Fast Track to Leasing Success

Kate Good, development partner and senior vice president of operations at Hunington Residential, shared insider tips during her 2015 NAA Education Conference & Exposition session in Las Vegas titled, “Speed to the Lead – Ease to the Lease.”

Las Vegas—To kick off the education portion of the 2015 NAA Education Conference and Exposition, Kate Good, senior vice president of multifamily development and operations at Hunington Residential, shared insider tips during her session titled, “Speed to the Lead – Ease to the Lease.” Her initial 11429854_10153410223899712_7174166182831864258_nadvice was, “stop looking for people who are looking for apartments and start looking for people who are looking for you.” Good said it’s crucial to learn where customers are in their buying process and convert to their individual needs.

Data shows 86 percent of renters feel it’s “extremely important” that response time meets their expectations when they’re looking for rentals. Potential renters want to see instant responses and answers. 91 percent of renters feel their internet inquiry should be responded to within four hours. Accommodating to this expectation shows punctuality and commitment, and will, more times than none, seal the deal.

Over time, Good noticed 7/10 times the first agent to respond to a lead leased the apartment. She couldn’t emphasize this statistic enough. These days, people are constantly on their smartphones and there are so many apartment-related apps available so getting ahead of your competition and grabbing potential renters is important. Good surprised me when she revealed data showing 79 percent of smartphone users have their device in their hand 22 hours a day. Rather than waiting until morning to post listings, post them as soon as they come in and you’re bound to get a quick response.

With access to any information a buyer/renter could possibly need on the Internet, the consumer is doing their homework before they contact you or your leasing consultant—57 percent of the buying process is completed beforehand. The consumer is knowledgeable and knows what they want so most of the time.

11659463_10153410224259712_6536821747721836259_nThey say you only get one chance to make a first impression so it’s crucial to give your consumers the best representation of your communities as possible. Millennials are known to be a very organic generation so use your website and social media to show off what it’s like to live at the community. Good recommends having your residents post pictures and hashtag what they’re up to. If potential renters see this, they will want to be a part of the experience.

Good told a story that revealed a key factor to success in this business. Last Monday around 9:30 p.m., she received a text from an employee saying they got six signed leases in one day—five of them after 5:00 p.m. Most people have set work schedules and it’s difficult to get time off during the day to look at apartments. If you have flexible hours and stay open late to cater to your consumers, you will drive in more business.

And lastly, although we’re all doing most of our interacting through the screens of our smartphones and computers, take time to get on a personal level with your consumers—meet face to face or pick up the phone and talk with them. Show them you’re truly devoted to helping them find a place to call home.