Literally the coolest thing that I have done thus far in the realm of leasing. And let me just tell you, showing apartments is a natural high for me. Showing, leasing, renting, moving in, the whole thing. But I can be in the foulest of moods, put a prospect in front of me, and you may as well have given me a million dollars!
But is my prospect always in front of me? Physically?
No. They’re not. I’ve managed to lease three apartment homes long distance. Two of which were Skype tours. Honestly, when I first started in the business, there was no such thing as FaceTime or Skype. Since there has been, I have not, one, necessarily been on a property where a Skype tour was “able” to be done, it was simply “What’s the bottom dollar cheapest rent you have?” and two, on the properties where Skype would have been potentially considered, we were not dealing with long distance prospects who are in the military, or at all for that matter.
And I am going take a minute to toot my own horn here, as well as my mentor’s horn. I started out in this industry in a strictly military town at Ft.Bragg/Pope AFB. I was trained by one of the BEST managers you would EVER have the pleasure of working with. Tracy Spring. I worked with her for about two years on the same property, four years if you count the same company. Those four years were spent in Fayetteville with a large demographic of military personnel. So not only was I trained in that environment, I was trained by one of the best and I know my shit when it comes to renting to military members and how to be successful at it. Always.
Circling back to my point, I am now on another lease up property where, while the demographic is not as large military, I’d say about 70% of it is.
I had been speaking with one such military member in Texas fairly regularly. Had sent her two videos of buildings she was wanting to see based on location to the pool. Had sent her several photos of both floor plans she was interested in. Had measured the garages in each of these floor plans for her. I had literally outsold anyone who may have thought they could outsell me. Then it dawned on me. I need a hook – line – sinker. SKYPE.
As soon as I suggested it I thought she was going to jump through the phone with excitement. She had never heard of such. I assure you, if I had not done the Skype tour with her, she would have leased nonetheless. But it was going that extra step above and beyond what I had to do. WHY???????
Here’s the deal when renting to military. Nine times out of ten you are working with them long distance. They are not physically seeing anything. They have no perception of sizes, ideas or those fancy words we use to describe everything (spacious, roomy, lengthy, natural light, luxurious, etc etc etc etc). That stuff means nothing. NOOOOTHING I TELL YOU. These are people who cut straight to the chase, want you to have answers, knowledge and the know-how.
But you have to make them feel CONFIDENT in their decision from 800 miles away. Notice I said CONFIDENT. Not COMFORTABLE. CONFIDENT. They don’t need or want warm & fuzzy. They need security that they are not going to show up and their stuff won’t fit, the room really isn’t that “spacious”, that “natural light” isn’t coming from a 3×3 window, the pool is actually “resort style” and not green…..and the list goes on. THAT IS THE WHY.
(See? Told you. In my element when leasing to military. Born. Raised. Married. Know it like the back of my hand).
My point to all of this? The second individual I did a Skype tour with that wound up leasing as well, was not military. She just happened to be on vacation after having graduated from NC A&T and wanted to secure housing when she got to where her now employer is.
So while I go on and on and on and on and on about military and how to lease to them long distance, not necessarily all of your long distance prospects will be military. But they expect the same things, except throw in the COMFORT along with the CONFIDENCE.
GET OUT OF YOUR CHAIR. Not just for physical tours…..for real raw camera phone photos……..for real raw camera phone videos…….for a real live Skype/FaceTime tour…….take that opportunity to show them what they need and want within your community. Take them on a tour, while you carry your phone.
Utter coolness. I assure you.
Happy SKYPE/FACETIME Leasing