You’ve rolled with the changes and are rocking the virtual leasing game! Now that you have already invested so much time and effort in virtual leasing, don’t lose your momentum when it comes time to follow up. Follow-up strategies for virtual leasing can involve some changes from your normal routine, but many of the ideas will remain the same; you’ll just need to be willing to do what you need to do when you need to do it.
Follow-up is often the one thing that either isn’t done at all or isn’t done well, but it is a vital part of the sales process. You need to ASK FOR THE SALE, even – and especially – in virtual leasing! Did you know 80% of sales occur between the 5th and 12th contact? This is the reason follow-up is so crucial in closing the sale. However, instead of creating a stressful sense of pressure by looking at follow up as a hard sell, simply think of it as a means to keep the conversation going with the prospect until it’s time to ask for the sale. Once you recognize closing queues in the continuing conversation, you can ask for the sale.
The most effective follow up results can be achieved when you:
- Customize the follow-up path
- Customize your communication
So how do you begin customizing? Start by identifying the following: What does my prospect need to know to make a buying decision and what do I need to know to help my prospect make a buying decision? This will guide you in deciding the types of questions you need to ask and the types of information you’ll want to provide.
Customizing the follow up path is achieved by understanding how needs vary across interaction type. Try these follow-up strategies for virtual leasing based on the type of prospect interaction:
1. The Real-Time Virtual Tour Prospect
This prospect has received a full virtual tour and is the most like a traditional in-person prospect. To follow up in this scenario, reach out to ask how the search is coming along or how your community compares to others they’ve been looking at. A new idea – ask if there is anything they would like to see again or that they did not see during the first interaction. If they’re not ready to say yes, invite them for another video tour or even create/send new videos and then follow up again for their thoughts until it’s time to ask for the sale.
2. The Website Walk-through Prospect
You only walked through the website or floorplan with this prospect during the call, so this person does not have as much information. After this type of interaction, you could send a video or photos of the actual apartment available to help them get a better picture. Consider creating customized footage or images based on their stated needs and then follow up to make sure they were received and to ask for feedback. This type of interaction is more like a call, so take the next step and invite them for the virtual tour.
3. The Pre-Recorded Video Tour Prospect
You may or may not have had a call with this prospect; maybe you only communicated via email and you’ve sent a video of the apartment. In this case, the prospect may already know a lot or maybe not, so customize your follow-up to the situation. You can follow up to make sure videos were received and ask general feedback or feedback about specific features in the video. You can also ask if there is anything else they’d like to see.
Remember, one size does not fit all! You need to look at each unique situation to decide on best follow-up strategies for virtual leasing, so you can ensure you show the prospect you’ve been paying attention.
Customizing your communication means choosing the right method of communication for the specific situation. Communication includes more than just email; don’t forget about telephone or text follow-up. You may feel like you don’t have the time to make a phone call, but often this is a faster way! Many prospects will not answer, so that gives you an opportunity to leave a short message to keep yourself in the prospect’s mind and convey a personal touch.
You will also want to work to customize what and how you are communicating. Try to avoid generic or canned emails to follow-up. Instead, ask targeted questions that refer specifically to your previous conversation. Reference the prospect’s stated needs and preferences when you can. Ask for their feedback about specific features – this helps them feel like you are paying attention to them as an individual. You can consider creating template emails but make sure the font is uniform and that you have all the correct information. Avoid the data dump! Do not overwhelm the prospect with too many links/photos/videos all at once. Instead, find out what is important to that individual so you can send the most relevant information first. You can reach out later to find out what other information they would be interested in, giving you a perfect opportunity to continue the conversation!
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