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Is what you are saying hurting sales and leasing?


After listening to thousands of sales pitches, I can't tell you how many times I lost interest because of what the sales rep said. As an executive I feel bad because I know that the rep is doing what they have been taught to sell their product or service.

I think that too often the sales presentation and marketing slicks are created from the company perspective and not the audience.
So ask yourself, is what you are saying hurting your sales?

Join me to learn how you can immediately improve your sales. 

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Seemingly Small Resident Services with the Biggest Impact

Seemingly Small Resident Services with the Biggest Impact
Small Services Add Up to Resident Satisfaction Property managers can shut down their swimming pool and spa for a week for renovations, and residents will be understanding. Temporary gym or game room closures for equipment replacement are generally acceptable, as well. Managers can even require residents to relocate their vehicles off-site for a few days while the parking lot is repaved, and receive little push-back. But run out of printer paper or forget to restock the complimentary coffee machine, and the office team is going to hear about it.  It’s often the attention to the little things that keeps everything on an even keel at apartment communities. Residents depend on those seemingly minor conveniences to help them stick to their daily routines. We’re creatures of habit, and we build dependencies on those services that have been ingrained into our daily structure.  Simple Services are Significant  Think printing isn’t important to your residents? Check with your on-site teams to see how often residents ask to have things printed. They’re probably spending far more time accommodating resident printer requests that you think.  More than 32% of apartment residents who responded to a recent survey said their printing, copying and scanning needs have increased since they started working or schooling from home, due to the pandemic. Print volume has also gone up accordingly. More than 57.4% of residents said they now print more than 10 pages each month and 31.5% of survey respondents reported that they print more than 25 pages per month. The survey ......
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Customizing Your Customer Journeys

Introduction Nike is always at the forefront of of marketing innovation. For years, Nike has allowed everyday customers to customize their new kicks.     This idea of mass customization has transcended into almost every industry. Think about your last trip to Moe’s. Did you go with the standard ‘Earmuff Bowl’…or did you Build-Your-Own (B-Y-O)? If you’re like us, you went down the line and cherry-picked the ingredients you like the most. The best part, you still pay a comparable price… assuming you did go too crazy with the queso. In our last several posts, we have discussed how you can customize your communications for prospects and residents. We recommend email sets to enhance each customer’s journey. Today, we are going to talk about how you can customize your communications to fit your individual property’s needs, because one size doesn’t fit all… no matter what the tag says.     Campaign Customization Let’s imagine a property management company has two properties in the Boston area. Property A has an amazing location in the heart of Boston, however, it doesn’t have room for a lot of standard amenities like a pool, gym or clubhouse. On the flipside, Property B has luxury amenities, but is located about 25 minutes outside of the city. The standard Pre-Tour emails (showcase amenities, features, and neighborhood) doesn’t work well for either of these properties.     That’s why you should customize your customer journeys to highlight your property’s strengths.   For Property A, you may want to forgo the ‘Showcase Amenity’ email ......
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Do You Think About Why You Don't Provide Good Customer Service?

Do You Think About Why You Don't Provide Good Customer Service?

Friends, I have been on a kick lately about asking why we do the things we do and why we don’t do the things we know we should do. For example, take a look at the video below. (Beware, it gets loud, so watch out if you’re watching in an office.) From what I could put together the Starbucks employee thought the customer was stealing an edible straw worth about a buck. Let me repeat that, a buck. One. Dollar. So she tells the customer that she (the customer) will not be served here and to “give me the straw!” Meanwhile, someone recorded the video, posted it to the Internet, millions of people watched it (including the employee’s bosses at Starbucks) and she lost her job. Interestingly when she was asked about it later, she felt she was justified in what she did; saying something to the effect of, “I was so tired of people taking advantage of us every day.” So this time, this customer was going to pay, even though, in the end, the barista was the one who paid with her job! Why? In watching the video I’m sure you asked the same question I asked…WHY??? I mean, what was she thinking? I’m pretty sure that 99.9% of the people who watched the video thought that what she did was NOT a good idea! Honestly, I bet if you asked her if it was worth it, away from the media spotlight, away from having to defend herself, away from the emotions of the......
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5 Customer Experience Mistakes MFH Operators Make

customer-experience-mistakes.jpgToday, customers want an experience, not just a transaction. In fact, they expect it. They get it in their interactions with many other companies, e.g., Amazon, Uber or Lyft, Nordstrom, etc., so they expect it from you. Design and innovation company, Fjord Accenture refers to this new world where customer’s drive expectations for one business based on what they experience with others as “liquid expectations.” If you ask virtually any multifamily employee or executive, they’ll tell you they care about the customer, want to provide rewarding customer experience and value customer satisfaction. Despite the lip service paid to customer experience, in our interviews with associates and residents, we still see many missteps in how multifamily operators are pursuing these aims. For years, this was not a significant business issue. As the real estate ethos states, if you paid attention to location, location and location, and added a focus on managing costs you’d be profitable. Besides, your competitors weren’t providing a much better experience, so it was easy to think it made little difference. Today the tide is shifting and if your company does not pay attention you will miss out. Here are the most common and vital mistakes we see operators make when focusing on the customer experience. 1. Mistaking Customer Service for Customer Experience Customer service is a considerable part of processes and standards. It's the basics that we have defined for our teams: the stand, smile and greet; or perhaps the way that we are engaging with a customer when we meet them, when they c......
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Is it time for a new way to say, "My pleasure!"?

