Wednesday, March 2, 2011

LISTEN TO LEASE - Listenting 101 By: Malissa Silvey

Don’t you just HATE it when people don’t listen to you!

You tell the saleslady exactly what you are looking for and she comes back with something totally inappropriate. You describe, in detail, exactly the look you’re after and still your hairdresser cuts it too short!

On the other hand, occasionally you find a hairdresser that really listens to what you’re saying and actually hears clues about you and your personality during your ‘beauty shop’ chit chat. When they can use that knowledge to suggest new styles, a mani/pedi for a special occasion or a sassy new hair color, you are a customer for life. I’ve even followed my hairdresser to other cities and will drive miles out of my way for a hairdresser that listens to what is important to me.

I call this Listening 101 and it involves listening, really listening to your prospective resident. Listen to what they are saying from the moment they call you or walk through the office door to see your apartment community and continue to listen and absorb the information they are giving you as you engage your prospective resident in conversation. As you begin the tour of your apartment community and discuss the amenities it has to offer, you will already know what your potential resident is looking for in a home and a neighborhood and can discuss the particular benefits that this prospective resident will find the most appealing about your apartment community.

While you are walking to the new apartment home you are planning to show your prospect, you can point out the gated community or a security patrol to a person whose biggest concern is safety, or you can make sure and tour past a playground with a family who expressed interest in a play area for their children. It also bears mentioning now that the better you know your property and what it has to offer, the more apartments you will lease. How will you be able to answer a senior who is concerned about mobility if you don’t know where the nearest grocery store or bus stop is?

When you arrive at the apartment you are showing your prospective resident you will have an advantage because you’ve been listening to them. You can show them that extra storage area and point out that it is big enough to safely store the prospect’s bicycle. Or you can remark on the light in the second bedroom and how perfect it would be for an office area. Or perhaps they mentioned gardening as an interest so knowing that a balcony/patio with the perfect conditions for growing herbs or flowers might be the thing that convinces your prospective resident that they have found their new home.

It doesn’t matter what the person’s hot buttons are, or what they feel is most important, your job is simply to listen to what they want. When you listen, you will lease because you will know exactly how to help your prospect look at the apartment you are showing them and see their new home!

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