letter. It comes in the form of a text, a social media mention, or a personalized email that reaffirms that the community truly wants to earn the business and the leasing agent took the time to listen and remember the small detail. By being unexpected, the leasing agent has signficinatly increased the chances of closing the lease and earning a long-term resident.
Another great opportunity to provide something unexpected is with your amenities. Sure, you have the same basic amenities as your comps (usually things like a state-of-the-art fitness center, resort-style sparkling pool, and a bark park). But what about offering something different and meaningful to your residents? That is where PackageLog® comes in. The cloud-based system allows your residents to receive customized notifications by email and text when their package deliveries arrive to the clubhouse. Another opportunity is with TrackitLog™. Now you can offer any item a resident would request on loan with the certainty that it will be returned due to the series of tracking tools and customized resident reminders. The two systems working together allow you to provide your residents with something unique, memorable and unexpected.