Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Proper Leasing Terminology

During my day in the Life of Property Management, I continue to hear the wrong terminology when referring to one of the words in the list below.

I just hate it when someone mentions that I work at a Complex and I show Units to prospects! NO! I work at an Apartment community and I show prospects their new apartment home.

Tenants               -   -   -   -          Residents, Customers, Guest
Project or Complex  -   -   -   -    Community, Property
Unit            -   -   -   -   -   -   -       Home or Apartment Home
Landlor    -   -  -   -   -   -   -   -      Owner, Manager
Lease         -   -   -   -   -   -           Rental Agreement
Signature    -   -   -   -   -   -          Written Approval
Rules & Regulation   -   -   -   -    Community Policies
Work Order      -    -   -   -   -       Service Request

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Can I Get Fries With That?

Another GREAT post by Jeremy Lawson!!  Responding to email leads is a hot button of mine. 

Can I Get Fries With That?

Responding to a lead- 5 things to mention in your e-mail response
Jeremy Lawson, NALP
Did you know appointments are FOUR TIMES more likely to lease than your regular walk-in traffic? Each time you get a lead via fax or e-mail is another great opportunity for you to get a lease and make more money!!! Make sure the first impression your prospects get of your community is the best one. Here are a few helpful tips to help supersize your closing ratio.
 Use the word “appointment”

Setting an appointment is our ultimate goal of a telephone call! If they are looking for a future time frame or they are out of state, you can still offer to make a telephone appointment. Just like on your quarterly shops, it is very important for you to try and set a “specific appointment” with your leads.
 Do they have any preferences?

Asking this question will help to create dialogue and you will be more likely to get a response. It is also a great way to learn about their wants and needs. After obtaining this information you can better sell the features and benefits of the apartment you are talking to them about.
 Mention unique amenities/features about the apartment-

Every apartment has wall and floor, so tell them what makes this one different than the rest! Maybe it is a floor plan you only have a few of. Do you know the measurements of the windows? “This apartment has 3, amazing 42” x 60” windows!” Get creative and think of a different way to talk about what your community has to offer them.
 Be sure to ask them to visit your website!

We all know how great our websites are, so don’t forget to share them with your prospect. This is an effective way you can really get all of their attention. Pull them away from a website that gives them access to all your competitors so they can concentrate solely on what your community has to offer.
 Never send an attachment in your first e-mail

Although you may think you are being helpful sending all the information you have about your community to them all at once, you don’t want to overload them with information. By providing them with the general information about your community and your website, for an initial e-mail this will be adequate. Let them ask you for this information.

Looking to brush up on your e-mail response skills? “Leasing for a Living Series: 3 - Responding to Email Inquiries Module,” is a great 30 minute course offered by Grace Hill.

***Fair Housing 101 Tip- Respond to all leads you receive within 72 hours.***
Sample Lead Response-

Thank you for your interest in ______(Community name here)__________! I am positive that I will be able to assist you in your search for a new home. It looks like you are looking to move-in later this month! (Time sure does fly by!) I have an apartment that I you are going to love!!! It's a two bedroom two bath and is 1017 sq ft. Did you have any preferences? It will include a private entrance, full-size washer and dryer along with an enclosed patio, a TON of storage and plenty of oversized windows! We are currently running a great special on our two bedroom apartments also. Right now, they are starting at just $850/mo!!!

Will you be in the area anytime soon? I would be glad to show you around our community. Please let me know if you have any questions I would love to help you. Visit our awesome website to see floor plans, community, directions, apartment photos and you can also take a virtual tour! www.TheserveOp.com .

Call me or e-mail me soon as I would love to schedule an appointment for you to visit us!


*GraceHill.com also has a template if you would like to personalize theirs.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Please Don’t Pass the Mashed Potatoes

On November 7, 2010 Jeremy A. Lawson, NALP wrote the following article on Fair Housing.  Please enjoy!

Roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and fresh rolls, I think we would agree that these delicious items are consistent with what most of us will be enjoying at the upcoming holiday. So, what does this have to do with fair housing? Well, if you were to forget the “mashed potatoes” during one of your leasing presentation, you may just end up in “deep gravy,” with a fair housing lawsuit.   

Fair housing laws are agreeably one of the scariest yet most important things we must all keep in mind each day when we arrive at our communities. It seem as though, every week we hear about someone
else we know going through a fair housing lawsuit. Scary as they are, if we simply follow the golden rule of fair housing, “be consistent and treat everyone the same,” we can all breath a little easier.

Did you know in a fair housing law suit both your company and you personally can be sued? Better yet, how can you completely avoid being baked to a crisp, like a burnt turkey, in one of these lawsuits? Well, if you ever feel a decision that may need to be made could possibly break one of these laws, don’t make it. After all, most fair housing law suits are filed because someone felt they were being discriminated against. Instead, bring it to the attention of your supervisor and let them make the call. With their experience they may see the situation totally differently and offer a solution that makes everyone happy. If they come up with the same resolution, maybe it is the right one. Document, document and document some more. In these instances and any others that end in disagreement a pen may just be your best friend. Hopefully it will just take up space on that conversation log, like a hot pad protecting your dinner table. But, you never know when that documentation is going to keep you from getting burned.

Because so many of these lawsuits are made based how you made someone feel it is also imperative to be aware of what you say and how you say it. You may be familiar with the sentence, “I didn’t say it was your fault.” That just reminds you how one word can have two different meanings. Take the time in these sticky situations and ensure all parties understand why a certain decision was made. After all, it’s only fair. And, the next you are giving a leasing presentation take a second and ask yourself, did I forget the “mashed potatoes”?

To learn more about and to become more comfortable with fair housing laws visit www.naahq.org, www.gracehill.com or www.callsource.com they are great resources and offer many informative courses. It is also important to attend fair housing classes offered by your local apartment associations as often as possible.

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