Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, a consistent leader of innovation, recently divulged to 60 Minutes that the company was in the process of developing a drone delivery system. This would allow packages under 5 pounds to be delivered to the purchaser’s doorstep by an “octocopter” in under 30 minutes. The idea, known as Amazon Prime Air, sounds incredibly futuristic—and it is. Check out the video Amazon released showing Prime Air in action:
All frills aside, this idea is just another way Amazon is gaining an edge over their competition. Amazon, under Bezos’ lead, continues to increase market share while staying on the cutting edge of the industry.
Increasing market share in any business requires gaining competitive advantages. Securing an advantage over competitors can come from two distinct areas: either by optimizing a business model in order to offer a product at a lower price than competitors or by charging a higher price because of value added to a product through differentiation. However, the former can be a slippery slope. Trying to compete on cost is ultimately a losing game as margins will be so thin that profit will nearly disappear. Therefore companies must add value to their product to differentiate themselves from competition.
The following are steps to follow so your property can begin to gain a competitive advantage:
- Conduct a SWOT analysis: Before any advantage can be gained, you must first analyze the property as a whole. List strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to find out where your community can grow and where your deficiencies lie.
- Analyze Competitors: Make sure market surveys are being done regularly to ensure that your community is staying competitive. Competitors should also be shopped anonymously, on the phone and in person, to stay abreast of any changes and trends. Keep in mind that competitors aren’t always the enemy. Successful competitors can be utilized as learning tools.
- Respond Quickly: From initial inquiry to follow up, time is of the essence. Show prospects that you are timely, professional and ultimately care about their needs by responding to them quickly.
- Product demonstration: Take a look at how your product is showcased. Are you conveying the value to future residents? Instead of letting prospects wander aimlessly around the apartment, get them involved in the tour by pointing out features and explaining the benefits.
- Offer Better Customer Service: This is one aspect you don’t want sacrificed because it doesn’t have to cost anything, yet can deliver immense returns. Make sure your leasing agents and management staff are polite, smiling and building relationships with prospects. Teach them how to offer solutions to a problem and go above and beyond with daily activities.
- Stay Competitive: Staying competitive has a great deal to do with continually improving your product. Amazon is not content with being the world’s largest online retailer. Bezos and his team are consistently tweaking their business model to provide a better product and better service. Once you gain an advantage your work is far from over. Research new trends, explore new options, and stay on the cutting edge.