Using Contrast to Close

by Susan E. Weston, CAM, CAPS, NAAEI Senior Faculty, Alpha-Barnes Real Estate

Use contrast to close the sale!

Are you willing to try something new and change how you lease apartments?

Stanford University research shows that using contrast in your sales conversations not only raises value for the buyer (think prospect) but it makes the need to make a decision more urgent.  60% of qualified pipeline leads end in no decision because there is no urgency!! This has to change!

Their study showed how a test group receiving information about drawbacks to their present phone prompted better results than the group that just learned about a new phone – purchasing intent and willingness to change both went up 14%; perception of quality was 13% higher.

How does this translate into leasing?

Instead of listening to your prospect stated their wants and needs, consider using what they are telling you to create a contrast between the pain of the prospect’s situation (need to move) and the benefits and upside of the future state you are promising!

For example, you have a prospect that is:

  • Changing jobs and moving across town
  • Coming from a roommate situation to a one bedroom
  •  Moving up to a better-quality apartment
  • Getting married and relocating

In each of these situations, use the information the prospect gives you about what he or she is experiencing now to create value and urgency.  Talk about the change, looking forward to something new, what you can do for them in this change.  This might sound something like this:

“When people move because of a job change, they can perform better when they are satisfied with their choice of housing.”

“When people move even a short distance, it takes time to get comfortable with those changes.  We will help ensure these changes are minimized and you make this change with ease!”

Use information about what he or she is experiencing now – this is not so much about your product as it is about your prospect, him or her.  The contrast between present state and future state creates urgency – “I want to get this settled – I have changes going on in my life – I am in a state of flux.”  The solution is to lease their new home with you!

It will be hard to break the habit of continuing to sell what you think is your competitive advantage – but you must try!!  Be buyer-centric – how can you feel the pain of the present situation and encourage that decision to move.

Abandon the usual habit of focusing on your apartment, your property, its amenities and what you think you need to sell.  Instead, listen to your buyer, address the changes facing him or her and use the contrast of the pain of change with a solution or solutions – this adds value and urgency to complete the lease.

As markets in 2017 begin to change – it will be more important than ever to abandon what and how you previously leased and apply new standards to be more successful than ever!

Several of the best resources to stay tuned in to new approaches to standard procedures, check out INC. magazine and, a favorite, “Fast Company.”  Lots of ideas that we can connect to our industry.  Donald Davidoff of D2 Demand Solutions writes an amazing blog by that name.