Just a few days ago I was stunned by someone’s perception of our community.
A little background – We are located just steps from a large University. Students get more privacy and freedom without compromising location, security features or the college experience. Leasing is per bedroom and you must be a student to live here. The community features were designed with that in mind. Anyway, here’s what happened….
Parents and students often express their concerns about the safety of off campus housing. It would then stand to reason that describing the precautions we have taken would be a good thing…right? In this case we were wrong! This particular prospect graciously declined to lease because “I found another option…in a safer area.” After staring blankly in disbelief at the e-mail, I started formulating a response.
“Dear Mr. Doe,
I’m sorry to hear that! Your feedback is very important to us. Is there anything in particular that gave you the impression our location is less safe than others?
I figured that repeating our security features would be useless without additional information. Not expecting a detailed (if any) response, I went about my day. Unfortunately, this was one of those moments you just can’t shake. It ate at me. I wanted to know why! Just when I thought I would never have an answer I received this –
I really respect the heightened security. It’s just that the electronic locks and the 2-out-of-3 inaccessible (electronically secured) rooms left me feeling both
A. that the security is necessary (and therefore the risks are present) and
B. Alienated in “my own home” by not being able to access two out of three doors.
It’s a great system, just not for me. I hope that my feedback is helpful and not offensive, as I did not intend it to be.
Ok again I’m a little dumbfounded by this response. I mean come on, does he really expect his roommates to be so trusting that they leave their doors wide open at all times? Is there really an area where security features are unnecessary?! I know that nothing I can say will change his mind, but maybe a response will eventually pay off.
Your feedback is not offensive at all. I appreciate your honesty and do understand your position. Many parents and students have raised concerns about safety in off campus housing. All of the precautions we have taken were simply to satisfy those concerns. If we can be of any assistance in the future, please let me know.
This was the end of our conversation. Will he recommend us to another student that may not feel the same way about locking bedrooms and security precautions? Only time will tell…
The moral of this story is to identify with your prospect! Discovering needs and wants, focusing on THEM and being careful not to feature dump are some of the most important things to remember when touring a prospect. If they walk out the door without taking out a checkbook, find out why!! Feedback truly is important. Don’t miss out on opportunities to learn from your mistakes.
“Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it’s a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.” ~ Al Franken