A decade ago, a typical prospect started their apartment search a few weeks before their lease ended. They would grab an apartment guide, drive by some properties, narrow down a few to choose from and ultimately shop 2-3 communities before making a decision.
Today’s renter has many additional apartment search tools at their disposal, resulting in a longer search time and more properties researched. When a prospective resident walks into your leasing office, they are very likely to be looking at multiple properties. That is why it is important to provide them with more than just a tour of your community. It’s time to put the consultant back in Leasing Consultant.
When we regularly shop our competitors, not only do we expose ourselves to additional leasing strategies and techniques, we also increase our expertise in our local market. This expertise can be a huge help to our prospective renters. Rather than ignore the local competitors, we should embrace our knowledge of the area and explain to the prospect their options and alternatives. Obviously we want to sell the features of our community, but we need to understand that most renters will also look at our competition, so why not position ourselves as the expert on housing options in our area? This not only helps build trust and rapport, but it gives our advice more clout and allows us to have an expert’s influence on our prospect’s housing decision.