COVID-19 restrictions are quickly changing the way leasing offices do business. The following are some quick tips for transforming your workplace into a lucrative virtual leasing office to better meet the needs of prospects and new residents.
BE THE HERO WHEN ANSWERING PHONES
It’s scary out there. When answering phone calls and email inquiries, consider the prospect’s current circumstances—they are most likely in urgent need of a home and have to brave the most precarious conditions. Although we always take our prospects seriously, now more than ever, prospects need more than assistance.
They need assurance that you can help solve their problem—securing a place to live. You can help them. Be their hero. You don’t need a cape to guide them through the application process, but you do need patience, compassion and a solid understanding of your community’s leasing process to answer their questions.
MAKE THE TOUR TRANSFORMATIVE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
Don’t let the COVID-19 shelter-in-place restrictions derail the opportunity to conduct a tour. Just because it’s not in person doesn’t mean it can’t be a transformative experience. Take inventory of the marketing tools and platforms you have at your disposal and start thinking creatively:
- Can you schedule your own virtual tour with a customer? RealPage Content Services offer options to make your first impression count including 3D Studio, Matterport Tour, 3D virtual tours, and other rendering services. In addition, FaceTime, Skype, GoTo Meeting, Zoom or any other video platform are channels in which you discuss in detail with them all the property perks. A warm and engaging conversation in which they see a representative from the community they’re inquiring about can go a long way.
- Do you have digital floorplans, e-brochures or other virtual collateral that you can send to your customers via email?
- Does your website or your ILS sites feature a virtual tour of your community or floorplans that you can refer prospects to?
- Utilize links from the surrounding community to give the prospect a better feel for the location.
BRING OUT THE BEST FOR GUEST CARDS
Take your time during your guest card process to build a rapport. Paint a picture of your community: talk about your amenities, interior finishes, features, and your on-site team. Every community offers shelter. But, what people are looking for is a wonderful living experience. You have to give every customer a reason to lease with YOU.
Because so many people have such limited social interaction and feel a greater sense of isolation these days, the added attention can create a positive lasting impression. Be sure to ask your prospects the same questions you would during an in-person tour. Gather as much information as possible to better understand their needs and convey your confidence to deliver suitable accommodations.
ALWAYS BE CLOSING—OR GETTING CLOSER
Closing doesn’t always end in a signed lease. But, you can always make sure that for every interaction you have with a qualified prospect, you are one step closer to getting that signature. Take your time walking them through the leasing process. If you do not use an online leasing portal, ask if they would like an application emailed to them. Be sure to send them a comprehensive message that explains the ease of the application and move-in process.
If you have online leasing, send the customer an invitation to apply. Tell them you are available to discuss at their convenience any questions they may have. Leasing online can be intimidating to some people. Break down that wall for them. During this time, when so many things are uncertain, reassure your prospects that you also want what’s best for them. It is that extra measure of compassion that will get you closer to welcoming a new resident, and get them closer to a new residence.
Remember, you are part of an industry that puts people first. Our services and compassion are needed now more than ever. This moment in history may change the way we do business going forward. Stay adaptable. Your ability to be flexible and continue to adapt the process will ensure that we are prepared for the future state of leasing.
Make the most of this time if you can. Invest in yourself. Take any opportunity you have to sharpen your sales skills and product knowledge. RealPage is here to help with your professional development. Check out our free on-demand courses on the RealPage Product Learning Portal at www.Realpagelearning.com.