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Rommel Anacan | the Relationship Difference
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Wait, I Didn't See that on the Starbucks Menu!

I was at Starbucks recently and I ordered a tall vanilla iced coffee with no milk. The reason I ordered that drink was that it was a hot day and a cold drink sounded good, and I saw the drink listed on the menu. The fact that the drink was on the menu told me that I could order it … simple enough right?

Then I heard someone order a drink that I couldn’t even begin to repeat here, because there were so many moving parts to it. But it was something like an upside down caramel latte with two pumps of chocolate syrup, whip and peppermint crumbles or something like that. I didn’t see that drink on the menu … and it looked pretty darn good! Much better than mine did, anyway.

What does this mean for you?

If you sell (or lease apartments) you need to know that today’s rental customer is a lot like the customer at Starbucks I talked about earlier-they expect to have choices and the ability to customize their apartment, or at least the experience of looking for an apartment, to be able to fit their needs.

For many years we have taught in the multifamily industry that there is only one way to show an apartment and you better show it that was all the time to everyone who walks in. What that meant though is that someone with only 10 minutes to see an apartment might have spent all of those 10 minutes at the desk forced to give her life story to the leasing agent, instead of seeing the apartment.

And yes, I know some of the reason why it was taught to tour every prospect the same way every time was to stay in compliance with Fair Housing laws-but in my opinion, the purpose of Fair Housing laws is to ensure that everyone has equal access to housing. I do not believe that it was designed to force someone, who has never played a day of tennis in his life, to walk across the community to see the tennis court, if he doesn’t want to see it.

I believe it is crucial today to be flexible when helping prospects, to allow your prospects to identify what is important to them, and tailoring the sales process to fit their needs.

Does this mean that you always show the apartment differently?

No. I actually think you should have one “standard” way that you would tend to show your community to prospects-and I think most prospects will probably follow that standard. However, I want to encourage you to allow those people who want “five pumps and whip” added to their experience, to be able to experience it that way.

So, if you ask good questions during the information gathering process and the customer identifies the top three things and only those three things s/he wants to see, then frame the conversation around those three things, and don’t concern yourself (or your prospect) with the things that don’t matter.

If your customer is in a rush, take notes on the way to the apartment. If your prospect is really excited about the fitness center and that is a “hot button” topic, then maybe you should start there first, before going to the business center.

The important thing is today’s customer is used to customizing the experience-so it’s important that you allow opportunities for your customer to do so. What I love most about this is it really comes down to you clearly identifying what is most important to the customer, and then having a laser-beam focus on those things … which makes leasing an apartment so much easier!

 

Rommel (pronounced "Roh-mel") Anacan is one of the most dynamic, entertaining and educating speakers in the multifamily industry today. Rommel works with leading companies and organizations nationwide helping them achieve their maximum potential and performance with a powerful "Win With People" message and approach to organizational development. In 2017 he was invited to become a member of the famed Apartment All-Stars team.
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