7 Ways You Can Avoid Getting Trampled

I refuse to participate in Black Friday. (They already have Halloween candy out in stores, so I'm allowed to talk about November.)

For starters, I have no interest in being trampled to death outside of a Walmart. That plasma TV is swell and all, but I’d sooner keep my extremities intact. 

I also have very little patience for shoppers with very little patience. Additionally, I will never voluntarily wake up at 4 a.m. 

My cousin used to work at Kohl’s during her college breaks, and every Black Friday the manager would tell the employees to just do whatever it took to get these people in and out of the store. Anyone standing in line at 3 a.m. for a discounted microwave, he reasoned, was mentally ill. The sooner they were out, the better.

Well put, sir.

The hot messes on Black Friday are a heightened example of today’s consumer trends. We live in a “microwave” society. Expectations are high. Patience is thin. People (literally) walk all over you.

“People today stand next to their microwaves while they are in operation, thinking/hoping that this will make the food cook faster,” says apartment consultant Lisa Trosien, who spoke with consultant Don Sanders during a 2014 NAA Education Conference & Exposition session “The Path of Lease Resistance,” in June in Denver.

The pair offered these statistics and operations advice.

1. In a survey of 250 leasing professionals, 32 percent did not know their communities’ marketing sources; and 36 percent had never reviewed the marketing messages that were published.

2. Three of five leasing agents will tell their supervisor that prospective callers “only want to know how much the rent is going to be,” but after reviewing 200 calls made, only seven actually demanded just the price.

In related news, three of five leasing agents are giant liars.

3. When asked to define “admin fee,” Trosien asked four different leasing professionals at one property and heard four different answers. “The inability to explain this can create a feeling of distrust with the prospect,” Trosien says.

But seriously, someone please tell me what an admin fee is.

4. When taking a phone call into the leasing office, “I’m so glad you called” is the best opening line to use.

Second best being “Y-ello.”

5. Determine the “positives” about living at your community, compare them to the negatives of your competition, and drive those points home to prospective residents. Contrarily, do the same with your weaknesses, and be ready to speak to them because you know that your competition is doing the same.

Also good dating advice.

6. Five is the magic number for the amount of times you should respond to an email lead; and six is the number for call-backs to prospects who leave a voicemail.

NOT good dating advice.

7. Leasing professionals only asked for the callers’ name on 60 percent of incoming calls.

Conversely, the No. 1 rule during Black Friday is to not ask for anyone’s name. 

For more, check out Marketing Insider in the August issue of units Magazine, which mails Aug. 10.

Lauren Boston is NAA’s Staff Writer and Manager of Public Relations. Unsurprisingly, she writes a lot—most often for units Magazine and as a weekly blogger for APTly Spoken. She enjoys making people laugh, sharing embarrassing childhood stories and being the (self-proclaimed) Voice of the Apartment Industry. She welcomes feedback, unless it’s negative (in which case, please keep it to yourself).