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Brent Williams' Apartment Blog

Thoughts, comments, and ideas about the overall multifamily industry, as well as a property-specific focus on resident retention and apartment marketing.

“Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom.” “Honey, I’m trying to talk to the leasing consultant!”

 

Some kids are quiet, sweet, and completely respectful when their parents are trying to talk with someone.  This does not describe my kids.  My kids are incredibly talkative and energetic, and when they were younger, having an adult conversation while they were around was an exercise in extreme patience.  As a leasing consultant, if one of these families walks through the door, the key to that lease very well may depend on your ability to provide a bit of quiet to allow a normal conversation with the parents!

From a kid’s perspective, apartment hunting has got to be painfully boring.  They might be interested as you walk by the pool or playground, but a discussion about the family’s needs in an apartment, especially when they have had the same discussion five other times that day, is going to drive those kids bonkers.  And when they flip out, then you have lost the parent’s attention, as well as the sale.  So the key is to distract, distract, distract!   

My initial inspiration for this blog was actually from my sister-in-law, who is a teacher and shared her reading nook in her classroom:

My reaction was immediate – wouldn’t something like this be great for a community leasing office that had a high percentage of families with kids?  As a parent, this is an incredible lifeline giving me a few minutes a peace and quiet so I could have a conversation with the leasing consultant about what we were looking for.  Stress goes down, happiness goes up, and potential for a new lease soars! 

Not only is this providing a nice respite for the parents, but it is also sending the message that your community is a welcoming and positive place for their family.

Granted, this might be a bit over the top for many leasing offices, but even a simple kid-sized table with some Legos would be incredible.  The goal is simply to have a strategy in place so that you can manage the situation, rather than the situation managing you. 

I’m sure many of you out there already have a strategy in place for these types of situations, and I would love to hear them!  Please share them below!

 

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  • Anne Sadovsky

    Brent, in the past I had small tables and chairs, crayons and coloring books. In today's world, the Legos sound great. I thought 'what about kid computers with games' but more expensive and the kids would want to take them home with them. Winning the
    children over by being kind, friendly and perhaps a cookie helps the parents to decide that it is the perfect place to live!!!

  • Debi gagermeier

    IHA ve done that I my office on a small level. I have a box full of toys that kids can play with, so when the adults are trying to listen to me and sign paperwork, the kids can play over in the corner. My office is very small (about 12x12) but there is enough room for the kids out of the way....

  • Sheila Stanko

    The reader's nook is a fantastic idea. Perhaps partnering up with the local school or day care for a couple reading hours will free up the parents to tour in peace.

  • Donna

    I sometimes buy myself kids meals at fast food places for lunch. I will take the toys and put in them in the office for when kids come in. I know the toy is clean & the kids can take it with them

  • I LOVE the idea of letting them take it with them!! Being able to tell the parent the kid can just keep it is a really nice touch.

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