Savvy Shopper, Knowing Your Competition

shopping

It seems like every time I visit an apartment community to collect information for my market survey, I leave with another feature discovery that will help me convince prospects my apartment community is the best choice for their new home.

Shopping the competition is required each month.  Updating a market study analyzes pricing and availability.  The data offers advice to adjust prices using the principles of market trends, competition pricing, supply and demand.   Much of the pricing and apartment style information is available on Craigs List or through the property internet advertising.   However, visiting the property, touring the apartment homes; always reinforces the features available in the apartments at my community.  These are the cupholders that will sell an apartment.

Know Your Competition

  • Are first floor apartments walk out or garden level?
  • Do second and third floor apartments offer balconies?
  • Are the washer dryers stackable or full sized?
  • Are the hallways/stairwells enclosed or open to the elements?

Each of these nuggets of information can be game changers to a prospect.  Savvy marketers offer the best and most limited bargain in their print and social media advertisements.  Anticipating, if they are able to get a nibble, a phone call, an email, or best possible result, a visit to the property..the skilled leasing crew can reel in the sale.

Quoting The Competition

Prospects are quick to offer the competition content when attempting to negotiate the best deal for pricing.

“Property A offers no rent for the first month

Our response, that’s true …but that property doesn’t accept pets over 25 pounds.  I know how important your dog is to your family.  So I don’t think that property would work for you.”

“One bedrooms at property B are $50 a month less than here.”

Our response, thats true, but the one bedroom are all garden level…below grade..no patio door, limited day light and no walk out.”

Property C has a move in special”

We know Property C does not include water, sewer and trash.  They are billed by the utility to the resident and may require a deposit.  At our property services and utilities are included in the rental rate.

shoppingLinear and cubic closet space, Energy Star kitchen appliances, heating and cooling systems are “secret ingredients” that can contribute to a successful sales presentation.

Effectively understanding the competition includes so much more than the rental rates listed on Craig’s List, and the occupancy statistics which are probably not disclosed to competitors.  Being armed with detailed knowledge about the competition demonstrate a skilled leasing professional is prepared, informed and knowledgeable.

Selling the Customer Service

A strong preventive maintenance program that minimizes the need for maintenance calls which many residents perceive as an invasion of their privacy, is another secret weapon.

  •  The date on the furnace filter tells you when the filter was changed.
  • Our maintenance team has a recurring schedule to paint and touch up our hallways so they always look fresh.

Each of these observations prepares the leasing team to emphasize the services offered and overall maintenance of the property to our prospect.

Parking availability, dog walks, package pick up, maintenance response time, the features of a property are truly endless.  Being prepared to highlight the features of your apartment community requires preparation.  Every minute of touring the competition is a challenge to identify benefits to showcase our apartment features.

Using marketing meetings for team members to compare property features adds to the leasing sales “kit.”  Tour the competition make the mental notes for strengths and weaknesses.  Pointing out rooms to a prospect is a wasted opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of your property.  Dazzling them with the square footage of the closets, pointing out the value of the third shelf in the kitchen cabinets creating a third more storage space are the feature moments that will secure a sale.

Lori Hammond
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Lori Hammond

Thirty plus years experience in an industry best characterized as "no two days are the same" provides the foundation for Lori Hammond's experience in Property Management.With education and career experiences in Mid-Michigan, the audience for the blog Property Management Minutes is growing.Connect with her on , Linkedin, and on Blog.
Lori Hammond
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