Effective Email Communication

Effective Email CommunicationEmails and phone conversations are how people get to know you, like you, and trust you. Do you enjoy emails that look like a generic template? What about phone calls that sound like scripts? Of course not. People want to connect with real people, so write and speak as if you are conversing with a friend.

 

 

It’s not a big secret that effective communication and good writing takes time, yet we allocate so little time to it. We tend to be very task oriented and love the feeling of relief we get when we check off our list. But stop it. Now. The way you communicate is too important for it to get lost in everything else you have to get done.

 

We know timeliness is everything in sales and leasing, which means you have to respond quickly. However, that doesn’t mean you have to fire off emails without much care or thought about your message. Take time to formulate your thoughts before you return a voicemail or hit send. What are you trying to say and will it be clear to your audience?

 

When I’m most productive, I block out set times to write emails and make phone calls. This prevents me from allowing my inbox and phone to be distractions. I block out time, so that I can communicate without interruptions and give it the attention it deserves. A good email shouldn’t take you a minute or two to write. It should take much longer, especially if it is a new prospect.

 

Why should it take so long? A good email and conversation has a beginning, a middle and an end. It should tell a story. It doesn’t have to be a long story, but it needs to be a complete story.

 

Don’t get discouraged if changing how you approach correspondence is challenging. It is something I still have to work at every day, and it gets a little easier with practice. Making it a priority is the first step to success.

 

Posted in: Sales and Marketing |

 

Are Objections a Bad Thing?

Are Objections a Bad ThingBelieve it or not, objections are not a bad thing. If your prospect raises an objection, that’s a good sign. That means they care enough to ask questions. And, the fact that they are talking out their concerns means they want to be able to move past it. If someone is completely uninterested in leasing from you, they won’t bother to object.

 

So what exactly is an objection? Objections are anything that stops your prospect from leasing from you. Notice that I didn’t say from your peer or from leasing at your property. I said leasing from you.

 

You often hear me say that you shouldn’t take things in the business world personally, but I want you to take this personally. Because the sales process is exactly that, especially when you are selling a home. People want to lease from someone they like and trust. During this stage, you are a representative or the entire customer experience at your property.

 

Your goal is to overcome objections before questions are even asked. Maybe even before they are thought of. I know this sounds pretty difficult, but it really isn’t that hard. With a little practice and truly knowing your competition, you will be able to do this in no time.

 

The trick is to always arm yourself with facts. You have to take an honest look at your strengths and weaknesses in comparison to your competitors. Look at the obvious things like hardwood floors and decked out gyms, and the not so obvious things like maintenance response time. For example, if you don’t know exactly why your rent is higher than the property next door, how can you possibly answer any price objections your prospect raises? At least in an honest manor that satisfies your prospect.

 

Lastly, don’t forget to ask questions. Let someone else do the talking. Ask your prospects and residents questions.   Although surveys work very well, the questions do not have to be formal. They can be casual conversations. Some of my favorite questions are below.

 

“What concerns did you have when you were leasing an apartment?”

“Was there anything that could have stopped you from leasing?”

“Was there one factor that made the final decision for you?”

 

Now it is your turn. Take these questions and come up with a few of your own.

 

Misty Sanford
Social Insight Thought Leader
Renter’s Voice

Posted in: Sales and Marketing, Understanding Your Customer |

 

Creating Positive Memories With the Customer Experience

You remember the saying “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”? Well, it is only partly true. The first impression is indeed very important. It’s very memorable, as well. But there is so much more than the first impression. Because multifamily is, or should be, heavily focused on the customer experience, the impressions never stop. It happens when a resident submits a service request and even when she picks up a package. Impressions are at every single interaction.

Posted in: Customer Experience | Tagged: ,

 

Closing Techniques

Don’t sell an apartment. Sell yourself.

I have news that might come as a surprise. You’re not selling apartments. Nope. You’re selling yourself.

Posted in: Customer Experience | Tagged: ,

 

Customer Journey Map Preparation

We’re one month into 2015, and we’ve already noticing a few trending topics. One of those topics is customer journey maps. This is more than just a buzz word. With our every growing focus on the customer experience, we think this topic is here to stay.

Posted in: Customer Experience, Understanding Your Customer |

 

How to Follow Up

You answered 5 prospects calls, gave 2 tours, and received 8 online leads. All today. Now what? You have 15 people that are potential residents and no idea what to do next.

Posted in: Sales and Marketing |

 

Separate Your Community From the Rest

We are facing a new challenge. All of the product coming online looks the same. And, it looks just like the product that was built two years and even three years ago.

Posted in: Understanding Your Customer |

 

Receiving Criticism

Receiving criticism is your chance to show off a rare skill; your ability to take negative feedback well. Believe me, it’s not easy. It takes years of practice and a lot of self-awareness. But you have an advantage. Because of the nature of our business, you get to practice receiving feedback almost daily. You get real feedback from your real customers all the time. You don’t have to wait for an annual performance review or even a survey.

Posted in: Customer Feedback, Ratings & Reviews |

 

Become a Better Communicator

I know you all have a lot of goals you are working towards, especially this time of year. But I have one more goal to add to your list. Become a better communicator with your residents.

Posted in: Customer Loyalty, Sales and Marketing, Understanding Your Customer |

 

Extracting the Noise From Your Reviews

Interpreting a review can be a bit tricky. If your community is like most communities, you get a lot of feedback.

Posted in: Customer Feedback, Mystery Shopping, Ratings & Reviews |

 

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