By Lisa Young, CEO & Founder of Multifamily Zone, LLC
We all know that the main goal of our marketing and advertising efforts is to get the ringing phone to turn into a walk through the door then transform into keys in hand and a happy renewing resident. Doing this day in and day out can sometimes seem like a daunting task, with the amount of effort it takes truly to make residents feel at home in their new community. Leasing someone their new home is a valuable experience and making a reliable human connection can make all the difference in their life and your business.
Recently, I was talking with a client about how he could improve his leasing efforts and turn those ringing phones into renewing residents, without making huge capital investments. The one point I needed to explain to him was the importance of maintaining exceptional service, quality and consistency, in order for both prospects and residents to be proud of the place they call home. The secret is not in adding a brand new swimming pool or state-of-the-art gym – it is in creating a consistent experience that surpasses expectations. The best part of all? This can be achieved by developing a weekly general maintenance schedule and checklist to ensure all the “little things” are treated with the same importance as the big ones.
THE PHYSICAL ASSET
GROUNDS: Ensure the grounds are trash-free, windows are without cobwebs; paint is touched-up, and lighting fixtures are working and clean
BALCONIES AND PATIOS: Check that all balconies and patios are up to the standard outlined in the resident handbook
PARKING AREAS: Ensure there are no stored vehicles, expired tags or damaged carports within the parking area. Check for paving and restriping if needed
LANDSCAPING: Ensure grounds are well-manicured, green and freshly planted
PAINT: Create a short term plan to ensure paint always looks its best
BUILDING EXTERIORS: Ensure all balconies, staircases and siding is in good repair
SIGNAGE: Check for missing numbers or letters from the buildings. Ensure flags and banners are in good shape and clearly visible
LEASING OFFICE: Ensure office is clean and inviting, has refreshments and creates an overall pleasant atmosphere – taking all of the senses into consideration
COLLATERAL: Make sure all materials are crisp, clean and visually appealing
TOUR ROUTE: Check tour route for cleanliness and trip hazards
MODELS: Ensure all models and vacant units are clean and inviting and temperatures and scents are not overwhelming
AMENITIES: Keep all amenities well maintained
THE MISSING PIECES
UNIFORMS: Ensure all leasing uniforms or attire are modern, clean and visually appealing
ATTITUDE: Have weekly check-ins with leasing team to ensure they are excited to lease, warm, inviting and ready to sell and retain
READINESS: Ensure your office hours are stated and followed and the leasing team is answering the phones happy and excited to assist
LEADERSHIP: Ensure you are leading your team the best that you can and continually gauge whether incentives or additional motivations are needed to ensure a consistent, satisfying experience
ONLINE ILS (internet listing service): Check that all advertising, both in print and online are current, consistent and correct. All these “little things” that we sometimes take for granted are what prospects and residents consider the “big things.” Our goal is continually to remind residents that they are important and appreciated by showing care for their home and care for them as individuals. When this happens, residents are the first to refer you to anyone who may be seeking a quality place to live. If they are happy with their home, they will be happy to make a referral and less likely to move on. Remember the impact you have on your resident’s life that can be remembered for a lifetime – long after the lease expires. Also, we all know that happy residents are our greatest advertisements.
Lisa Young, CEO & Founder of Multifamily Zone, LLC provides Marketing, Sales & Project Management Services to the property management industry. MultifamilyZone.com is all-inclusive resource, offering everything multifamily professionals need, including industry information and news, products, services, technology tools, marketing trends, training opportunities and much more! Our goal is to assist individual owners, as well as fee and national management firms in the operations of their assets. Lisa can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 650.279.9799.