No matter what our jobs are, it can be easy to switch to auto-pilot when performing repetitive tasks the occupation requires. In the world of the leasing professional, one of these instances could be when signing on a new resident. The common questions get asked over and over and the goal of getting the paperwork done and the keys in their hand gets accomplished, then you move on to the next task of the day.
However, signing on a new resident is a golden opportunity to find out about what type of resident they will be and what the human face of your community is shaping up to be.
We suggest asking the following 5 questions to new residents and keeping the answers organized so they can be referenced when making decisions about everything from what improvements you will do to the property to what kind of community events you will plan in the future.
The questions below are conversation starters, so make sure you are asking them face to face instead of just handing them out in survey fashion.
- Why Are You Moving?
Sometimes the answer to this question is a simple “for work” or “they raised my rent”, in these cases there isn’t much to learn. However, in other cases you can dig into why they are choosing your property to live in. Perhaps they didn’t feel safe in their last area of the city or they were in the suburbs and wanted to have a more urban lifestyle. These tidbits can help you target your marketing efforts towards others that may be living in the same area they were, but are looking for a change.
- What Was Your Favorite Thing About Your Former Residence?
People are usually happy to answer this question. For the most part, people will readily provide answers to positive questions and by finding out their favorite things you can identify and reinforce what they will love about your property.
- What was Your LEAST-Favorite Thing About Your Former Residence?
This question can be a little trickier to get a honest answer to. People don’t like to complain and they do not want to be judged as a needy and dissatisfied potential resident in their fresh new home. However, the answers you get from this question could be invaluable in determining issues your own property may be having and not aware of. Explain to the new resident that you are asking for the improvement of your own property and their feedback is important.
- What Are Your Top Three Wish List Items for Your New Home?
Perhaps the resident wants a garbage disposal or blue walls. There could be something in their wishlist that you could easily accommodate but they were too afraid to ask for it. You could greatly increase their level of satisfaction by making sure you know what they want, no matter how small (or big).
- What Type of Community Events Would You Participate In?
Planning community events that have high attendance from residents can sometimes be a daunting task. Most of the time when you ask for feedback from the current residents, they are too busy to think about what they would like to participate in. While you are signing a new resident, you have a captive and excited audience. Take this opportunity to record what events they would like to do and implement the ones you get the most requests for. Make sure you keep a record so you can personally reach out to the residents that requested the event. That will not only help with attendance, but it will show them that you were listening!
Sometimes signing new leases or renewals requires you to go beyond the obvious tasks.
These 5 questions can help the leasing professional dig deeper for the information that will improve their closing ratio while also increasing the team’s renewal rates and overall resident satisfaction.