How to Lease a Home, Not a Unit

Last modified on July 11th, 2016

Prospective residents spend roughly 30 minutes touring each property during the search for a new home. Even before the tour begins there is a conflict of interest. While property managers evaluate a prospect’s credit worthiness and financial stability, future tenants watch for clues that the unit feels and looks like home.

Framing conversations with positive language and personalized presentations gives leasing agents an opportunity to “package the property” in an appealing way that resonates with prospective residents.

  • The first step in personalizing the tour is to drop the term unit. Remember — finding a home is the primary objective.
  • Positive words create positive behavior. Want to create a welcoming atmosphere? Smile. Ask open-ended questions to gather information about work, family, and hobbies.
  • Listen carefully. It might not be as beneficial to highlight the playground and after-school clubhouse programs to a single, childless couple as it would be to point out these amenties to a couple with several young children.
  • Look for connections. For example, if the conversation reveals an interest in volunteering, try to connect those interests with local charitable organizations or current residents who volunteer.
  • When showing your house or apartment, mention key features that complement the prospect’s lifestyle and expectations.

Choose your words with purpose. Saying things like “the rent is ONLY. . .” is fantastic. However, saying, “The pest control agent JUST comes once a month” isn’t as positive. Find opportunities to use confidence building words like “absolutely”, “wonderful”, and “definitely”.

Non-verbal Communication Tools

Positive language is a powerful tool for property managers. Non-verbal communication tools are equally vital to success. Staging is an excellent example. Considering your target audience can increase staging effectiveness. Here are three staging options for property managers and owners to compare.

Professional Consulting

A professional staging consultant tours your property and gathers information about resident demographics. After the tour, he or she recommends specific decorating or renovation strategies to generate heightened interest in your apartments. The consultant may suggest interior wall colors and textures based on your demographics or furniture styles for your model homes.

Virtual Staging: Printed or Digital

If your property does not have a model, consider virtual staging. Professionally rendered drawings or sketches show tenants what the home will look like fully decorated. Interactive digital staging options allow managers and tenants to create realistic representations with personal preferences for color, texture and style.

Target-specific Staging

Stage a model that appeals to a certain group, i.e. military families, college students, or young professionals. Targeted staging is a personalized touch that makes a huge impact. Furnishing a bedroom with bunk beds and a toy chest creates a homey atmosphere for families. Similarly, a fully-stocked bookcase and computer work station creates an appealing feel for grad students.

Creating interest and enthusiasm about your property is easier with positive language and personalized presentations. Whether you enlist the help of a professional coach to develop a touring script or hire a staging consultant to create an interactive digital model, make positive thinking a priority.

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