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Property Management Minutes

Thoughts and Observations on Marketing, Leasing, Maintenance and Property Management Operations

Three Keys to Improve Follow Ups

In most leasing centers, prospect follow up is a scheduled activity. Sometimes the purpose of follow up is confused with completing the task. Too often, the follow up efforts are listed as “left voicemail/sent email….” For someone that has visited and toured the property, leaving messages doesn’t bring any closure to the leasing efforts.

Follow up is the opportunity to sustain interest from an individual that was unable, unwilling or not asked to make a commitment to an apartment home during their visit to the property.

A leasing person that is not confident about asking for the sale or deposit during a property visit may not be effective in their follow up efforts.

The follow up call should be specific.

Ms. Jones, I’m so glad you had the opportunity to tour the two bedroom model at Happy Acres this morning.

Offer a sense of urgency.

The two bedroom apartment on the second floor with the great closets you loved is still available. As you are making your decision remember, I only have one apartment in the specific floor plan you preferred available for immediate move in.

Start additional dialogue:

I’m wondering how you’re coming in making a decision, and if there any questions that you have?

You mentioned you had other appointments scheduled for visits. I’m confident that our two bedroom apartment will be the best home for you. I’m in the office today until 6 pm, I’d love to hear from you. If you have a minute to give me a call, we can talk about what needs to happen to reserve that apartment and schedule an appointment to sign your lease.

Now that’s a follow up call!

The key to follow up is knowing how and when to contact someone.

  • As the apartment tour is closing, a savvy leasing professional might say, “I’d like to be able to follow up with you about the apartment. What’s the best method for me to contact you? Cell, text or email? Could I get that information? (Don’t assume the information provided at the beginning of the visit for the guest card, is the preferred method.)
  • Is there a time during the day, that’s best for you?  Asking for a suggested time shows respect for the prospects employment or other commitments, as well as personal privacy. Prospects may not have access to their personal email or have limited use of the cell for personal calls/text while at work. Knowing when a prospect expects to be available, establishes the ground work for a follow up conversation, not having to leave a voice mail message, which could result in a telephone tag of messages, which generally is not productive.
  • Using email, make sure the prospect knows you will send an email, they may need to check their spam or junk folder especially if you’re sending an attachment.

Creating a reason for them to check their email will improve the chances it will be read.

You could send them

  • additional floor plans
  • community policies
  • BEST! A digital photo of them at a scenic venue on your property.

Follow up is an opportunity to seal the deal, add some polish, refresh the visit in the prospects mind.

Establishing a day for late office hours to complete follow up calls may assist in increasing the answer rate, which in turn could increase closing ratios or at least second visits.

Follow up is a valuable leasing tool, practice and polish it. Completing follow up is much more than a check box on a guest card.

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  • Matt Weirich

    Great tips, Lori! Follow up is such a critical component of converting prospects to residents. We have also seen great success sending personalized videos as they get incredible click rates via text or email, and you're able to make it very catered to that individual prospect.

  • Phil Hennessy

    Lori I have recently found you as a terrific resource! I do have one question about this article though. You mention "•BEST! A digital photo of them at a scenic venue on your property." My question is how would one go about taking a picture of a potential resident? I feel that this would cause some potential residents to feel insecure or perhaps aggravated that I am taking their picture. More so, I agree with Matt that I have had great experience creating personalized videos for potential residents, however it becomes an issue when sending such a big file in an e-mail. Most of the time I have to upload to youtube and then give them a link. Who knows if those even get views. What are your thoughts?

  • Lori Hammond

    Phil Hennessy

    Phil, thanks so much for your thoughts. First...I would only suggest a photo as a "souvenir" of the moment...Let's take a picture of you in this great kitchen..and you can show....wife/husband/best friend...and I would agree, a video is great as well..but the size upload can be cumbersome...I am far from a tech guru...but maybe save video file to a disk at leasing center, and give to prospect...or determine the length that a facebook video can support..and "race" to use the time wisely. Either a video or picture...(if you're including the prospect..) has to secure permission of the prospect...Emailing the virtual tour from web site...can be a great tool also...the key...personalize, personalize, personalize! Thanks for your comment!

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