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Customer Feedback: Responding to the Voice of Your Customer

Overcoming Objections

By | Customer Feedback: Responding to the Voice of Your Customer | No Comments

“An objection is not a rejection; it is simply a request for more information.” – Bo Bennett The prospect is showing their interest by stating their objections to you. This also allows you to get to know your prospect better and uncover the real objection. You will get to the real objections by asking questions and following the steps below.

 

5 Steps for Handling Any Objections

  1. Listen & Empathize
  2. Ask Questions & Clarify – Aim for questions that will uncover the real objection.
  3. Rephrase the Objection – Repeat the objection to make sure you hear and understand the prospect’s objection.
  4. Offer Solutions – Try suggesting another floor plan or checking with the manager for flexibility.
  5. Check for Agreement – You want to make sure the prospect agrees with the solution. You can also offer to research and brainstorm with your team to come up with a solution.

Top 10 Objections and Potential Solutions

  1. “I’m just not sure I can afford the rent.”

For a prospective resident:

  • Check for similar apartment, smaller apartment, longer lease term, etc.
  • See if you can refer them to a sister community; actually call and talk to your colleague while prospect is there.

For a current resident:

  • Think about the cost of moving and do some research ahead of time.
  • Remind the resident of this cost spread over 12 months to show how much money they would save by staying.
  1. “There are brand new apartments within a mile and they are only $60 more per month.”

  • Last year alone, 50,000 apartments were built in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.
  • Ask them what is the most important thing about finding an apartment: amenities, location or having a brand new apartment.
  • The lease-up phase involves reasonable rates to fill the property, but when the lease is up for renewal, the rates typically increase up dramatically. If they really just want to live in a newly constructed community, consider your sister communities and make the connection for your prospective client if possible.
  1. “There is no washer/dryer in my apartment?” or “The washer/dryer are in the bedroom, seriously?”

No washer/dryer in apartment

  • Suggest the resident can bring their own washer and dryer or that they could rent to own or rent a set. Research local rent and rent to own stores that offer this so you can provide that information. You could also negotiate a special rate or arrangement with a local laundromat or offer or research a laundry delivery service.

Dissatisfied with washer/dryer location

  • Remind the resident that it can be very convenient to have your washer and dryer right in your room because it makes washing and putting away laundry easier.
  • If this is really a problem for them, find another floorplan or suggest a sister property.
  1. “I’ve read your reviews online and to be honest, I’m a little worried.”

  • Always remember to respond to negative reviews in a positive and professional way. This will show your prospects that you are attempting to resolve any issues with current residents.
  • Express and acknowledge their concern. Assure them that the leasing staff investigates any situations and will do everything within their power to make it right as customer service is a top priority.
  • Invite them to attend the next resident event.
  1. “These carpets (appliances, cabinets, etc.) are old and really need to be replaced.”

Carpet

  • Suggest the prospect could find some great throw rugs and carpets that could be used to set up the vacant apartment to balance out how the old carpet looks and feels.

Appliances

  • You can say that appliances that have been around awhile are more reliable.
  • You can rave about how people love to cook on a gas stove.

Cabinets

  • You can offer to have them painted a different color.
  1. “I really need to discuss this with my partner (husband, roommate, etc.).”

  • Most people spend 40-50 % of their income on their home so this acknowledge that it is a big decision.
  • Ask them if they were the only person making the decision on the apartment, would they want to make a deposit on the apartment.
  • Offer a 24-hour hold for the apartment.
  1. “The living room (or kitchen or bedroom) is just too small. My furniture won’t fit.”

  • The best tool you have in this objection is a measuring tape. Make this a habit of keeping a measuring tape in your pocket.
  • Many of our advertising reps give away measuring tape. Ask them the next time you see one of them.
  • Keep in mind the size of the most common furniture. Then use the measuring tape to show them the amount of space a bed or other piece of furniture would take up in any of the rooms.
  • Consider referring to a sister community.
  1. “I’m not really sure about the neighborhood.”

