You are sitting there at your desk, and in walks in a prospective resident in search of a new apartment. Or, maybe that phone rings or you hear the chime of your email. Regardless of the way they reach out to you, your customer is turning to you for assistance. How you respond in the next few minutes can make all the difference. First impressions are everything. The adage, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”, is correct. So what are you doing to guarantee that your customer continues on their journey with you?

Regardless if they approach you by phone, email, or in person, one of the most important things that you can do is to stand out and be unique in your response. Recognize the things that your competitor is doing and make sure that you are doing something different.

This creates a sense of memorability long after your customer has gone. The same focus on originality should cross over to your follow-up as well. Remember, apartment shoppers will examine an average of six to eight potential communities before making their decision. Be the one they remember first when they go to make their choice.
Use these tips to aid in making that first impression even stronger:

Contact by Phone
• Don’t have a generic phone greeting.
• Do not: use a script, put people on hold or talk over the customer.
• Remember to repeat their needs for clarity.
• Repeat your name and say something for them to remember you by.

Contact by E-Mail
• Reply to emails the same day you receive them (the quicker the better).
• Do not use a template reply. Be personable and include pictures, links to videos, and other memorable items.
• If you are having trouble getting replies, try including the closing phrase, “If I have not heard from you by ___, I will follow-up with another email (or call).”

Contact in Person
• Stand up and shake hands when your customer arrives. Holding doors open also goes a long way.
• Avoid the “golden path”. Tour your resident in the order of the qualities they deemed important.
• Ask your customer to touch the pool water, or hit a tennis ball or other methods to have them use all of their senses (not just the words that you are saying).


Remember the Follow-Up
• Over 50 percent of leasing agents fail to follow-up. Another 25 percent follow-up after 24 hours or more. Fast follow-up means greater memorability.
• Mention personal things you learned during the tour as part of the follow-up. Remember that your customer has viewed multiple apartments and making a personal connection can make all the difference.
• Ask them to connect to your community on social media. Welcome them there and help create a conversation that they find valuable and enjoyable, using the social sites they prefer.