Over the last year, our sense of “normal” has shifted dramatically. You owe yourself a pat on the back because you have repeatedly demonstrated one of the greatest attributes of human nature: our innate and powerful ability to adapt. You have implemented virtual processes, automated your marketing approach, and even came up with virtual solutions for keeping your team and community engaged in a newly distanced environment. You have charted the course, leading the way towards creating your very own “new normal”.
But what about closing sales? Unfortunately, this aspect of the housing industry has its own challenges, as it simply isn’t something you can plug into an app or send a quick email on. Sure, you’ve set up a killer virtual tour, best shots around, and beautiful editing, but how can we build rapport that will result in a signed lease when we’re not working with our potential residents face-to-face?
The answers to this challenge may not be as intimidating as they appear on the surface. Sure, you may not have the ability to utilize that same in-person environment that most leasing agents thrive in, but there are ways to deliver that same energy, even from behind the screen.
Closing Over the Phone
Now you are probably thinking that after a year of Zoom conferences, Google Video, and FaceTime, surely our first area to cover will be all about “face-to-face” conversations via video. While we all agree that video is a wonderful solution, it isn’t something that’s always available, and some people genuinely prefer using the phone. There is something special about simply hearing someone else’s voice, taking us back to a simpler, more trusting time. Don’t be afraid to pick up your phone when closing sales. Here are some simple guidelines to follow when connecting with others and closing with clients over the phone:
- Remain Positive and Empathetic
As strange as this sounds, maintaining positive and powerful body language while speaking on the phone will help your energy stay exactly where it needs to be. Despite not being able to see you, prospects can usually hear the difference in your voice when you’re sitting down, standing up, and are even able to tell if you’re smiling. It’s hard to not have a positive attitude when you have a smile on your face. If you were speaking in-person you’d have a smile on your face, so why not now?
Another important practice to get really good at is to tap into an emotional connection with your caller. Imagine yourself in their shoes: they’re looking for a new home that they have only seen essentially online. What questions would you personally have about the property? What would you want to hear to help calm your nerves? Chances are if it’s something you would want to hear, they would as well.
Active listening is key to building rapport with your prospective residents. Focus on what they are trying to tell you; take notes of their needs, their concerns, and any questions that come up. Address them by name and repeat back what they say as it will show them you understand and let them know you care. Gentle acknowledgments while they’re speaking, such as a verbal “nod”, will let them know you’re engaged in the conversation. The more you listen, the more you’ll be able to find the solutions they’re looking for, putting any concerns aside, increasing the likelihood of signing a contract with them.
- Be Direct
You know that what you’re offering has value, so make sure, to be honest, and direct in sharing that fact. Why is your community the best community for them? What excites you about your community? What can you offer over and above anyone else? Creating focus to move in the right direction will help you create the ending you are looking for. Do not be afraid to go for it.
- Create A Sense of Urgency
The current leasing market is competitive. Many people are looking to make a move from the home they were recently quarantined in for the last year. Let them know that. Have other prospects reached out about this unit? Let them know. FOMO is real, and it has proven to be a successful sales tactic time and time again. Let them know that the offer you’re providing has a deadline; you can only hold this opportunity for so long. People don’t like to miss out on a good deal.
Closing Over Video
Virtual Tours have become LIFE when it comes to the new age of leasing. I mean, it’s the next best thing from being in person, right? The truth is, being in front of a camera can actually be a bit more nerve-wracking than you would like to admit. Just remember, the person on the other side of the screen is likely feeling just as awkward as you are. Know that there are simple ways for turning a live video tour into a successful close.
- Increase Your Energy
Be excited and exaggerate your body language; you are, after all, face-to-face with someone! Utilizing your energy will help your clients connect with you more. It’s a bit more difficult to turn up your energy virtually than it is in person, so do what you can to make your presence known.
- Remember to Go About Business as Usual
Virtual interaction can be a bit awkward sometimes but just remember: not much of your sales pitch has changed. Continue utilizing the strategies that were successful in person, as itwill bring a sense of normalcy and comfort to your prospects. It will also show that you have the confidence and knowledge they are looking for in the person who can help them choose their next home.
- Guide the Tour
Do you know what the best part of providing a virtual tour is over an in-person one? You have complete control over how the prospect views a unit. Know they are looking for something in particular? Highlight the items that are the most appealing to them. Spend time helping them visualize how it would feel to come home to their beautiful new home. Envision exactly how you want this to go and utilize the tools to execute it flawlessly.
- Ask for the Sale
Time is of the essence in a world that is ever-changing, and there is no better time than now. Feel like you nailed it? Then go for it! You have their full attention, you have their facial responses, what can hurt in asking if they’re ready to sign the lease? This is also the time to address any questions about the leasing process, and show what your team has done to make this a simple and safe environment.
The last and most important step to remember when selling from behind the screen is follow-up. Sometimes a prospect simply isn’t ready to sign immediately, and it’s ok. We all know it was no different when we were doing this in person. Not everyone likes to make snap decisions, and every situation is unique. Creating a deadline and setting up your follow-up, whether through email or a phone call, is imperative to landing the sale in the long run.
Hire Priority takes pride in providing valuable information to not only our leasing staff prospects but also to communities throughout Texas. Together we can help you to navigate the struggles in order to build a better tomorrow. Contact us today to see how we can help you.