How to Be Just a Little Bit Better
May 1, 2000
It takes only a little extra effort and time to make you stand head and shoulders over other landlords in the minds of prospective tenants. All you need do is some simple things that 90 percent of landlords either don’t want to do or would never think of doing. These are opportunities to shine.
Good tenants—the ones you want to rent to— have a choice of whom they rent from. Using these opportunities to shine will elevate you above the other landlords these good tenants come in contact with, so they put you and your property at the top of their list. Here are five opportunities for you to shine right now.
Opportunity 1: Smile when you answer the phone. People like to do business with people who sound friendly. On the other hand, they avoid like the plague people who seem to answer the phone “yeah, what do you want?”
Opportunity 2: Send a thank-you note. This one will blow them away. “Just a note to thank you for looking at our property. We hope you will consider making it your new home. Please call us at 123-4567 if we can answer any questions or concerns you have. We are certain you will enjoy living in this wonderful home.”
That’s all. Don’t launch into anything that asks them when they are moving, implying that they are going to miss out if they don’t hurry or any other “sales technique” that could make them uncomfortable. It is simply a thank-you note, nothing more.
Opportunity 3: Follow up. After someone has looked at one of your properties, call to see if they had any questions about it and if they have made a decision about where they are going to move. In fact if you make up a script for your follow up call, practice it, and make the calls you will leave the impression that you really want this applicant’s business.
Approach the call as one where you are helping them, by finding out if there are any unanswered questions that you can answer or concerns they had about the unit. You can also save a benefit or feature that you didn’t discuss when they visited the unit. But by all means avoid making your applicant uncomfortable with questions such as “well, are you going to rent from us?”
Opportunity 4: Follow up again. (And again, if you need to.) A study of salespeople a while back discovered that those salesmen who continued to follow up with prospects were something on the order of 80 percent more successful than those salespeople who quit after one or two calls. When you rent a unit, you are a salesperson– treat your rental process like it.
Opportunity 5: Ask them to fill out an application. You’d be surprised how many landlords wait for the prospective tenant to ask. Go first.
Prospective tenants will be impressed with the interest you take in their renting your unit. Just be careful when you follow up that you don’t imply that you will rent to them before you have processed their application.
These aren’t huge, TNT-type opportunities that will blow away other landlords. They are just little things that help prospective tenants remember you, help set you above other landlords, and help them have a good feeling about renting from you.