Ms. Frizzle—Unsung Hero to Right-Brainers Nationwide

When my brain was being assembled, a lot of attention was paid to my right side. Someone decided to take a snooze, however, when it came to the left.

Now, that’s not to say that part of my noggin is completely hollow. I’d like to think I have a talent for words, for example. Otherwise, I’m not sure why I’m getting paid for this job. I am still getting paid, right?

Science and math, on the other hand, are not my strong suits. I can’t tell you what eight times seven is, I very (very) loosely grasp the concept of an atom (please don’t ask me to explain), and my understanding of the human body can be traced to an episode of “The Magic School Bus.” Can you even imagine how underdeveloped the left side of my brain would be if PBS were kicked to the curb?!

So yeah, I’m a card-carrying creative type. And aside from quite possibly being the worst clarinet player to ever grace the halls of Bel Air Middle School, I rely on the right side of my brain to get by in life.

This left-brain vs. right-brain stuff isn’t new, and it obviously affects the way in which we all make decisions. But have you ever wondered which hemisphere each of your residents use when it comes to renewing?

Left-brain decision makers tend to be logical, analytical and objective in their thought process. These are the people who weigh the pros and cons and look at the outcome from a variety of angles. Then there are the right-brainers—those who are more intuitive, subjective and emotional about deciding to renew. The people who can’t count without using their fingers.

When renewing a lease, both types ask, “Is it worth it?”—but this common question comes from two totally different perspectives. The lefties dissect their living experience while the righties look at the overall year as a whole.

Determining whether or not a resident considers your community to be a worthy option begins with how you frame your renewal invitation. You can’t rely on form letters or a bag of Tootsie Rolls anymore. You need to reboot your renewal announcement to cater to both types of decision makers.

Giving left-brainers clearly defined options—along with the dollar and percent amount of the increase—is helpful. If you are able to include some competitive analysis of the surrounding communities, that’s even better.

To capture the attention of the right-brainers, who consider renewing as more of a personal decision, highlight some community achievements from the past year and present it in a visually compelling layout. An Excel chart that breaks down utility expenses will illicit my gag reflex, but a glossy collage of formerly single residents who have found love with one another might compel me to renew—and watch “The Notebook.”

When dealing with both types of residents, extending an offer to contact the leasing office—via email or phone for the lefties and in-person for the righties—will round out the letter nicely. One announcement can be crafted that incorporates all suggestions and appeals to everyone in some way.

Even mathematically challenged morons like me.

For more, check out Marketing Insider in the Nov. issue of units, which mails Nov. 11.