This article was posted on Monday, Aug 01, 2016

While market conditions remain strong, there may be times when you find yourself in a situation where you have no apartment to show.  Maybe you don’t have a model or you’re in a make-ready process with the vacant apartments that are available.

Here is the question: 

Q:  I know I shouldn’t show an apartment that isn’t ready, but I hate to as someone to come back.  Everyone is so busy; I just don’t think they’ll make the time to come back for another visit.  What can I do?
A: First of all, you do not have to show an apartment in order to rent one.  While many people are “visual” and having a model or vacant apartment to show may seem like an advantage, it is not the only sales tool you have at your disposal.  Here is what can happen when there is no apartment available to show:

Show Diagrams

With a diagram of a two bedroom, the consultant “walked me through” the apartment as though we were inside.  She used the terms “you” and “yours” during the entire “visual” tour. She pointed out the various storage areas and also showed me the shelf and cabinet over the washer and dryer.  The consultant used descriptive words like “oak cabinetry” and “spacious breakfast bar.”  She mentioned the wood-burning fireplace and vaulted ceilings and pointed out the fireplace and indicated where the ceiling begins to get higher.  The consultant also helped me visualize what type of furniture would fit in each room.

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Walk the Grounds

When the apartment “presentation” was completed, the consultant walked me over to the location of the upcoming apartment.  She pointed out and described the amenities we saw along the way and discussed the proximity of each one to the apartment.  She indicated where I and my guest could park.

Standing outside the apartment, the consultant pointed out other advantages to this location.  She drew my attention to the private patio, nearby fountain and lush landscaping.  She also mentioned the friendly neighbors upstairs and next door.

Ask for the Order

Once the leasing consultant confirmed I was pleased with what I had learned about the apartment and community, she asked if I would like to put a hold on the apartment until it was ready to view.  When I declined, she told me she understood my hesitation since I had not actually seen the apartment.  However, she reminded me it was the only one she had coming available; without a deposit she couldn’t hold it for me.  As I continued to hesitate, she told me my deposit would be fully refundable if I did not like the apartment once I saw it.

As you can see, having no apartment to show did not hamper the leasing consultant’s ability to sell AND close the sale!  In fact, it was quite the opposite – she became even more creative in selling her product.  She had the opportunity to go the extra mile and “create a visual,” and she took advantage of it.  The prospective renter in this situation got a more comprehensive tour when there was no apartment available to show!

REMEMBER:  You only get one change to make a good first impression.  Selling what you have to offer will increase your leasing ratio.  Rather than demonstrating a dirty apartment or asking the client to come back, put your product knowledge to the test.  Give a thorough presentation with whatever sales tools you have at your disposal and then close the sale.

Once you rent that last vacant apartment sight unseen, you will have the confidence to prelease all those upcoming notices.

Joyce (Kirby) Bica is the former owner of Shoptalk Service Evaluations. For more information, email [email protected]  Reprinted with permission.