Quick Tips to Compete
Be More Likable
Focus on being more likable than any of your competitors. This allows you to get closer to your residents and in turn, they will be more likely to share information and provide invaluable feedback.
Prospects will want to live at your community because you have welcomed them and they will feel like they are at home.
In addition, make sure your services and offers satisfy your client needs. This will essentially create loyalty and trust with your residents.
Beat Them to It
Be responsive to change and your residents’ needs. Use the information you have collected due to being more likable to your community’s benefit. You can collect this information at events your community holds onsite or offsite.
You do not have to offer rent discounts to be responsive and collect this information – be creative in how you can offer your residents something new and compete differently. For example, rewards programs are out of style!
Keep It Personal
This may be counterintuitive to everything you have learned in the past, yet connection is the key.
Your welcome and follow-up will build an emotional connection with your potential resident. Get to know who they are and what they need to create that positive experience with your residents.
When you take the time to build this type of loyalty and trust, your residents will be less likely to go to your competitors.
Use Social Media
This is a gold mind of information. This levels the playing field when it comes to marketing budgets. Whether your budget is big or small, you can use social media effectively.
This is where your residents will go to get more information about who you are so make sure this information is accurate and use this opportunity to stand out!
Encourage reviews and feedback as this is how you learn about your residents’ needs. Then you can use this feedback to make the necessary changes within your community. Make sure to let those who submitted suggestions know that changes are happening. This is will make your residents feel more valued and seen.
Make It Easy
There is so much work required in looking for and leasing a new home. Try to simplify the process as much as possible for the prospect with these tips:
- Make sure the navigation on your website is easy to use.
- Make sure the content is easy to read and understand.
- Answer the phone. You will be shocked at the amount of times that leasing agents are not answering the phone. This alone will allow you to stand out.
- Make it easy for the prospect to reach you and set up appointments.
- Reply quickly to e-mail and provide them with more information they can find on your website.
This will greatly increase the likelihood that you will get the lease.
Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing so you can stay ahead of the game and do something different. You do not need to obsess over it; simply find places where your property can be different.
Audit Your Customer Experience
For example, the call center is typically not very helpful to the prospective client as they can only share information that can typically be found on the website. Having your leasing agents answer the phone more often can be a huge differentiating factor.
Your content is typically the first impression your prospective resident will associate with your brand. By the time they reach your property, they have already interacted with your company through your content.
Printed materials matter as well. What do your printed materials look like? What type of businesses do you allow to advertise within your property?
Consider the type of scripts you have available for your leasing agents to use so they can offer consistent and great advice.
Your photos are another great way to express a message through your content. The photos you choose become a part of your brand.
Currency: Is everything to be up-to-date, including social media sites?
Accuracy: Is your information correct?
Consistency: How often do you post? How do you handle complaints?
Depth & Breadth: Make sure this meets your ideal clients’ needs.
Format: Does it meet your ideal prospect’s needs? i.e. quick to read or in-depth
Performance: Are you keeping track of this on a daily, weekly, monthly basis?
Context: Is it from your prospect’s perspective?
Accessibility: Is your website and social media easy to navigate?
The Real Secret
Good employees are the key to your community’s success. They are crucial to welcoming your prospective residents into the family and providing an excellent customer experience.
Amaze your residents and prospects with a likable team and a unique approach. Align your marketing and sales efforts around the customer. This should be in line with your ideal prospect and their needs and wants should be met with your marketing and sales efforts.
Remember to keep the customer front and center. This also means following up with your prospects. It is normal for prospects to need more information before they take the next steps to commit. Practical knowledge like move-in dates and available apartment units is key.
If your leasing agents can keep the customer in mind at all times, you’ll find you get the lease more often.
Misty Sanford, Founder
North of Creative