Last modified on January 15th, 2016
By Elizabeth Millar
Training property management leasing teams to overcome objections and build rapport with prospective tenants often improves closing rates. There are a few things your agents should never say during the getting to know you phase.
Here are seven examples of how agents may create stress or tension instead of building confidence and encouraging the prospect to sign the lease.
Number One: Don’t Make Assumptions
You’re going to love our community, it’s so (fill in the blank). . .
- Close to the ballpark
Unless your property leasing professional is making this statement after the tenant has expressed a desire to be close to the basketball court or the local professional stadium, mentioning the ballpark could be a deal breaker. It’s best to define your community in more generic terms until you’ve learned what makes a community appealing to your prospect.
Number Two: Don’t Make Comparisons
You’re the first (or fifth, or eighteenth) person to look at this apartment.
Creating a sense of urgency is often a great way to help push an apartment seeker teetering on the edge into making a decision. But, you can’t be certain whether the prospect will think you’re just trying to rush him into making a decision. If he’s the first, that could indicate no one has expressed interest. If he’s the eighteenth, he may wonder what’s he’s missing that others saw. Instead, mention that the unit just became available or point out the most desirable features.
Number Three: Don’t Use General Statements When Clarity Works Better
The kitchen appliances are all new!
Whether you’re describing the heating and air system, new stainless appliances or the on-site gym, it’s best to put a time frame with the upgrade. Mentioning that the appliances were installed last month, or six months ago, gives the tenant a realistic impression of what “new” really means.
Number Four: Don’t Make Excuses
We haven’t had a chance to clean this place up yet.
First rule of marketing rental property – never show a less than immaculate apartment. If you don’t have time to clean an available property before starting the tour, what else are you too busy to take care of? Plumbing repairs? Potholes in the parking lot? Along the same line, claiming previous tenants never cleaned could give the impression that pests could be an inheritable problem for new occupants. No one wants to move into a place that isn’t clean and move-in ready.
Number Five: Don’t Expect Prospects to Settle for Less
It’s a trade-off. . .
While it is true that sometimes having a great location means you’ll pay more than you wanted to, or having access to public transportation may come at the expense of an open floor plan, don’t expect tenants to settle for less. Overcoming objections is a key responsibility for your leasing team. Brainstorm possible shortcomings before tenants pose the objection to prepare your team in advance. Offer solutions. For example, if you don’t have on-site storage, work out a discount for residents with a local self-storage facility.
Number Six: Don’t Promise What You Can’t Deliver
What rate sounds good to you, maybe we can negotiate the monthly rent?
This no-no comes in a variety of ways. Some leasing agents tell apartment seekers they will check with the boss knowing the rates are non-negotiable. This is setting the team up for failure. When the agent comes back with a “no deal” response, the prospect may not only feel disappointed, but might take it as a personal insult – thinking that something about him or her personally swayed management’s decision.
Number Seven: Don’t Assume Everyone Loves the Same Things or Shares Common Values
Your kids will love the school district or You should visit the local synagogue.
Assuming that everyone will love the same cafe you do, or the teachers in the local preschool, or the rabbi at the synagogue down the street assumes everyone has the same ideals and ideologies. If a prospect shares an expectation, such as making a faith-based statement or mentioning an addiction to lattes or tea houses, your team can share their favorites.
Has your property discovered other key phrases that sometimes push the apartment seeker away and not draw them in? Share your experience in the comment section below.