Did you know that contrary to popular belief you actually get quite a few opportunities to make a good first impression on your customers? It’s true if you think about all the firsts that must come before you actually rent an apartment. Consider all the interactions you have with your customers: phone calls, site visits, the first time a customer sees your apartments or the first time they meet your staff. You can ruin a customer’s opinion of you at each of these points of contact. Here are a few common mistakes.
Let it go to voicemail
You MUST be there when the customer needs you. When a prospective tenant calls, you better answer that phone. The person on the other end is only going to schedule a handful of apartment viewings. If you do not answer they will not call you back. If they email you and it takes a few hours or a day to reply, they will already have their schedule set or maybe even have viewed and applied for their new home. Answer every phone call, reply immediately to every email – or lose that customer forever.
Ignore the leasing path
Your customers are making lasting impressions long before they see the apartment. Here’s a worthwhile exercise: pretend you are looking for a new home and approach your building as if you were seeing it for the first time. Walk the leasing path from the parking lot to the rental office. Look at the signage, the buildings, and the grounds. Is there litter on the ground or poor lighting? If you see cigarette butts around the entrances, or dog feces in the grass or weeds in the flower beds it means you are not paying attention to the same details that are important to your customers. These are all little things that make a big impact in the wrong way. Judge everything with a critical eye.
Show apartments that aren’t rent-ready
Rent-ready apartments get rented faster. Sure, some people will be able to overlook the current state of your just-vacated rental unit. This is not true of everyone though. Many people will be instantly turned off by seeing a dirty unit and will not rent from you. Think about it like this: would you rather have a tenant who is not bothered by the sorry state of your unready unit, or would you prefer someone who appreciates cleanliness and is turned off by the mess?
Underestimate appearance and attitude
People buy from people. The agent showing your rental property is the most important person in the process at that moment. Your customers will judge your whole operation based on how your leasing agents present themselves. You can have a beautiful rent-ready apartment, superbly manicured grounds and a clean, well-lit and updated building and all that will not matter if your representative is wearing a hoodie and smoking in front of the building when the customer shows up. Make sure your staff are professional in manner and attire and they know how to treat customers.
Are you doing everything in your power to make the best first impression on your customers? How many chances are you going to get to change your customer’s mind? Consider how valuable every minute of every day has become for your future tenants and the answer is pretty obvious. Don’t waste the opportunities that you are given. Make a good first impression every time.