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For Leasing Consultants Who Sell Value, Fluctuating Rental Rates Can Cause Massive Headaches

For Leasing Consultants Who Sell Value, Fluctuating Rental Rates Can Cause Massive Headaches
I have always been a value seller, in that I justify the cost of an item by showing all the value that the person will get out of it.  So when I was leasing apartments, if the rent was $1,000, then there must be $1,000 (or more) of value that we are providing in order for me to be confident in my sales approach.  However, as different pricing strategies came into play which resulted in constantly fluctuating rental rates, it really threw me for a loop.  I’m guessing that there are others who struggle with this same issue, so hopefully this helps! Let’s say that a certain 1 bedroom floor plan two months ago rented at $1,000/mo, but since then, the supply of 1 bedrooms has gone down, and also the market rates in the area have turned up, so now that same apartment rents at $1,100.  The challenge for me was that nothing had fundamentally changed in my idea of “value”.  The amenities hadn’t changed.  The level of customer service, although great, hadn’t really changed.  It was essentially the same apartment and living experience as it was two months ago, and yet it was more expensive.  From a practical perspective, I understood what was driving the price up, but I was having trouble being as confident in an apartment that was more expensive even though nothing had really changed with its “value”.  Now, not everyone will have issues with this value conundrum, as people sell in different ways, but for those who happe......
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Is Technology Leaving You Behind?

Is Technology Leaving You Behind?
Groceries delivered to your door after ordering it on your phone? What?? Self-driving cars? (I'll admit, this scares me!)  I am blown away at the advance of technology today. It seems a new innovation comes in and changes the game every few months now instead of every few years. Technology is changing-what are you doing to change and grow with it? During this year's Apartmentalize (the National Apartment Association Conference) in San Diego  I was amazed at how much new technology is currently working its way into the multifamily housing industry! I met several new friends, some of whom worked for companies that are either entering the multifamily space, or are currently in the industry but branching out with new products and services that are utilizing the latest technologies to better reach today’s rental customer. Let me repeat...I was blown away at some of the things I’ve heard!  It’s certainly a long way from my era when my parents used the Yellow Pages to figure out where to eat. Remember this? They’d call (and then when I got old enough to call they’d make me or my brothers call!) and have to ask a LIVE PERSON questions about what they offered, pricing, information etc. Today you can find out almost anything at your fingertips about many of the companies you do business with. Websites will tell you the specific dealer cost of almost any car today. Many of these sites will even let you customize the vehicle you’re interested in so that you can find out just ho......
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Discovering Cupholders is the Key to Create Features

Features  You probably know someone who has recently purchased a new vehicle.   It’s all about the touch screen features, navigation, blue tooth, wi-fi connections, adjustable cup holders and maybe the average miles per gallon. No one has to tell you it has a motor, four wheels, or even a transmission.  Its a vehicle!   Every vehicle has those components.  But what makes it different?  What makes it special? Locating Cup Holders Applying this descriptive process to our apartments; creates features out of hidden attributes in our apartment homes.  We can make these items into cup holders.  The specialized knowledge about these details can add to our expertise and establish our authority about our product. Are you selling the extra shelf in the refrigerator, the energy star appliances or the hundred lineal feet closet storage? Or are you giving them the “four wheels” – Here is the kitchen, There is the closet… Discover Features Finding the “cup holders” will make your apartments stand out from your competition. Point out the number of shelves in the cabinets. The Energy Star Electric range has two cooking racks and a broiler pan. The programmable thermostat is rated to save “insert your data here..”, either a percent, or a specific dollar amount every year.  This type of data is available for most appliances.  You can point out savings opportunities for every appliance in the apartment. Calculate the cubic feet of storage space in the cabinets, linen closet or pantry.Know the potential savings from the Energy Star appliances. Focus......
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Three Questions to Add to Your "Selling Conversations"

