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'Sun'sational Summer Leasing Tips

'Sun'sational Summer Leasing Tips
  Make the most of tours with quick easy summer leasing tips Studies show that prospects that spend more time in the display or vacant apartment home, are more likely to remember the property and much more likely to LEASE there! To help kick off your summer leasing season, here’s some tips to extend your prospects visits:   Keep cool beverages in the display/vacant frig!  Allow your prospects to slow down, take a breather and absorb the apartment surroundings with a break & a few sips of a cold beverage! Stock it with interesting choices & make it memorable!  Try raspberry lemonade   Have a Seat!  If you have a furnished display, let your prospects have a seat. Leasing agents should take the lead and be seated first, then ask your prospects to do the same!  This is the perfect time to engage prospect into conversation of how they would place their furniture in their new home and visualize living there!     Enjoy the great outdoors! Have a patio or balcony?  Make sure you’re taking prospects outside and as you linger, ask how they will enjoy their outdoor space once they get moved in! Make this popular space really inviting, with bright flowers & wind chimes.   GRAND FINALE!! FAV 3 close:  After the tour, ask your prospects to take one more look through the apartment on their own, and return and tell you their favorite 3 features!  This is a fantastic tool to use in your summary close!! It wil......
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The Leasing Office is Closed!

The Leasing Office is Closed!
I am writing this post as I sit in my car, waiting for a leasing office to re-open so that I can meet with the team on a consulting project. I actually arrived at the community about an hour ago, and as I walked to the front door, I saw a sign in the window that said something to the effect:   “We are currently out showing our community to a client.  We’ll be with you in a few moments.”   Having worked onsite for many years I understand that people need to eat lunch. I know that offices cannot always be staffed to ensure uninterrupted coverage during the day. So I am not begrudging the fact that the office has been closed for an hour.    Rather my issue is that I don’t know when to expect someone to be back in the office. The sign in the door said that someone would be right back in a few moments, which in my expectation would be like 5-10 minutes. But it’s been an hour later and still, the office is closed and I still don’t know if anyone is showing up anytime soon.    What if I were a prospect?    On the stretch that this community is on, I drove past several other apartment communities. Communities that a prospect could easily visit, while waiting for someone to show up at this one. Imagine if a prospect visited this community, saw the sign that said someone would be back in a few momen......
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Make It Easy For People to Fall in Love With You!

Make It Easy For People to Fall in Love With You!
I am currently reading a book written by my pastor, Caleb Anderson. In the book he recounts a story of an experience he had picking up food “to go” at an Italian restaurant in Newport Beach, California-that I’d like to share with you.    Caleb went inside the restaurant to pick up his order and was greeted warmly and enthusiastically and told that someone would be helping him shortly. A waiter appeared and brought out some bread and olive oil (for dipping) along with a glass of water, while he waited for his order.    Then another associate came out with his food and brought it to Caleb’s car. After he placed the food in the back seat the waiter shook Caleb’s hand and said, “Have a great evening, Mr. Anderson!” and walked away before Caleb could even consider giving him a tip. He was so impressed by the service that he told his friends and family about it-and eventually included the story in his book.    Here is the restaurant’s vision statement:   We at Mama D's are Proud to be the "World Class Crazy Ones". On Our watch, we want to do something extraordinary with our gifts and talents. History will be the judge, but the script is ours. We are on an adventure to blow the doors off "business as usual". We are here to make a difference in the world, and a world of difference.  We are extremely committed and passionate about a culture built on loyal relationships, ......
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How Do I Sound Enthusiastic on the Phone?

How Do I Sound Enthusiastic on the Phone?
Do you remember the scene from the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when the economics teacher (played by Ben Stein) bores his class to tears (and even a little drool) with his lecture on the finer points of the Great Depression, the Laffler Curve, the phrase “Voodoo Economics” and the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act?    After listening to hundreds of phone calls over my career, I am convinced that most leasing associates end up sounding a lot like Stein’s economics teacher; dull, uninterested, monotone, unengaged and boring when speaking with customers on the phone. One of the reasons for this is simply that people often speak the same way on the phone that they would to someone right in front of them ... and that is a mistake!    I remember training a woman who was really funny, friendly, outgoing and energetic in person ... but she sounded mad, upset, bored and disinterested on the phone. I made her listen to a recording of one of her calls and at the end of it she looked at me and said, “Is that how I sound? I sound so angry...”   When you speak to someone in front of you, so much of what you’re communicating is non-verbal. The person you’re speaking to has the benefit of seeing the entire picture that you’re painting. On the phone, the only picture you’re creating is the one that consists entirely of your voice ... in other words, on the phone it’s all verbal.    So how can you sound ent......
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Avoiding the "No (Kidding), Sherlock!" Effect!

