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A Different Kind of Phone Shop in Ten Quick Steps

Please, don't get me wrong - I think shopping services are great and necessary. I would never run a property without them. They do a wonderful service and give you a 'scorecard' that tells you how your team is doing at your property. But there's one thing YOU need to do every week that sadly, only typically takes about 30 seconds per property in most cases. And you don't need a shopping service to do it. It will immediately tell you how good your leasing team is on the telephone.

Ask a friend, business associate, sister, brother, aunt, mother - ANYONE can do this (I'm sure your shopping service would do this for you as well if you ask them) to phone shop your sites. Give them a list of property phone numbers. Tell them  here is all they have to do:

1. Get a timer that can be started and stopped to show seconds elapsed. (Your computer's analog clock option is fine.)

2. Dial the number for the property, preferably the local number so you don't mess up your 'call log' for your toll free numbers. 

3. Count the number of rings before the phone is answered.

4. Start the timer, in seconds, when the call is picked up by the site.

5. Ask one simple question: "How much are your...insert size of apartment here)?

6.  Write down the answer you get. 

7. IF the property simply gives you the price, say thank you, note the elapsed amount of seconds and hang up.

8. If the property entices you to stay on the call and make an appointment, write down 'hallelujah!', note the leasing professional's name  and make some other cursory notes on how well they did. Please don't make the appointment; after all, you're simply trying to see if they ask you to do so.

9. After 'mini shopping' all your sites, add up the total amount of time they spent on the phone with you.

10. Divide by the number of  properties to have your true, average length of call.

Optional Step 11: Cry when receiving the results. Or celebrate. The answer is up to you. 


Lisa Trosien is an award winning multifamily consultant, degreed educator and speaker with over 20 years of industry experience in positively impacting  apartment communities' bottom line . Contact her via email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Wonderful, simple idea that costs zero dollars. Love it!

  Miranda Lollis
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Excellent advice, Lisa. While they are at it, making a note of the calls where no one answers, (or the call goes to voicemail), and then figuring that percentage to total calls can be an effective eye-opener as well.

  Lori Snider

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