By John Hall - June 12, 2018
The multifamily world has changed. Technology, shifting demographics, and new ideas have forever altered the way that leases are closed.
Some of the challenges raised by these changes are pretty obvious, but there are factors that can impact your success that you may have not even considered. One of the greatest of these is the space in which you ply your trade. Is your Leasing Center designed to meet its full potential?
Consider these five things that you once found at any apartment community. How many of them are you still holding onto?
1) Office Equipment
Like it or not, an applicants’ first impression of their potential new home is usually your leasing space. When that space is full of filing cabinets, office furniture, and old-school office equipment, you are basically asking people to move into an office building. Modern leasing spaces are made to resemble hip, comfortable spaces - like lounges, galleries, or coffee shops. Who wouldn’t want to live in a space that looks like one of those? If you still call your workspace a “Leasing Office”, you might want to start by changing that.
In addition to the “office building” problem described above, desks are their own obstacles to your leasing success. Think about it: From the time you were a child, a large desk has suggested that the person behind it is in a position of authority. Today’s apartment searchers want you to work with them. Sitting at furniture like a small table, or even soft seating, sends the message that a signature on a lease is a collaborative effort.
3) Rent Due Date Signage
There are a lot of ways to communicate to your current residents that rent is due. Excessive signage is usually ugly, and only serves to communicate to potential residents that you are going to be something of a nag about it. Why not send these messages electronically to residents on a regular basis? Your common areas will be much more attractive, and direct reminders are much more effective.
Technology has made brochures an inefficient way to market apartment communities. Consumers want to be able to pick and choose the features and images that are salient to them, and don’t want to be burdened with those that aren’t. Also, younger consumers simply do not hold on to printed materials anymore. If you don’t have a way to get your brand onto their smartphones, then it is simply not going to go anywhere with them. Interactive touchscreen technology encourages your potential residents to customize their sales experience, and to carry your materials with them.
Yes, your residents are probably getting more and more packages in today’s online retail world, but you don’t have to turn your leasing center into a package store. Companies like Amazon have started to offer lockers and other technologies that will clean up your space, and will make your community much more attractive to first-time visitors.
What does your leasing space look like?