Avoiding the "No (Kidding), Sherlock!" Effect!
I thought it. I admit it, I thought it. I can remember listening to someone who said something to the effect of “Customer service is really important. You have to treat your customers well.” I was then expecting a golden nugget of information after this, but, nope, the need to “treat customers well” really was the nugget. That’s when I thought, “No (kidding), Sherlock!” (Okay, I may have thought something other than, "kidding"-but you get the idea.) If this sounds mean, well, its kind of supposed to. No wonder so many people collectively groan when told they have to go to another “training seminar.” They have this preconceived notion that the seminar is going to be something they have heard a thousand times...and it often is, isn’t it? Can you imagine the people walking out of that talk saying something like ... “Hey Abby, did you know that customer service is really important?” (Dripping with sarcasm.) Friend: “No, I had never thought that before!” (Dripping with even more sarcasm.) What’s even better is when we sprinkle on overused business terms or phrases like “empower” or “synergy” or “think outside of the box!” How many times have you heard “low hanging fruit” or “thought leadership” used in some type of workshop? Here is a challenge for you, try and use the most overused buzzphrases in one sentence! “As a thought leader, I believe that your people can reach the low hanging fruit of success when your teams have synergy and when you empower them to think outside of the box.” Okay, I ......
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Leasing Potion #9: Play Hard to Get!

Leasing Potion #9: Play Hard to Get!
I remember Patricia very well, unfortunately. She was a client that I had to take on tour because everyone else in the office was already helping other clients. I have to admit I wasn’t real thrilled about having to do it. (Don’t judge!) I was hoping that it would be an easy tour...but as I would come to realize, nothing with Patricia would be easy. Nothing. She fought me about the information I was trying to gather from her. She questioned me about needing her identification for the tour. She pointed out all of our flaws and she definitely didn’t seem impressed by anything that I showed her. When we got back to the office she didn’t like any of the options that I presented to her. She kept asking if I had anything else and didn’t believe me when I said these were the best fit. Finally, she picked a unit but then was upset that I couldn’t reduce the rent I had mentioned to her a few times during the tour.   We hit a wall and I was ready to throw her into a wall...but I digress. Now, up to this point I had tried to address her concerns by accentuating the positive and coming up with different solutions for her problems. Complete fail.   So I tried something different. I stopped trying to convince her and I “played hard to get.” I looked her square in the eyes and took the apartment away! And with as much warmth and compas......
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The Mistake That Prevents Leasing Agents from Gaining Control on the Phone

The Mistake That Prevents Leasing Agents from Gaining Control on the Phone
When I first became a leasing agent, many years ago, I found myself consistently struggling to get any kind of real traction on the phone. I had call after call where I would look down on my guest card and see notes like this: Harold-one bedroom, cocker spaniel I discovered that while being friendly on the phone was easy, consistently obtaining the information I needed from a customer was not. I had many guest cards that were accidentally “lost” because I was so embarrassed to show them to my managers. As I moved on to other management, training and corporate roles I realized that I wasn’t the only one who kept making the same mistake that derailed many calls before they ever got going. So what is the mistake? Directly answering a customer’s question at the beginning of the call! Let me explain further-I’m assuming that your leasing agents end their initial greeting with something like, “…How can I help you, today?” Now after hearing this question many customers respond with simple and short phrases like: “How much are your two bedrooms?” “What are your specials?” “Do you have any three bedroom apartments?” This is the key moment: When a customer asks a direct question like the one above, many leasing associates then choose to answer the question right away, which often leads to calls like this: Customer: How much are your two bedrooms? Associate: Our two bedroom apartments range from $850-$1,250. Customer: Okay, thanks! OR: Customer: What are your specials? Associate: Right now we ha......
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