Now that you are beginning to lease-up your new community, it will basically sell itself since it’s new…right?

Wrong.

Gone are the days when a community leased-up on its’ own simply because it was the newest kid on the block.  The main reason for this is whereas there used to maybe be only one new kid on the block at a time, now there may be five or six new communities that could all potentially be pre-leasing at the same time.  The newness of your community can still be sold, but when there is new product surrounding you that your prospects will surely be visiting, it’s time to figure out how you can stand out from the pack.

It’s a fact that, as a leasing agent, you cannot control how your community was built and what amenities were or were not included in the development of the community.  You are required to sell whatever the make-up of your community may be.  If your community has very nice features, but the newer community just down the road has even nicer features, there is nothing you can do about that.  You cannot change the dynamic of your property.  Therefore, since you cannot alter your apartment’s features, you have to concentrate on controlling something you can do better than your competitors, no matter what their product is like, and that is customer service.

There are many ways to “out” customer service a competitor and it’s the little things that go into this that can make you and your community memorable to a prospect:

-Always go out of your way to properly greet a prospect.  Properly greeting a prospect is accomplished by meeting the prospect as they walk into your community’s doors, welcoming them to your community by name, introducing yourself and then asking them if they are looking for a new apartment home today.  If it is an appointment that is walking through the front doors, assume the person walking in is your appointment and greet them by their first name.

-Ask questions about what a prospect is specifically looking for in their new home and show true genuine interest in determining which apartment home you have available will be perfect based on their needs.

-Cater your tour to exactly what the prospect is looking for based upon the questions that you ask.  This will show the prospect that you truly listened to what was important to them.  If the prospect says that they enjoy to cook and you know you have tons of amenities in your kitchens, then spend the extra time to point out each amenity, as the prospect that is interested in these features will truly see the value in them.

-After the tour is over, take the prospect to a quiet place in your office to discuss the application process.  If they are still on the fence on whether they want the apartment or not, figure out exactly what may be holding them back to ensure that there is nothing you missed they may be looking for.

-Regardless of whether or not the prospect fills out an application, treat them as if they did and thank them for stopping by.  To go the extra mile, stand up when the prospect is ready to leave, walk them out the front doors of your community to their car and shake their hand and thank them once again for coming by.  This may be the most important customer service act, because prospects will always remember the last thing that occurred on their tour.

Going above and beyond of what is asked of you from a customer service aspect is the most inexpensive way to make your community stand out…it’s free!  It is on the leasing staff to ensure they are always prepared to wow each and every prospect that walks through the front doors.  I promise you if you are able to implement these basic customer service pointers, you will have a buzz generated by people talking about the service they received at your community, as well as more leases!