“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
- Listen & Empathize
- Ask Questions & Clarify – Aim for questions that will uncover the real objection.
- Rephrase the Objection – Repeat the objection to make sure you hear and understand the prospect’s objection.
- Offer Solutions – Try suggesting another floor plan or checking with the manager for flexibility.
- 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
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“These carpets (appliances, cabinets, etc.) are old and really need to be replaced.”
- 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.
- 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.
- You can offer to have them painted a different color.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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
- Phone number
- Floor plans
- Square feet
- Fees (deposit, application, pet, etc.)
- 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.
Danielle Walker, Director of Sales and Marketing
Ellis Partners in Management Solutions (EPMS)