When Did You Last Take A Walk In Their Shoes?
As the day’s melt into weeks and then the week’s to months, we can often find that time gets away from us in a flash and we go into this almost auto pilot mode. As we are heading into the middle of the year, it’s a good opportunity to take a look at our systems and the one in the spotlight this week is our leasing process.
When it comes to leasing, have a think about your customers. When was the last time that you took a walk in their shoes? And, if you were to take a walk in their shoes what would you find?
Put your tenant shoes on and think about browsing through pages and pages of real estate websites, trying to find the perfect place to be your next home, then sending off an enquiry and hoping for a response. The next step is trying to coordinate open homes and spend your weeks and weekends trudging through properties, negotiating with possible crowds and then filling out the necessary paperwork and anxiously waiting to see if you were approved.
So what are the areas that we should look at when checking out our leasing process?
- Website – how sharp is your advertising? Do you have 4 or 5 professional looking photos and is the ad copy descriptive with information on the property and surrounds. For some extra credit, you could even add in a floor plan or a video walk around. You would be surprised how many prospective tenants I hear now mention that they wish the ad had a video of the property to save them the time.
- Enquiry process – do you have an automated system in place that makes it easy for prospective tenants to send through an enquiry and potentially register for an inspection. Is there also a system in place if not automated to communicate with prospective tenants and let them know the status of the property?
- Open homes – how are your prospective tenants received at an open home? It’s wise, even if people turn up early to the inspection to ask them to wait a moment while you open up the property. This will give you time to go through the property, turn on all lights, open blinds, windows and doors and set up your leasing kit on a bench. You can then greet the prospective tenants at the front door and welcome them into the home.Keep in mind that at this stage they will be viewing the property as having the potential or not to be their new home. Don’t be shy to ask feedback so that this can be passed onto the Owner, especially if it is a property that has been harder to lease.
- Application process – is there a way for prospective tenants to apply online and do you have hard copies of applications with you at the inspection? How long does it take for a prospective tenant to receive a response from your office? As a rule of thumb, we try and work on 24-48 hour turn around and get those approved tenants in as promptly as we can to minimise vacancies.
When it comes to leasing, it is also wise to keep in mind that it may not be only prospective tenants looking at your properties. Prospective Owners will also use the experience to secret shop your agency and check the level of service that may be received.
With that in mind, what rating would you give your leasing service and is it one that would have people singing your praises?