What are the Top 5 Shop Questions Your Competitors are missing? You already know that providing exceptional customer service is a must in today’s multifamily industry. The competition is fierce, so anything you can do to gain an edge will help you close leases and retain residents for the long term. One great way to outshine your competition is to find out what they’re missing and do it better! You can start by understanding these top five shop questions your competitors are consistently missing so you know where you can focus your efforts.
1. Determine the Reason for Your Move
Many leasing professionals say they feel uncomfortable asking the prospect the reason for their move because it sounds nosy or invasive. The trick with this question is to make it part of the conversation and ask in a way that feels comfortable. A great example of how to phrase this one is, “So what brings you to the area (community, city, etc.)?”
2. Ask Questions to Identify Specific Needs
Make an effort to take this question beyond just asking, “Do you want first or second floor?” You can steer the conversation to uncover specific needs and preferences by asking things like:
- Other than downstairs, what are your must-haves?
- What do you love (or not love) about where you currently live?
- Where is your favorite place to relax/work/spend time in your current community?
Doing this will allow you to personalize the tour to the prospect and point out the things they said are important. This is the best way to help them visualize living there and eventually close the lease.
3. Describe Surrounding Area and Nearby Conveniences
Another example of shop questions your competitors are missing is knowing why your community’s location is special! Try this best practice – survey your residents to find out what they love about the neighborhood and local conveniences! The feedback you get from residents will really help you sell your community’s benefits within the larger neighborhood. This is also a good time to share your community’s loyalty score with the prospect.
4. Mention the On-site Team and/or Professional Management
Getting credit for this question is a must to reassure the prospect that they will be taken care of once they become residents. They need to know what kind of service they can expect once they commit. Use this as an opportunity to share information like:
- Who will be coming to handle maintenance requests when they live there
- The cumulative experience of the team (“Our team has 40 years of combined apartment industry experience!”)
- Recognition, your community, has earned (“Our company was voted in the Top 10 Places to Work by employees in the area!)
5. Attempt to Schedule a Follow-Up Appointment
Don’t underestimate the value of inviting the prospect to come back! In fact, invite them back and tell them to bring along anyone else they want to show the place to. This is an awesome way convey to the prospect that you are genuinely interested in having them become a resident.
Bonus: Did They Follow Up with a Phone Call?
Even though you may be able to earn credit for following up with an email, take the time to make a quick call just to let them know you’d love to have them as a resident. Keep your community fresh in their minds and add that personal touch.
Bonus #2: Was the Follow Up Effective?
In quarter 1, only 61% of shops reflected the follow-up, making the prospect want to return. This shows an open opportunity for you to set yourself apart from your competition!
If you can work to master these questions, you’ll find yourself rising above your competition. Work on one question at a time until they all become part of your routine!
Since 1984, Ellis Partners in Management Solutions has specialized exclusively in helping our multifamily clients measure and improve the customer experience by teaming with customers to develop professional skills and behaviors in each team member. We evaluate customer service and performance of onsite leasing professionals through comprehensive mystery shopping reports, our multiple touchpoint resident survey program, and training. Our turn-key integrated customer experience program, backed by outstanding customer service, sophisticated technology, and ethical business practices, has made Ellis one of the multifamily industry’s most respected and sought-after training and consulting services providers.