Probably some of the most dreaded words in a leasing conversation are, “I’m not planning to move right away, maybe in a month or two, or six months…”
Our apartments are vacant now! We need move ins now! Leases signed now! Commitments now!
Availability Vs Schedule
First consider, is the leasing team able to challenge the move in date? Ask the question of “When do you plan to move?” “Are your plans flexible?”
Hotel and Airline Pricing
This is similar to hotel and airline reservations. Plan to travel on Thursday, but the deal is better if reservations are booked to fly on Wednesday. Or apply a retail application, the best selection is available by shopping early. Waiting for sales, will offer lower prices, but the selection of sizes and color options becomes limited.
If an applicant has a “MUST HAVE” list, the ability to meet the “demands” is lessened as the supply of vacant apartments decreases with other leases. Use this criteria to create a sense of urgency. Popularity of apartments on the top floor, ground floor walk outs, or end units will limit their availability.
Sense of Urgency
How effective is the staff in creating a sense of urgency? “I can see how excited you are about this apartment, waiting might mean this apartment won’t be available, is your move in date flexible?”
Depending on the volume of vacant apartments, there may be a variety of possible closing tools. Every day that passes between the visit date, and the pre-lease or move in date allows the opportunity for an individual to choose another location. Getting a lease signed closes that door, it may involve a few days of free rent, but in return is the commitment of a year lease.
If the property has a large volume of vacants, it may be difficult to embrace the sense of urgency. Using a hot list, where the leasing staff only “sees” the units available to be leased that week, not an entire inventory of vacant apartment homes, can limit the information to prevent leasing units not ready or future availability. On the hot list, the supply will reflect two or three apartments of each unit type. This information allows the leasing staff to be absolutely focused on a limited supply, “This is the only apartment available with a ground floor walk out.”
Without challenging the anticipated move in date, the prospect walks out the door to continue their search for a home.
- The move in special ends Friday
- The limited supply of the apartment that meets expectations
- Desired building or location on the property