Too often leasing teams, trained up and fired up, lose every advantage in the first ten seconds of interaction with a potential resident.

Here is a real life story.  A prospective resident walks into the leasing office. The first person they see behind a desk is reading, eating chips and has headphones on. This person never looks up.

From the office behind this person, recognizing there is someone in the office, they lean over from their chair and yelp “may I help you?”

You can probably guess the ending to this interaction. There is little this leasing staff can do to recover. Another leasing lead lost. This may seem extreme.  It’s not.

Leasing preparedness begins long before the prospective resident is at you door.  You have active marketing and advertising, ready product and “future resident parking” all in order.  Make sure to extend this preparedness to “first person” contact each and every time.

First person contact refers to the first staff person your future resident interacts with on property.  This should be a pleasant experience, yet scripted, to assure that your property has every opportunity to capture their business.

The first step to creating lifetime customers is making them a customer.  The first ten seconds is critical. When you consider the potential “lifetime” value of a single new lease the dollars and cents represented by a prospective resident should come into focus clearly.

by JOHN WILHOIT JR.

Originally published June 23, 2015

Republished with permission from Mr. John Wilhoit, Jr.

Mr. Wilhoit is the author of two books: How To Read A Rent Roll: A Guide to Understanding Rental Income and Multifamily Insight Vol 1 – How to Acquire Wealth Through Buying the Right Multifamily Assets in the Right Markets.

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