Three Questions to Add to Your "Selling Conversations"
Just the other day I found a Yellow Pages book placed at my front door. I didn’t even know people made the Yellow Pages anymore, in this age of the Internet, quite frankly! So I picked up the Yellow Pages and placed it in the trash, since I’m not going to use it. That made me think back to when receiving the Yellow Pages was a BIG deal in our home. After all if we wanted to find out which great restaurants were around our house, or where there was a vacuum repair shop, or a travel agent, band instruments, etc. that is where we turned to. Then I’d make a phone call (or my parents would) to whatever business and see if we wanted to buy what they were selling. Today, the world has changed, hasn’t it? All I need to do now is pick up my smartphone and I can find out almost anything about anyone I am contemplating doing business with. So can you. So can your prospects. In fact it’s believed that customers go on about 70% of the buying journey on their own (source Rentping.com/Vidyard.com) before contacting businesses. In other words, by the time your prospects have emailed, called or come in to visit, there is a good possibility that they’ve done a lot of research on your community already. What does this mean for you? I highly recommend that whenever you’re speaking with prospects on the phone or meeting with them in person that before you get into your information gathering process that ......
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Leasing to Baby Boomers

Leasing to Baby Boomers

An article on how to lease to Baby Boomers is a shift isn’t it, from the normal focus on Millennials. Now some of you are thinking, “It’s about time we stopped focusing on those Millennials!!” While others of you are thinking, “Why would we focus on Baby Boomers?? They already own their homes!” The truth is while Millennials will continue to be a major force in the rental housing industry for years to come, Baby Boomers are still a crucial component of your success too. Did you know that over five million Baby Boomers (including current homeowners), aged 55 and over expect to rent again by 2020. (Source: FreddieMac) If you think about it, this makes perfect sense. Many Baby Boomers have spent many, many years working hard, climbing the corporate ladder, raising children, while pursuing the “American Dream” of owning a home. And now many Baby Boomers want someone else to take care of things so they can enjoy the lives they’ve worked so hard to create. So what can you do to attract Boomer renters? I’m going to focus more on the “people” aspect here, since you may not be able to do something about the product or the price, depending on what you do at your company. But, you can control you, right?   So here is what you need to know. First, I want you to watch this classic Chrysler commercial with Ricardo Montalban…. Did you see how they compared a Chrysler to a Mercedes-Benz and Rolls-Royce at the end? What about the reference to “C......
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Leasing is a Sales Role

My first sales job was leasing apartments near Cleveland, Oh.  I was bright eyed and bushy tailed and truly believed in my product so much that I thought every person that walked in the door should lease an apartment.  That enthusiasm (and naivety) propelled me to some initial successes in leasing.   Eventually, the enthusiasm tapered off a bit and my rose colored glasses broke and I found myself underperforming.  Luckily, I worked for a phenomenal management company who believed in ongoing training via their training academy.  They trained from the get go that leasing is a sales role.  It wasn't until my leasing % went down, that I fully embraced what this meant.  And eventually returned to Top Performer status! What did this mean? 1.  Leasing is the front line.  Beyond "online curb appeal" or true physical curb appeal, leasing representatives are the first impression a prospect receives as they walk in your door or call you on the phone.  Good sales people are always prepared to make a good first impression.  Although it is possible to recover from a poor first impression, great sales people know to start off strong and get stronger from there. 2. Leasing isn't telling.  I was so impressed with my apartments that I couldn't wait to tell each and every prospect every amazing thing.  But good sales people don't talk, they listen.  It doesn't matter if I LOVE the apartments, it matters if the apartments meet the NEEDS and WANTS of the prospect.  Great sales people know that if they listen and learn from the prospect, they......
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“No” verses “Hell No”, knowing the difference and how to handle them

