I recently conducted a little experiment and emailed 10 properties with the same question….”how much are your 2 bedroom apartments?” Here are the responses I received….
4 properties responded simply with their price. That’s it! No introduction to their community, no offer for a tour, nothing!
3 properties responded with a good response-introduction to their community, photos, invitation for a tour, etc.
3 didn’t respond at all!
So that means 70% of the properties I contacted pretty much let me walk away. Here I was, for all they know, a perfect prospect. I’m already interested in the property because I took the first step to contact them. The rest was in their hands to sell me and start a tenant screening background check and they blew it!
I don’t want you to blow it! Here are a few tips to follow when responding to email leads. Follow these with EVERY SINGLE lead you get and I guarantee you’ll see an increase in your leasing!
1. Have a general response already prepared that you send to every prospect. The response should be informative, descriptive, inviting and most of all, grammatically correct! And don’t forget to use spell check! Make the prospect feel as if you’re genuinely happy that they’ve contacted you and you’re excited to help them find their new home. This is a great place to highlight specials, however, if you have a community on the high side for rent, I don’t recommend including it right up front unless a prospect specifically asks. Let them fall in love with your community before they see the price so that they can appreciate everything they’re getting.
2. Send them a copy of your e-brochure or if you don’t have one, create an Information Guide to attach to your emails. Your Information Guide can be written in Word form and saved as a PDF so that anyone should be able to open it. You can include anything you’d like that will help the prospect learn about your community without actually visiting. I usually make my Information Guides like this:
Page 1. Introductory letter to the prospect, thanking them for inquiring about the community, describing the community, and inviting them to learn more.
Page 2. Create a photo collage of your community. The more photos, the better! A picture is worth a thousand words.
Page 3. Create an informative, descriptive and unique guide to the features and benefits of living in your community. Use your imagination and creativity when formatting your list!
Page 4 (more if needed). Include floor plan images. Under the plans, talk about the unique features of that plan and what makes it special.
Page 5. Create a list of the top 100 reasons to live in your community. I love this one!
Page 6. At the end of your guide, include your rental application and rental criteria. The application should include a signed release to conduct a tenant screening.
3. Ask every lead when they’re available to come in for a tour! You want to seem approachable. Sometimes people are shy and don’t know the procedures for renting an apartment. Make them feel comfortable and lead the way. This is your first opportunity to create a rapport with them.
4. Follow up with everyone! Within 24 hours of their first contact, follow up and ask them if they have any questions about the information you sent and see when they’re available for a tour. Treat them just like a traffic that’s already walked through your door-follow up until you have a result! They already like your community-don’t stop until they lease with you or tell you they’ve leased somewhere else!
I hope you find these tips helpful. You have someone whose already interested in your community by the time they contact you. Take advantage of that! Don’t let another lease walk away from your community!