Think about it. Many have used email as a way to delay, avoid or procrastinate. A salesman calls you at the office and you don’t have time, so you tell him to email you the information for you to review. You might as well ask him to put a stamp on it and mail it to you. You’d probably be more likely to open it up. (I still love getting mail). A week later he calls to follow up and you haven’t opened the email yet.
Now, people want instant communication. Texting and Instant Messaging are the preferred form of communication for many and that number is growing rapidly. While teenagers are mainly responsible for the spike in those statistics, it is very obvious that many adults are moving to these forms of communication as well. Go to any bar or club on a Friday or Saturday night and you will see the soft glow of cell phones throughout. And they aren’t up to ears, but thumbs.
So how can we bring this into our world of leasing apartments? Social Media and Marketing is great, but it’s not necessarily an instant conversation, typically. It’s a static post on Facebook, myspace or even twitter and an occasional response. Check out AIMCO’s chat online feature. Super cool. I am actually shopping apartments in Dallas as I write this blog. The agent on the other end is very helpful. Oh and by the way, it’s Sunday night and it’s 6:20 in Dallas.
JessicaR (thanks for your help) first asked how I was doing today. I’ve shopped live leasing consultants that didn’t ask me that question! JessicaR also used my name throughout the conversation. Our conversation went at a good pace and I didn’t have to sit and wait for a response, except once when she was looking up the apartments in the area I requested. She politely asked if I could wait so I didn’t get impatient. Overall, it was an excellent experience and I was able to get the information I needed quickly and it never felt impersonal.
JessicaR also mentioned that they chat a lot with existing residents. What a great way to service your busy, professional clients that don’t have time to call or stop by the office. They can chat with the agent while they are on a conference call (you’ve done it too, so don’t roll your eyes like that’s crazy!) At the end of the session I was asked if I wanted a transcript of the session emailed to me. What a great way for management to document a resident complaint as well.