Is it time for a new way to say, "My pleasure!"?
A few years ago I wrote a blog post entitled “My Pleasure-What Chick Fil-A Teaches us About the Power of Elevated Language” that was one of my most popular posts on www.MultifamilyInsiders.com. Here is a snippet of what I wrote about Chick Fil-A in that blog post, “…Besides the food, I love the level of service that they provide, which is unlike most other fast food restaurants. Let me give you an example: at my local restaurant in Huntington Beach, California associates frequently check on all the diners and ask how things are going and if we’d like them to “refresh” our beverage. Notice, they don’t ask if you want a “refill?”  If you say “thank you” they will always respond with “my pleasure!” Not, “no problem.” Not even, “you’re welcome.” Always, “my pleasure…” In the years that have passed since I wrote this post I’ve noticed many more people saying, “My pleasure!” It seems that everywhere I go the baristas, the sales people, the customer service people, the wait staff etc. are all saying, “My pleasure.” Now, while I love the higher level of service that this denotes, I wonder now if it’s time to at least find other phrases to use, since now, instead of sounding different and unique, it may sound “canned.” (Especially from people who may have been trained to say it, but don’t really sound like they mean it!) Here are some suggestions… Of course! Here is why I love this phrase: it shows the customer that your being helpful, friendly, going the extra mile (or whatever it was you did to have the customer......
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Structure Your Marketing Team Right: Start with the Resident in Mind

The best marketing organizations in the world know one simple truth – revenue sustainability and growth begins with the customer. In fact, Gartner predicts that a majority of companies will redirect their resources into customer experience innovations by 2018.   The need for a customer-centric experience is no different in the multifamily industry, where only 52 percent of renters said they enjoyed the apartment search process, according to a RentPath study. In addition, the majority of prospective renters are reviewing three or more websites before even visiting the community and making a purchase decision. In fact, 88 percent of prospective renters said they needed to see a property before they made a purchase decision.   It’s a multi-channel search experience, yet multifamily marketing departments remain structured around individual marketing channels rather than customer needs or segments. When structured in this manner, messaging is often fragmented and focused on optimizing their channel rather than enabling customers. Marketing success is measured by channel-specific metrics, such as likes, followers and click rates, instead of customer-centric metrics, like leases and renewals.   This approach leads to ineffective marketing and a disjointed customer experience. But with a little creativity and research, marketing departments can become highly effective teams that put the renter experience first.   Flaws in the typical hierarchy The typical structure of a marketing department in the apartment industry might look something like this:     The vice president of operations oversees the entire system, ensuring that each separate group is meeting its goal......
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The Secret Weapon

puckTuesday night my ten-year-old son, Frankie, and I went to witness the Anaheim Ducks beat the Dallas Stars at the Honda Center. Frankie has been begging me for five years to take him early so we can meet the players before the game. Not knowing anything about hockey, and not trusting the word of a hopeful child, I never went early. But on this particular day, the timing worked out and we arrived at the game about two hours in advance. “What in the world do you do for two hours before a Ducks game?” you ask. A very good question indeed. We covered every inch of the arena, including the Team Store (hold on to your wallets!) and soaked in the rich history of the Honda Center sports, concerts, and events. (Did you know the band, KISS, has an arena football team that plays there? You’re welcome.) At one point, we met a friendly usher who mentioned fans were permitted near the team bench to watch warm ups, which were beginning in about 20 minutes. We rushed down to secure premium seating, but the best we could get was eighth row on the rails of the tunnel used by the players when traveling from the locker room to the bench (and ice). The players were about to come out when Frankie leaned over the rail, extending his ten-year-old arm as far as it could possibly stretch in order to high-five the players as they walked by. Unfortunately, because of his posit......
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Customer Experience vs. Customer Service - Who Wins?

b2ap3_thumbnail_customer-1253483_1280.jpgCustomer service is defined as “the assistance and advice provided by a company to those people who buy or use its products or services”. Regardless of professional background or industry, customer service is a term we’re all familiar with – whether by the formal definition above or through our own individual experiences as customers.  In either case, service is a critical component to any modern business model, and its place in the multifamily industry is no different. While customer service continues to get all the attention, it’s ‘customer experience’ that deserves the accolades.   What’s the Difference Between Customer Service And Customer Experience? But what do I mean by customer experience exactly? Let me explain by elaborating on why it should be your #1 priority moving forward.   CUSTOMER SERVICE IS THE PAST Customer service is generally perceived as a single interaction, most often processed through the traditional 'customer service' department. In the past, customer service has been treated as a distinct arm of the business that's focused on throwing proverbial 'Band-Aids' on problems that have arisen within, by, or against the company. As someone who has spent time handling these situations both on-site and in a corporate environment for a multifamily management company, I’m well versed in these reactive Band-Aid moments. For clarity, an example of this might be if a prospective renter comes by the leasing office to inquire about an apartment and the on-site leasing agent is rude or dismissive. The prospective renter then feels they’re being mistreated and that the leasing agent is ......
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Customer Experience Matters: How to Get That Lease Renewal

Customer Experience Matters: How to Get That Lease Renewal
In life we are all customers of someone or something and we tend to always gravitate back to the places where we have the best experiences. If you have a bad experience while shopping at Walmart, but head over to Target the next day and have a positive experience while shopping there, you are way more likely to return to Target more often than Walmart. As you have good experiences you will become a loyal customer to that company or brand. You need to ask yourself what is it that has you coming back to the same places over and over again. When you think about it, what makes them the best or makes you the best at your job? It's more than just being good at your job, it has to do with the way you are interacting with your customers. I was recently reading a blog1 from customer service guru Shep Hyken, and he told a story about a doctor friend that he has and asked him what made him great. His doctor friend said "All the surgeries are pretty much the same, with the exception of the occasional problem. But, what’s not the same are the patients. Each of them are different. They are all people and need to be treated as if they are the only patient I have.” It is not that he is one of the best surgeons, but how he acts towards each person that he treats that makes him the best. We can take this example and really run with it. If you wan......
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