5 Tips to Help Leasing Teams Better Assist Prospective Renters
Let’s be honest… nobody wants to be on the phone with a stranger longer than they need to be. Especially with a plethora of shenanigans needing to be checked off that never ending list of daily responsibilities. Equally, though, nobody wants to be on the phone with a stranger inquiring about details that they are not receiving answers to.
A tendency in the rental industry is certainly to streamline conversations, speaking quickly and politely with clients in order to efficiently move on to the next phone call. However, failure to properly handle each individual phone call can result in unhappy or neglected prospective tenants that are likely to take their house search elsewhere.
With years of experience tracking and scoring millions of calls, we want to share 5 essential tips in order for your leasing team to convert more leads to tours:
1. Use technology to your advantage
Automation is becoming more relevant within organizations, and can help teams tremendously. Utilizing automation tools can assist with converting emails, calls, or text messages to appointments without any staff intervention. Prospective tenants expect an instant response to their viewing requests, so it is important to be the first to respond. This is where automation can help. Over 40% of emails are not responded to within 24 hours. Of the emails that are responded to, staff reply in an average of 8.7 hours. The new generation of renters is, simply put, one that is used to instant gratification and speedy customer service, and so it is more important than ever to prioritize short wait times. Statistically speaking, the leasing agent who books the appointment first, signs the lease 70% of the time.
2. Ask questions and lead the conversation
Staff ask, on average, one question per prospect call, with calls ranging from 1-2 minutes. Prospective renters ask twice as many questions as staff for calls under 2.5 minutes. It is important that leasing teams know the types of questions that are likely to lead prospects to book a tour. Referencing a script that includes such relevant questions is one great way to enhance confidence while on the phone. Currently, staff are not asking for an appointment on over 75% of calls. If your leasing team is not asking if the prospect would like to book an appointment, the prospect may simply leave the call and book with another property.
3. Get the prospect’s contact information right from the start
In the case of 40% of appointments, staff are failing to ask for the name and phone number of the prospect. Contact information is vital in order to follow up with a prospect. For example, if a booked appointment needs to be rescheduled, how are you supposed to get a hold of the prospect if you have no way of communicating with them? This may seem like a simple and basic practice, as it should be, but the number of appointments in which staff are not asking for any contact information – not even a name – is shocking!
4. In phone conversations, treat each and every prospect as if they are your ideal renter
Remembering simply that each person you talk to via phone, text, email, or in person, while on their own individual search for a home or space, has questions that they are relying on the expert for the answers to – And, unlike the leasing expert, may be having this type of conversation for the first time. Aiming to treat every client conversation as if it is your only one is not only a wonderful business plan, but likely to improve your day, your relationships, and mental health, too.
5. Approach the price openly and honestly
Frankly, prospective tenants know what’s out there. They have likely looked at dozens of rental ads and reached out to other properties before stumbling (excitedly) across yours. Prospects are looking at prices, comparing prices, and calculating budgets, and there is no reason to beat around the bush about the cost of a rental. Be open, honest, and frank about the price of the rental, while backing up the space’s amenities and value as you see fit. For example, a tenant hearing that there is on site laundry right after hearing a price just outside of their budget may be the swaying factor for the prospect’s rental decision – who doesn’t love on site laundry?
It is possible to accomplish the efficiency needed when managing multiple units, while simultaneously offering kindness, professionalism, and preserving the humanity natural to conversations that is appreciated by clients. With the ultimate goals of any leasing team being to convert more leads to tours and reduce lost leads (even if that means adding them to a waitlist), any good communication can start with a simple, genuine, “Hello, who am I speaking with, and how can I help you in your apartment search?”