  • We know we cannot answer questions about safety, security or the type of people who live in the community.
  • You can say you rent apartments to anyone who qualifies.
  • You can suggest the prospect check with the local police department or you can reach out and send the report to the prospect yourself.
  • You will want to know every positive piece of information about your neighborhood, so take some time to explore the area.
  • Refer to EPMS’s “Neighborhood Worksheet”.
  • Once you have this information, create a flyer that will be approved by the marketing department that you can hand to a prospective resident.
  1. “I’m just not ready yet. This is only the first apartment community I’ve toured.”

  • Ask the prospect if they have a list of communities they are viewing at that time. That gives you an idea of your competition.
  • You can also utilize the 24 hour hold here.
  1. “Springfield Station is running a special of no deposit and 1 month free. Do you have any specials?”

  • This one is a bit trickier to deal with to compete with another property. Ask your manager what you can do to balance this out with any prospective residents that mention this objection.

Market Survey Components

  • Name of the community
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Website
  • Floor plans
  • Prices
  • Square feet
  • Amenities
  • Specials
  • Fees (deposit, application, pet, etc.)

Bright Ideas

  • I- Identify the Real Objection
  • D- Discover Your Competition
  • E- Explore Your Sister Communities
  • A- Analyze Your Brand Advantages
  • S- Suggest Solutions

Homework: Focus on creating a market survey/binder with your top 3 competitors and 3 closest sister communities.

Remember the Samuel Jackson quote: “Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.” Every objection may not be able to be overcome or clear how to overcome, but you can work through them with the prospect.

Difficult Residents Strike Again

By | Customer Feedback: Responding to the Voice of Your Customer | No Comments

does your company need an I am annoyed departmentDifficult residents seem to come with the territory of running an apartment complex, yet not many people talk about how to approach and create success with them. EPMS knows there are effective tools to help you listen to customers, respond to their feedback and understand and enhance overall customer experience and we are eager to share them with you.

The goal is to understand feedback through the eyes of your customers and to manage their expectations, especially online. It is easier and more or a resident to post a “bad” review than a good review. Let’s change that today by focusing on these areas:

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How to Handle Unhappy Residents

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Feedback stings because there’s always a little but of truth in it. It might only reveal how others perceive us, but it is still their truth. With every truth, we have an opportunity to learn and improve and even turn an unhappy resident into a happy one.

The real trick to turning a negative into a positive is in how you respond. We have to stop and listen as this gives us an opportunity to understand the emotion while also composing ourselves and pushing away the instinct to become defensive.

Care and mean it; simply care. Stop what you’re doing and take interest in the conversation. Actively solicit feedback and create the feeling that you are constantly striving to improve their experience. In other words, demonstrate that you care. If you care about your residents, your customers are going to care about you.

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Creating a 90 Day Reputation Management Plan

By | Customer Feedback: Responding to the Voice of Your Customer | No Comments

Create a 90 dayHaving a positive online reputation is essential for any business, especially apartment communities. Prospects, competitors, and customers can easily research your community online to determine if you have a positive or negative reputation and then decide if they want to do business with you before you every have the opportunity to have a conversation. Just one negative resource or comment can deter a prospect.

 

A positive online reputation will encourage them to pick up the phone or walk in your leasing office. With that being said, investing in reputation management is crucial for your business, and having a 90-Day Reputation Management Plan is a necessity.

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Receiving Criticism

By | Customer Feedback: Responding to the Voice of Your Customer | No Comments

Receiving criticism is your chance to show off a rare skill; your ability to take negative feedback well. Believe me, it’s not easy. It takes years of practice and a lot of self-awareness. But you have an advantage. Because of the nature of our business, you get to practice receiving feedback almost daily. You get real feedback from your real customers all the time. You don’t have to wait for an annual performance review or even a survey. Read More

3 Things You Should Know About Online Reputation Management

By | Customer Feedback: Responding to the Voice of Your Customer | No Comments

If you want a good online reputation, you have to build a good offline reputation.

But how do you do that? Let’s start with defining online reputation management, so we can understand its value. Reputation management is the understanding or influencing of a business’s or even an individual’s reputation. The key word here is influencing. Read More

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