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Stop the Virtual Leasing…Enough Already!

Stop the Virtual Leasing…Enough Already! Virtual Leasing is Just One of the Many Options in Your Leasing Toolbox.   Are you ready for another blog about the power of virtual leasing?  How about a step-by-step method for creating an array of virtual leasing choices and mediums?  Sorry, but there are already too many such articles - some darn good ones - floating around our industry.  Enough!   The past 14 months of COVID inflicted social distancing has taught as the importance and impact of various types of virtual leasing.  Pre-packaged, professional videos on our websites are standard website fare.  Homemade videos from your iPhone have become a mainstay.  Live property tours and apartment walk-thrus via FaceTime, Messenger,  and other apps has helped seal thousands of leasing deals that past year.     Has Virtual Leasing Become an Inappropriate Crutch?   Virtual Leasing is no longer new or surprising to our rental prospects; it is an accepted norm.  Often some form of virtual leasing is the default choice first offered to ALL rental prospects.  Caution!  It is too easy and unwise to assume that your online or phone prospect prefers this type of leasing experience.     Consider these questions when choosing your prospect tour strategy: Can I schedule a live, face-to-face tour with this prospect?  And if yes, why wouldn’t I do this first? If we are still not meeting prospects in the office due to social distancing, would an onsite “self-tour” be more impactful than an offsite virtual tour? Do our vir......
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Normal is Not Gonna be so Normal… You Have Not Heard This Take Yet.

So while you are in the middle of this big global pandemic, what are you doing to get ready for the new normal?  The next normal will be different. Here are my predictions. ZOOM Meetings Will Continue…and They Will be Effective Most everyone is doing it…online meetings.  They are not virtual, they are real and they are more efficient and much cheaper than face to face.  Many of us have learned to make these sort of team gatherings work quite well and are becoming creative and bold in our prep and direction of the “ZOOM”.  Employees who cannot adapt to this sort of team meeting will be left behind.     Training Will Adapt to Online in New and Unique Ways The canned online training sites will get better, more impactful in creating positive change and growth in skillsets.  It will also get a lot cheaper.  Technology will make packaged leasing, customer service, and fair housing courses more interactive and enjoyable.  Employees will consider online training fun and look forward to these high-tech presentations taught by almost life-like avatars.   Again, it will be a lot cheaper.     Expert and guest speakers will still be popular but will present live, online, eventually as a life-size hologram .  Travel costs will be eliminated and their speaker fees will drop as they begin to compete with popular industry avatars.   On-site Leasing will continue to become More “self-service” and the real live leasing professionals will be as rare as gas station attendants.   The ......
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Confessions of a “true” Leasing Professional

Stuff I wish I could tell my Supervisor but never will! (NOTE:  Take this article in the tone it is written.  I am trying to present a fun and insightful perspective from the "sales personality's" point of view.  Be aware that YOUR top leasing pros have a good dose of this mindset.  Even if they are too discreet to share these feelings with you, this fictional letter does realistically reveal the essence of their unique and complex personality! – Rick Ellis, CAM, CPM.)           Dear Boss, I love my job but something is very wrong.  I am becoming increasingly frustrated and angry so I must send you this email.  Yet, I know you will probably never see it.  I just don’t have the nerve to click and unload this much on you!  Please understand that I do like and appreciate you as my supervisor and leader so I am concerned these thoughts might hurt your feelings.  I am also concerned my rather frank words will get me fired.  So I will put my feelings in this email and simply not click send.  They say that is good therapy so maybe I will feel better just for typing my thoughts! I just got off the phone from another painful conversation with corporate.  Our regional marketing director chewed me out again about my “lousy traffic log”.  Hey, I know I shouldn’t record all the phone traffic as “word of mouth” or “drive by” but I just get so excited during my telephone presentation that......
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Reaching Out to Your Lonely Residents During the Holidays

With over 32 million Americans living alone, and a large percentage of that in apartment communities, there’s a good chance you have residents who are home alone for the holidays.  While may of these singles will spend the time off with friends and family, inevitably there will be some left without a place to go. Creating a “Good Neighbor Atmosphere” is part of our ongoing effort to promote long-term residency.  Reaching out to these lonely residents during the Christmas season not only promotes “neighborliness” but it is simply the right way to share the goodwill of the season.  And it certainly establishes positive relations and lasting friendships between all involved. A Holiday Celebration for Your Residents Who Are Alone – While this is quite a task to ask of your onsite team members, there may be someone on your staff that would love to have a Christmas lunch for those residents who would otherwise be home alone. You might even know a resident who would be delighted to organize such an event. Here is the simple action list: Announcement – Send out a simple announcement to solicit residents who might want to share a meal on Christmas Day. Identify Participants – In addition to those who request to be involved, the onsite team will likely know residents who live alone and might have no where to go over the holidays.  Reach out to these individuals. Plan the Event – Set a time and place - likely your clubroom - and organize the food and acti......
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