This was originally shared on MultifamilyInsiders.com on August 30, 2011. You can read responses here.
I recently went to visit a locator just for the experience. I was curious about the customer’s experience and also the sales process. I went in on a busy weekend with a friend and we were paired with a representative immediately. I shared my preferences with the rep who, in return, showed me plenty of options for my new home. Out of hundreds of homes, I quickly picked those that appealed to me and purposely included one of my company’s properties – it fit my preferences as well.
(Keep in mind that I had no intentions of choosing one of my properties before visiting the locator. The idea just popped in my head as I was flipping through all of the properies that the rep had given me.)
The rep gave brief explanations about why I would or would not like certain properties that I pointed out. When I put emphasis on interest in my company’s property, he told me absolutely not to live there and instead pointed out properties that he though I would enjoy more. Just to give you an idea of my property – it is a fairly new property in a great, developing area of town near plenty of shops and entertainment and it was 99% pre-leased for fall. Sounds like a great property, right? Anyway, I didn’t ask too many questions and I didn’t give him any clue that I worked in property management so he is completely innocent. I just couldn’t believe that he’d said that. I wasn’t upset; I was just … surprised!
I want to hear from you, Insiders. How would you have reacted in this situation? How often do you think locators are telling prospects not to move to your property? How do we make sure that we are getting the most bang for the bucks that we pay to locators? Allow me to also say that I’m not blaming any locators. Although they are responsible for their employees, they can’t control everyone’s actions.
Thanks for reading.