We Might as Well Just Have a Pre-Recorded Message!

I’m sorry… I don’t need you. No, seriously. If all I needed was someone to get the guest card basics (name, phone number, size & date) when they answer the phone and proceed to recite the same old tired “speech” time and time again… I may as well just have a really great pre-recorded message that at its conclusion asks the caller to leave their name, phone number, size apartment they’re looking for and their desired move-in date… because that’s about how good your calls are and about as much good as they’re doing you, your community and even more big picture, your company.

This might sound like I’ve given up… but I haven’t.

I know, for a fact, that the lack of quality phone sales skills in our industry is not, I repeat NOT, a training issue. I can speak with certainty here because 1. I know that I provide stellar telephone training and the proof is; some of you get it… your fantastic call conversion ratios, rockstar closing percentages and ultimately (and most importantly for you) the higher income you’re enjoying demonstrate that!

What I don’t get is those of you who purposefully choose NOT to try doing things a little differently. I mean if you can do a call that makes me want to bang my head against a wall, is it THAT much more difficult to do a call that might… I don’t know… earn you a few appointments and perhaps an additional lease or two? Crazy I know…

So what’s the difference between a good and bad leasing call? Here are my thoughts:

BAD: Giving the prospect totally useless information (i.e.: We have two different 1 bedroom floorplans to choose from, one is 874 square feet and the other is 918 square feet).

GOOD: Give the prospect information they can understand (i.e.: We have two different 1 bedroom apartment homes to choose from; the first enjoys an open kitchen with breakfast bar, queen sized bedroom, a bathroom that’s just outside the bedroom- so your guests won’t have to go through your room to use it and a generous balcony with an additional storage closet. The second is a little smaller than the first, but similar in style. In this style you’ll enjoy an abundance closets as well as a very spacious island kitchen and relaxing oval tub. Which of these sounds right for you?)

The BAD example gives information that can be overwhelming to a prospect. They don’t care about square footage; they care about their lifestyle and what an apartment can DO for them. It also uses jargon (floor plans, square feet), something our prospects don’t need to hear. I cannot visualize the difference between 874 square feet and 918 square feet, can you? There are also no questions being asked, just information given. THIS IS NOT SELLING! THIS IS TELLING (just like a pre-recorded message will do).

The GOOD example paints a “visit us” picture. It doesn’t mention square feet because that information is arbitrary. Instead, it tells them about the homes themselves. It paints a “visit” us picture, it forces the prospective resident to visualize the two different apartment homes and THIS, my friends, is key! Finally, it asks the prospective resident to make a choice, but notice the way it asks… “Which of these sounds right for you?” It utilizes the assumptive close, in that we’re assuming one of these will work, and lets them know we’re concerned about them and their wants and needs.

To have a successful, resulting in an appointment (and ultimately a lease) phone call, just remember GLAPS:

Greet the prospective resident, with a smile (they can hear it). Be articulate, slow down, display sincerity

Listen to what they tell you (nothing is more annoying then when you ask when they’re moving for the 3rd time).

Ask better questions (yes you need the “basics”, but you need a lot more than that to be successful!) What do they need? What are they looking for? What does their ideal look like? Do they like what you’re saying? Does what you’re telling them about working for them”?

Paint a “Visit Us” Picture… don’t just tell them the same stuff they can find in a print ad or online… tell them detailsabout the home you’ve selected for them and insider secrets about living at your community. EVERYONE has a “resort style pool” and “state of the art fitness center”… do BETTER!

Sell! Remember that this is a sales call and getting them excited about coming to see their new home is key. Keep in mind, people don’t call apartment communities for fun (unless you’re in the biz of course, but we’re the exception). They have seen something they liked about your place… otherwise they wouldn’t be calling.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg of what can make or break a leasing call.