“No” verses “Hell No”, knowing the difference and how to handle them
Every leasing agent knows hearing “No” is part of the business. But “No” is not the same as "Hell No." It is important to know the difference between the two. If you don't know the difference, you will be losing out on a lot of leases and leaving a lot of money on the table. A prospect will often say no because they have objections that have not been addressed. In these cases, addressing those objections can turn their no into a yes. Prospects might also tell you no if they don't have enough information. Your property could be just what they are looking for but, they don't know it. You can solve this problem by improving your communication.   -----Is it a "Hell No"? You will be able to tell if the prospect is giving you a hell no by their tone of voice. If a prospect is 100% not interested, they will have a strong downward inflection in their voice. They will sound confident, and you will be able to tell they are firm in their decision. You can also tell if they mean hell no by how receptive they are to further conversation. If they give closed answers, their no means hell no! A closed answer is any answer or response that does not allow the conversation to keep flowing naturally. Their no could also mean hell no if it would be impossible for you to disarm their objections. For example, if they absolutely can't afford your rent, then th......
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How increase occupancy by writing down information into an active listening strategy

How increase occupancy by writing down information into an active listening strategy
Let's go over how to implement the writing down of information into our active listening strategy. When a resident or potential resident comes to you with a question or concern, give them time to finish their statement before you respond. This concept may sound obvious, but a common complaint regarding poor customer service is that the client kept getting interrupted. Even if you know what they are going to say, let them finish. Otherwise, they will feel like you are rushing them and what they have to say is not important to you. Write down the information while they are talking, and after they are done wait a second or two before responding to ensure that they had completed their thought. Face them and make eye contact. Always have open body language, and never fold your arms. Stay calm and objective. As you are writing, briefly repeat the information they had given you in your words so that they know you understood them correctly. This vital but often overlooked principle can significantly increase the odds that a prospect will choose to lease with you and not your competition. Your residents need to know that you will take the time to listen to them and that you care about what they have to say. This is why it is important to write information down, and it will make you stand out in a positive way. It is one of the most important things you can do, but it is also one of the......
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She said, "Leasing Isn't Rocket Science" ... I said, " Duhhhhhhhh! It's Psychology!"

    And in saying "Duhhhhhhhhhhh!" I really meant, " You Are Correct Ma'am!"Psychology is described as the study of the mind and behavior, both of which wholeheartedly affect a prospect's decision in between making either you or your competition their new "Home".The "real secret" to more lead to lease conversions lie in simply understanding what your prospect ultimately needs.  In forcing them to identify their own needs (which are much different from their desires or wants), you can then work toward understanding your prospect as an individual - ideally and individually placed triggers will ultimately close your sell every time for you. Lets review 3 Top Psychological Triggers In Apartment Leasing#1 ScarcityA wide - range of key marketers use this as a trigger by using all kinds of tactics to suggest that products (or low prices) might soon be gone, or that someone is trying to keep this product off the market.People are highly motivated by the thought that they might lose out on something ... and rightfully so, there is only 1 YOU (and your Rock Star level of customer service is nothing close to a guarantee anywhere else), first and foremost, but secondly only 1 unit remain available (even if your occupancy report says their are currently 3 available - they should only know of 1. Any number other than 1 encourages indecisiveness) in the floorplan that most closely fits their needs. Successfully make them understand the urgency in the matter; then watch as they sell themselves. Example: Jessica: "Mark, thank you for making the time to come in and visit with me. It has b......
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Have You Ever Had a "Miss Pageant" #AnswerFail Moment?

Have You Ever Had a "Miss Pageant" #AnswerFail Moment?
  Question: “If you could live forever, would you, and why?” Answer: “I would not live forever, because we should not live forever; because if we were supposed to love forever, then we could live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever.”  -A 1994 Miss USA Pageant Contestant    Isn’t it funny that in this age of being able to communicate to someone halfway around the world that we still find it hard to communicate effectively with the people who are halfway around the office?    The multifamily industry is a people-driven business isn’t it? I mean, even if you wanted to get away from the people, you couldn’t . . . because they will find you!    In our people-driven work environments, how many times have you heard a co-worker sound like the Miss USA contestant above? How many times have you sounded like the Miss USA contestant? I know I have ... many times!    The truth is, communicating is easy. Communicating effectively is not. In other words, you can say anything you want and feel like you’re “communicating” right? But are the people you’re communicating to really understanding what you are trying to say?    When the answer is “no,” my experience has shown that it is often directly tied to the fact that we are all different, so we speak many different communication “languages" and we expect everyone else to understand and speak our own language.    Let me give you an example:   Co......
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