Eight Steps To Prepare For A Tour

Want to present the perfect home to prospects? These eight steps will teach you how to prepare a successful #multifamily home tour.

The leasing staff is notified via text or email that a prospect has scheduled an apartment tour, and the agenda for the day is reviewed by the leasing team. This event is a priority.

Preparing for the tour will ensure success that results in securing a lease with a deposit and processed application.

Preparing for the tour can ensure the results will be a confirmed lease secured with a deposit and processed application.

The steps to prepare for a tour are not unlike the steps to open a property each day, but with a pending tour on your agenda, every aspect of the property should be viewed with each specific prospect in mind. Inspect the property. Complete the curb appeal checklist.  The property should be free of trash or any debris on the grounds. Are there any areas that require immediate attention from the maintenance or housekeeping teams (e.g., no overflowing dumpsters from middle-of-the-night move-outs, no abandoned trash bags in hallways or laundry rooms, no debris trapped along a fence line)? Hallways, common areas, and amenity areas should be inspected, prepped and ready for a trial run to prepare for the actual tour and demonstration. Look at the property with fresh eyes every day, to see what prospects will see as they drive onto the property for the first time.

1. Inspect the property, complete the curb appeal checklist. The property should be free of trash or any debris on the grounds. Are there any areas needing attention from the maintenance team or housekeeping? No overflowing dumpsters from middle of the night move outs, no abandoned bags of trash in hallways or laundry rooms, no debris trapped along a fence line. Hallways, common areas, amenity areas should be inspected to ensure ready condition with a trial run to prepare for the tour and demonstration. Look at the property with fresh eyes every day, what will prospects see as they drive on to the property for the first time.

2. Check any signage, flags, and directionals. Is the entrance to the property easily recognized? Once on the grounds, is the route to the leasing center clearly marked? Are the parking spaces in front of the leasing center available and identified for future resident parking? Listen to the responses from prospects on arrival. Don’t discount comments about problems locating the property or leasing center. If one individual shares this frustration, there are likely several others that feel the same but won’t admit it.

3. Walk the route to any apartments that will be shown to prospects. Be sure the curb appeal is polished, clear of any distractions, such as abandoned vehicles, unclaimed children’s toys or bicycles. Review the talking points and property features that will be part of the discussion during the walk to the model. (Do not depend solely on your friendly personality to carry and support a conversation. This is business—be prepared.)

4. Inspect the apartments that will be toured, based on apartment styles and availability.  There may be two or three different apartments to inspect. A prospect should never enter an apartment prior to a daily inspection by a member of the leasing team. A prior inspection checks for mechanical failures; leaks and/or sewage issues; even vandalism, which can affect both occupied and vacant apartments. Vacant apartments or models that will be shown need to have electricity; the temperature must be comfortably adjusted; and the cleaning spiffed and sparkled for the day. The scents in the apartment should be light and fresh. An odor neutralizer is also effective. Is some sort of delightful feature offered in the featured apartments? Think about one featured item that will make the tour memorable. Is it bottled water, Klondike bars, a sink full of blue styrofoam peanuts topped with yellow rubber ducks, or a tailgate picnic in the living room? At the end of the day, the prospect will probably have toured three or four apartment communities, and most will have clean apartments filled with nice furniture. How can you create a focus point that will make this tour memorable?

5. Inspect and update the leasing kit. Check to make sure your leasing tablet is fully charged, so the prospect’s information is reviewed and uploaded. Confirm the guest card and application are accessible. If a portfolio and paper documents are the tools to process the application, check and prepare these. The model should be stocked with these supplies, as well as floor plans, business cards, pens, etc. This preparation will ensure a higher success rate, paving the path to lock in the lease while the prospect is still visualizing their furniture in their future home.

6. Carefully review all the information provided by the prospect.

7. The application process is simple, yet more sophisticated with guest cards. Prospects can now talk about their apartment needs and preferences rather than having to waste time spelling out the name of the current street where they live, because their guest card is already populated with their application information.

8. A quick walkthrough of the leasing center is next. Offer prospects the chance to enjoy some refreshments or use the restrooms. For a first-time guest planning to spend thousands of dollars on their future home, ensure that their visit leaves them with a positive first impression that will almost guarantee a commitment to sign a future lease.

You may also be able to determine if a prospect currently lives in a single-family home or an apartment:

• Do they currently live locally or are they new to the area?

• Were they referred by another resident?

• Is there any information to offer insight on the occupants of the apartment home, including pets? Guest cards with this provided information lets the prospect know that their online responses were not a waste of time.

“Failure to prepare, is preparing to fail.” If a prospect extends you the courtesy of scheduling an appointment and providing information requested, put both of these to good use. Prospect will delight in your preparation, as it’s an acknowledgment of professionalism. By showing them that you can prepare and keep appointments, you demonstrate that you can provide the same level of attention to them once they become a resident.