By John C. Maciha
Meeting, Welcoming & Leasing To
How a prospect is greeted when they walk through the door of the leasing office will often determine whether or not they lease. The greeting is the prospect’s initial first-hand impression of the community and the staff. Therefore, it is important that the greeting be carried out properly.
1. Tools for a Warm Welcome — In Person:
• Prospects must always be greeted with a smile. A smile is contagious and is the first step towards establishing good rapport.
• Leasing Consultants must always stand up and walk around the desk to greet the prospective resident. This tells the prospect that he/she is important and makes them feel welcome.
• Eye Contact must be established immediately. Looking directly at the prospect indicates that the Leasing Consultant is giving him/her full, undivided attention.
• When greeting a prospect, the Leasing Consultant should always introduce herself/himself and obtain the prospect’s name. A handshake may or may not be appropriate and the Leasing Consultant should make this determination. Once the person’s name is obtained, it should be used throughout the presentation.
• Enthusiasm should be a part of every greeting. This helps to create a positive introduction and serves to immediately interest the prospect in both the Leasing Consultant and the community.
2. Tools for a Warm Welcome — On the Phone: Your Voice Smiles! Your Heart Cares!
Often, the first impression a prospective resident receives of the property is on the telephone. Therefore, it is important that the telephone is always answered in a friendly enthusiastic manner. The telephone should always be answered in the following manner:
“Hello, ___________________ Apartments.
This is _____________________. How may I help you?”
If the caller is a prospective resident, the following will help guide you through the call:
• Ask for the caller’s name.
• Identify the size of apartment, date needed and number of people to occupy the apartment.
• Ask if they have any special needs for the apartment.
• Ask if they have pets.
• Describe the apartment’s benefits and the property’s amenities.
• Describe the community.
• Don’t mention price. If they ask, tell them what we pay for (utilities, cable, etc.) and then tell them the price. Never give the price before describing the benefits.
• Invite them to visit the property.
• Set an appointment time.
• Give clear directions to the property. It is important to know how to give directions from different areas; i.e., “If you will be coming North on the 405, or South on the 5, etc.”
• Thank them for calling and give a friendly good-bye.
It is important to control the conversation, be enthusiastic and make an appointment! You may find it helpful to have guest cards by the telephone. As you ask the questions above, fill out the guest card. When the prospective resident comes in for the appointment, you will be ready with a guest card already filled out. This gives the resident a welcome feeling.
• A sales presentation should never be made without first qualifying the prospect. Qualifying is necessary in order to determine the prospect’s needs and wants. This will enable the sales presentation to be directed towards those needs.
• Proper qualifying enables the Leasing Consultant to develop a rapport with the prospect and determine his/her buying signals. The sales presentation can then be planned around those specific buying signals.
• Identifying the prospect’s specific needs allows the available apartments to be narrowed down to one. It is important to create a sense of urgency.
• Qualifying enables the closing process to begin. Closing is a continuous process which begins as soon as the prospect walks in the door.
Remember, the worn out be true phrase, “a person’s home is their castle; accordingly, everything you do as you meet, welcome and lease to your prospective resident should center on making that person feel that indeed, you can provide that castle that theywill call their home. Y
Source: The Operational Apartment Guide & Desktop Reference By John C. Maciha & Associates • Copyright © 1995
John Maciha is a former vice president of The Irvine Company and now serves as a consultant in the area of asset management. He can be reached at (714) 542-9224.