The difference in a question tone, “Would you be interested in scheduling an appointment to tour our model?” versus, “I’m available at either 1:15 or 2:30, this afternoon; would either of those times work for you?” Communicates an entirely different tone in the need for an appointment. If an individual is hesitant to pick an appointment time, the general comment “We’re here until 6 every day, just stop by..” is offered.
The lack of appointments for leasing or renewals creates chaos, confusion and frustration. After a morning with little to no leasing activity, the afternoon usually brings more “drive by” traffic. With potential staff shortages to accommodate lunch hours, prospects are faced with a potential wait of 15 to 20 minutes to have personal time with a leasing professional.
Scheduling appointments for apartment tours, lease signing and renewals implies the professional atmosphere for the leasing office. How often would someone simply walk in to a real estate office in their efforts to possibly buy a home? Consider the services that require appointments to those that do not..medical services vs retail shopping, fine dining versus fast food.
Hand in hand, with scheduling appointments is the use of a shared calendar for the leasing team. The “old school” tool of a master calendar is now a techology resource with a Google Calendar. Keeping the entire team aware of appointments for apartment tours, lease signing, renewal appointments, and move out walk through inspections adds organization with this communication tool.
Its easy to identify a busy day and adjust schedules to meet the work flow. A day with four apartment tours, two lease signing appointments and three renewals is not the best day to schedule outreach marketing. Without a master calendar, an unexpected absence results in frustration finding applications for the prospect that is already disappointed the staff they created a relationship with; is not available.
At the close of each business day, the next days appointments can be reviewed and preparations can be completed. Greeting a prospect with a comment, “Oh I forgot you were coming in today,” destroys the relationship building required to secure a lease. Offering confirmation calls for lease renewals and move out inspection tours would further establish the professional attitude for the leasing office.
The use of a master calendar will be minimally effective if the need for appointments is not supported by the leasing team. When individuals are reluctant to commit to an appointment time, the following explanation might be offered;
“Time is so important to everyone, and I want to be able to focus on your needs for a future home. Scheduling an appointment reserves that time for you.”
The calendar and appointment scheduling also adds urgency to a prospects plans to visit the property. If there are other leasing appointments, the perfect apartment could be leased before they arrive.
Walk-in prospects are happily added to the schedule. Leasing professionals can adjust who should will work with the household based on the other appointments in the calendar. Being prepared and greeting a future resident by name with the guest card in hand is a great beginning to a successful relationship with a future resident.