Go beyond the walls, and talk about their wallet: 4 ways you can transform your rental tours
If you are doing in-person, or virtual, tours with potential renters you likely have a check list of each benefit to cover with your prospect. Amenities, local attractions, great features of the apartment, and, usually at the end, you cover the pricing with a mention, if you offer one, of the incentive or concession.
Did your pricing and offer standout? Well, when the renter leaves, this is one of the top concerns they are thinking about. Not the walls, but their wallet.
One out of four renters is cost burdened, with more than 30% of renter income going to pay their rent. Even those that aren't cost burdened, a moving and rental decision is the largest financial decision of the year. So, when you are showing an apartment, you are selling the largest share of wallet of any other purchase. More than a car, a new phone, school, maybe even having a child!
So why is it we show the walls, and leave the wallet to last?
Here are four tips for bringing the wallet into your tours that set you apart, and make you a confidant in this tough decision, a trusted source who is offering something special, and premium, that will improve the renters finance?
1 - Do your renters know the offer before arriving? Does it stand out?
My first rental was in Nashua, NH where I lived in a 4-bedroom house off campus during my college years. What did I love most about this house? It had to have been the great renovations and all the working amenities ;). All jokes aside, what I did love most about this house was all the great memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life, the new freedom, and really is what made me grow up and become more independent.
2 - Get beyond the walls during showings
What do they experience about your offer when they arrive? Prospective renters will quickly become excited envisioning how your space can magically transform into "home" for them by signing on the dotted line. However, more important questions loom than if a King-sized bed will tuck nicely into the master bedroom. One of the ways that you can break down the true cost of living for prospective renters is by including a listing sheet. The listing sheet provides important financial information that allows prospective tenants to determine how financially comfortable they will be in their new potential home.
3 - Showings are a two-way street
It is easy to get caught up in the pattern of "selling" your property during a tour. "Here is the kitchen: upgraded stainless steel appliances, was just painted last year, lovely breakfast nook, new light fixture."
It is wonderful to let prospective renters know what they would love about living in the unit, but don't forget to take the opportunity to learn what is going through their minds as well.
Asking questions that track how well your price and offer are reaching your ideal tenants allow you to gain more market knowledge, learn about competitor behavior and see where you stack up (and could improve).
- "Have you been on other tours lately? What other units are you considering at this time?"
- "What drew you to this unit in particular?"
- "Is the unit what you were expecting?"
- "Am I (or the unit) missing anything that you might be looking for in a new home?"
- "Why are you looking to move?"
4 - Follow up immediately
How do you follow-up about your offer after the tour?
If you want to learn additional insights about the renters in your market, it is important to follow up with everyone who attends a tour.
It is easy to track conversion rates in an Excel spreadsheet that notes the number of inquiries, tours and applications that your unit receives over time. This can be a great indicator of how competitive your unit is. Another opportunity for feedback is simple and free. Typically most property managers collect contact information either before or during a tour. Let prospective renters know that you will be following up with a quick survey to see what they liked about the unit.
Utilizing a free tool like Survey Monkey lets you learn insights about what is most important to a renter in your market and where you are meeting the demand of the market.
Come join our webinar, "Rewarding Rental Communities" Every Thursday at 11am Eastern to learn more!
Clark, J. (2020). Rental concessions on the rise as market softens.