#1 People won’t lease without touring
Society has evolved to a technological era, so your business should be evolving as well. Capturing prospects online should be a standard. With site-unseen leasing becoming the norm, you may need to reevaluate your marketing and sales strategies. Train your team to close the deal via email or phone. The goal of a phone call should not be to simply schedule a tour, but to sell the apartment. In other words, should a prospect choose to visit your property, their mind should already be made up.
#2 Prospects want to see Professional Photos
This is one of the biggest myths I've witnessed for 2 reasons.
1- Your prospects have been completely misled by the industry, and here's the kicker: THEY KNOW IT! They are sick and tired of seeing the sugarcoated version of what you have to offer. The edited photos with sparkling water and "photo-shopped" landscaping, just won't cut it. Don't get me wrong, it's okay to put your best foot forward, but this is not where your dollars should be spent. In fact, when posting Craigslist ads, I've witnessed higher conversion rates with ads that resemble consumer/sublease posts over the ones with fancy templates and professional photos. Prospects want you to be transparent. What does that mean? They prefer to see the unedited version of your product.
2- People want videos!! Whether you are utilizing your company website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email, SMS or a general search engine, prospects are more attracted to video. A photo is only worth a thousand words if a video is not available, but a video will produce less talk and more action from your prospects.
#3 Marketing is not important if you have the right SALESperson in place
FALSE! Business will always be a numbers game. If no one knows you, no one will join you. While you may have the number one leaser in the country, your competitor is still pulling in ALL of the prospects. They're closing the deal on people who prefer to shop online, people you’ve already toured and people who simply saw their ads first. Marketing keeps you fresh in the mind of the prospect and creates brand recognition. Be consistent with follow-ups. Market in the field, post online ads and blast emails, and you're sure to bring in more traffic which means more leases.
#4 Social Media is the best marketing tool of today
FALSE! While social media can be rather powerful in getting a message out. Word of mouth still holds the number one spot in conversion rates. My recommendation is to start working on your reviews and reputation. At the end of the day, you could have an awesome property with prime location and a great leasing team, but if the buzz around town is that your residents aren't happy, your property will not get the attention or results you desire.
#5 You must drop rates to increase demand
In housing, this is just not true. Don't get me wrong, if you've neglected to care for your asset and now you're in a bind, then yeah... it may be helpful for you to drop your rates or offer a special to close the gap. However, for most properties this should not be the solution to your vacancy concerns. Solve the problem, not the symptoms. Find out why people aren't leasing. People will pay for things they value. Increase your property value with better reviews, affordable upgrades and community atmosphere. Train your team, but the dollar is not an objection that can not be overcome.