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TOPIC: Email reply to apartment leasing request from a prospect

Email reply to apartment leasing request from a prospect 2 years 4 months ago #8561

We recently got a form request in the File Bank for "E mail reply: Format for replying to an e -mail inquiry about leasing." I don't think that is really a form that someone would have, but it's probably a great topic for discussion! Will you all share your standard email replies for lease questions, if you have one? If not, do you custom craft each email response to each prospect?

Re:Email reply to apartment leasing request from a prospect 2 years 4 months ago #8564

We have found the best way to reply is with a personal touch. Always address them by name. Also don't be afraid to ask them questions. The back and forth replies, I feel, make for better relations with anyone, but particularly with a perspective resident. By the way, if you need to refer to them as a future tenant/resident, the best word to use is RESIDENT - much more personal. :)
  • Shirley Ollenburg
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Re:Email reply to apartment leasing request from a prospect 2 years 4 months ago #8568

Speaking as a prospective resident; I ignore 'form letter' type responses... When I call anyone for help, like if I had a billing question or needed tech support; before I go into the question I have I ask them what time it is where they are (if the answer is not within 4 hours I know I am not likely to be talking to anyone in the US, and ask to speak to someone here before continuing). I also ask them to put their script away..... it's the same thing as a form letter response.

Although I do think having a template that you can use for your response is a good tool. Just make sure that it reflects YOUR community and can be edited to address the prospect's questions and include their name.... After a few back and forth emails, I ask what time would be good for me to call and speak with them.

I agree with using their NAME... People are subconsciously egotistical and the most important word they can hear or read is their own name. If their name is hard to pronounce and you can get it right, then you earn points.... That happened to me when I was in retail sales and learned how to pronounce the name of one of my clients (I also did corporate sales fo computer equipment for COMPUSA). It turned out that this person was the purchasing agent for a local school district and that district got a grant under NCLB that told their teachers to buy computers for personal use... I got all that business and had an extra $250k in sales that month. He was also friends with the purchasing agent for a local private school that required their 3rd grade students to have laptops and I got all the business related to that; mostly from parents that upgraded their computers so the kid could have the use of the old one.

Re:Email reply to apartment leasing request from a prospect 2 years 4 months ago #8572

While I agree that you should always personalize email replies, there has been a lot of attention in 'discrimination' in email replies. Cases where prospects with more favorable last names were sent more detailed, friendly and more inviting emails, vs prospects with 'minority' sounding name. Thus leaving a many management companies opting for a standard template, with just areas to insert name, unit specific information and time frame of moving, to maintain consistency.
  • Laura Bruyere
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Re:Email reply to apartment leasing request from a prospect 2 years 4 months ago #8584

The Grace Hill webinar on Fair Housing I took a couple of weeks ago addressed this. It is very risky to personalize replies to e-mail inquiries.

I have been using a reply that I copy and paste from a Word document. It amazes me the questions I am asked where the answers are in the ads they send the inquiry from. Don't people read?

If they ask a specific question, I answer that question at the top of the e-mail then paste my response I copy from Word.

It also has written at the bottom "Equal Housing Opportunity."

It works great! I send them a fast response and it saves me a lot of time typing personal responses.

I always put in the reply "Call the office for current availability, as it changes daily."

If they can't make a call to set up an appointment, they probably aren't interested, anyway.

Re:Email reply to apartment leasing request from a prospect 2 years 4 months ago #8589

I usually address the email to the individual and answer any questions that were asked in the initial contact. I then paste the same information that I give out in my prospect kit, just a little more jazzed up to paint a picture. I'm not sure how personalizing a reply can be risky. It's simply answering any questions and using the prospects name...

Re:Email reply to apartment leasing request from a prospect 2 years 4 months ago #8597

According to the webinar, posting personalized email is risky because of prospects names.

An example would be:

You replied to someone with an e-mail name of This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and said you did not have any availability at this time.

Then later that day you replied to someone with an e-mail name of This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
and said you had 3 coming open.

It is PERCEIVED discrimination, even if it was not intentional. Perhaps you got three notices to vacate that afternoon.

I know, I know, B.S., but it's a reality.

That's why I only answer the any specific question they ask at the top then I paste my generic response below it. It's consistent.
  • Sand Martin
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Re:Email reply to apartment leasing request from a prospect 2 years 4 months ago #8600

This is exactly why I think Fair Housing rules are broken in their current form. It stops people from providing better service because of the threat of Fair Housing, rather than the discrimination issue itself. I'm not against Fair Housing in general - it just needs to be adjusted to remove unneeded fear and allow us to grow as an industry.

(Sorry for the rant, Sandy - it wasn't meant to be directed at you!)

Re:Email reply to apartment leasing request from a prospect 2 years 4 months ago #8601

I sure do agree with Brent! I like writing personalized emails to everyone; however, even though the Marketing Directors/Owners may also approve of them, I am discourged from teaching this technique because of the mistaken interpretations that can result from the personalization. It's almost like you can't show your personality or share in the Prospects' funny remarks and witty banter. The fact is though, that in real estate, the industry is so fast paced that mistakes can happen and Prospects often don't understand that if they decline an apartment at 10 AM it can be gone by the time they come back at 5 PM. They also don't grasp the concept that pricing changes, too, according to the market.
  • Mindy Sharp
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Re:Email reply to apartment leasing request from a prospect 2 years 4 months ago #8617

I refuse to live in fear of fair housing. I 100% agree with the spirit of the laws, but will not constantly worry about how things are perceived. In the example given I still don't see how using a name could cause perceived discrimination. The lead comes with the name, so I presumably already have an idea of who I'm dealing with. How does using the name change that? This is absolutely not an attack on you Sandy, just an observation. I stopped attending a certain person’s fair housing classes because according to her everything was a violation. Calling children, children or kids is discrimination and they should be called young persons. Posting age limits at the pool could get me in trouble because I'm discriminating against young persons. This is why there are times we don’t make good business decisions based on the fear of a perceived discrimination. Again I 100% believe everyone who qualifies should be able to lease a home, and it would never occur to me to treat people differently, however there has to be a line somewhere.
On of the biggest complaints I get at my active seniors community is that there are so many people living here that truly need more assistance than we can offer. I have lost prospects due to some days it does look like a nursing home, however as long as the prospect qualifies on paper I must rent to them. My biggest issue is when they move in a parent who can truly no longer care for themselves but the families are too busy or just plain unwilling to help out. That leaves us to check on Ms Jones who forgets to eat, or Mr. Smith who forgets to take his insulin. While it’s certainly not our jobs someone has to do it. I actually get calls from people whose parents are being released from the hospital for a serious condition, and can no longer live alone. Rather than move them somewhere that offers assistance (and cost a whole lot more) they “park” them here. They can’t even sign a lease or write out a rent check and I know they are going to be left alone to fend for themselves, but I can’t do a darn thing about it!
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