The Surprising Question You Should be Asking Your Prospects

8623341485_038f38bfb3Touring a prospect is an essential, yet time-consuming part of any leasing agent’s job. The process can take an hour or more to complete, and before you know it, you’ve spent the majority of your day showing apartments to people who may or may not sign a lease.

So how do you make the most out of your showings? Here is the surprising question to ask your future tenants on a tour:

“Where are you currently living?”

Okay, so it’s not revolutionary, but it is a conversation starter that can lead to some great insights into your competition. By getting your prospect talking about their current living space, you’re one step closer to the hidden details of how your competition operates.

Unless you’re getting one-word answers from the prospect, feel free to keep the conversation going by casually asking what deals their current property offers.  If the tenant is looking to move out of their existing home, chances are they have not been 100 percent satisfied with the property and they might be more open to speaking honestly about the units and management.

This whole idea came from a recent visit to a rental property with a friend. I, the moral support visiting during my lunch hour, watched as the leasing agent inquired further about my friend’s current property. It seemed so simple; asking outright about the competition, and yet it worked. My friend gladly offered detail after detail of her current residence, including how much she pays in rent and the offer she was given at signing. She even told the leasing agent why she initially chose that the property and more importantly, her reasons for leaving.

We often forget that our prospects are not the ambassadors of the competition, and that sometimes, the only stake they hold in their current complex is that it is a place to live for a few months. Once you’ve signed the prospect to your property, you’ll have a better understanding of what they need, and after employing your fail-safe resident retention tactics, they’ll feel right at home.

So next time you’re giving a prospect a tour, feel it out. If the prospect seems open to the conversation, then unleash your inner detective and let the investigation begin!

Photo credit: Heisenberg Media / Foter / CC BY