The Demand Solutions Blog

Apartment Leasing: Are You Looking in the Right Places to Differentiate your Property?

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Nov 8, 2018 9:22:35 AM

A headline about consumer preferences caught my eye recently. It was from the recent annual meeting of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) in Boston, and it read: "Walkability Now May Outweigh Transit Access in Valuing Location."  

The idea is interesting for several reasons: proximity to transit has, after all, been one of the most critical attributes of apartment locations in the urban core for decades. What can be happening in our ever more densely populated cities to push it down the list of priorities? The short answer - according to the panel of industry luminaries including Green Street Advisors and AvalonBay Communities - lies in changing workplace demographics and travel habits. Read More

Topics: multifamily sales, Customer Experience, Multifamily Trends, apartment marketing

5 Steps for a Coaching Culture & Why it’s a Must for Sales Teams

Posted by Donald Davidoff on May 11, 2017 2:00:00 PM

The following is taken from our viewpoint document, The Keys to Effective Multifamily Sales Performance. You may download it here.

Too many multifamily operators have a culture of supervision and compliance rather than one of coaching. There is certainly a time and a place for compliance; however developing adults’ skills requires a supportive environment, where leasing associates are allowed to experience failure and be coached towards success. Here are five easy tips to start creating a coaching culture:

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Topics: Sales Coaching, multifamily sales

How the ZMOT Changes the Multifamily Sales Dynamic

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Jan 25, 2017 12:00:00 PM

I’ve written before about Google’s seminal research on the “Zero Moment of Truth” (ZMOT). For those not familiar with this, Google identified that pre-internet, every prospect had to talk to a salesperson in order to get information needed to make a purchasing decision. They referred to this as the “First Moment of Truth” (FMOT).

With the internet, prospects now do research on their own, often intentionally avoiding salespeople until (and only if) they absolutely have to do so. This “Zero Moment of Truth,” happening before the FMOT radically changes the sales dynamic in many ways:

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Topics: multifamily sales

Is Pot the New Pets?

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Jan 18, 2017 12:00:00 PM

(Warning: Don’t read this if you’re not interested in hearing a provocative point of view)

I was meeting with a client of mine who has communities in California, and they shared a letter they were sending their residents. The letter was informing residents that, while California had passed a recreational marijuana initiative, the law gave apartment owners the right to declare their property to be marijuana free. The letter went on to inform residents that this company was exercising that right and that any use of marijuana in their apartments would be a violation of their lease and could result in eviction.

As a resident of Colorado (one of the earliest states to approve recreational use in homes) and a demand management modeler, this got me thinking. I wasn’t surprised that my client exercised their right; in fact, I expect that virtually all professionally managed communities will do or have done so already.

But is that really the right business answer? Perhaps the continued disconnect between these state laws and federal laws makes it the right answer. Perhaps there are indirect liabilities I’m not fully aware of (though not a lawyer, I would struggle to understand how liabilities surrounding marijuana would be any different than what already exists with alcohol consumption)? Or perhaps there are legitimate concerns related to managing issues like the potential for, shall we say earthy, aromas to permeate a building and annoy other residents (more on that later)?

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Topics: multifamily sales, Demand Management

The Most Effective Email (or Voicemail) in a Salesperson’s Bag of Tricks

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Jan 11, 2017 12:00:00 PM

I was talking with one of my clients about sales management, and the topic of how many unanswered follow ups are appropriate before declaring a lead to be 'lost'. He admitted his company had no standard, but surmised that if they did have one “It would be at least three, maybe four”.

I generally agreed with him that three or four was reasonable, provided he added to that one more email or voicemail…the most powerful and effective email/voice mail in a salesperson’s bag of tricks. It’s so powerful that it can only be used once with a prospect; and like many powerful tools, using it too early will negate its power.

What is this magical email or voicemail, you ask? Well it’s not really magical, but it does have strong results. At D2DS, we call it 'the break up email' and it goes something like this:

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Topics: lead management, multifamily sales

Why More Training Isn't Enough to Solve Your Multifamily Sales Problems

Posted by Joanne Chapman-Reps on Nov 17, 2016 4:00:00 PM

Everyone wants positive sales numbers, right? After all, when leasing/sales numbers are strong, it means the overall financial health of the organization should also be strong.

But what happens when those numbers aren’t as strong as you’d like them to be? How does leadership react? What steps are taken to improve results? In my experience, it is often tempting to reach for the ‘easy’ button…and believe “everything will improve if we just do more training!”

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Topics: multifamily sales

Is Your Sales Process Prospect-Centered?

Posted by Stacy Bouchard on Oct 28, 2016 3:00:00 PM

This week we have a guest column from Stacy Bouchard, D2 Demand Solutions Marketing Manager.



Recently, I found myself in the market for a new laptop. Based on my experience, I had a general idea of what I wanted but hadn’t done any research for a while. So I started my process there…with research. I sat down with my friend Google and we searched and found many reviews from third parties, user stories and a lot of information on the specifications available for the models on my short list.

While I felt confident in my research, I decided to visit my local Best Buy to talk to an actual person before making my final decision. From my research, I knew that they carried every laptop I was considering. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to talk to a knowledgeable sales person but wanted to give it a try and I’m so glad that I did.

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Topics: multifamily sales

What is a Multifamily Sales Ecosystem?

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Oct 13, 2016 12:00:00 PM

In several blog posts over the last 12 months, I’ve talked about the need for a conversation in the multifamily industry regarding sales. While in my experience, very few multifamily operators are satisfied with their sales/leasing process, but to date there has not been a lot of discussion about how to improve it.

Multifamily operators expend significant resources – time, effort and money – to attract prospects to their communities, and engage in a wide variety of marketing activities to generate leads. Yet the process to convert leads to leases (sales) has gone relatively unchanged despite radical changes in prospect behavior (see Google’s seminal Zero Moment of Truth [ZMOT] study for just one important component of that change). This fundamental lack of attention to this “last mile” of the demand management platform, the place where all those investments in demand generation pay off with leasing, must be addressed.

It’s easy to state the problem but much more difficult to actually solve it. So what does a solution to improving multifamily sales performance look like?

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Topics: multifamily sales

[VIDEO] It's Time to Improve the Multifamily Sales Process

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Sep 16, 2016 3:00:00 PM

Think about the key drivers of your multifamily housing revenue. Our guess is that you’ll come up with a list that looks something like this:

  • Lead generation
  • Reputation management
  • Pricing
  • Sales
  • Credit screening
  • Resident experience
  • Renewal processes
  • Marketing analytics
  • Other technology

Now, for each function, ask yourself, “How much change has this functional area undergone over the last 20 years?”

For all but one of them, we’d bet you noted tremendous transformation over the past several years; and in some cases the functions bear no resemblance (or didn’t even exist) pre-internet.

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Topics: multifamily sales

InSite Sales Drives Improved Results for Gene B. Glick Company

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Aug 18, 2016 2:00:00 PM

In several previous blog posts, newsletter articles and Multi-Family Executive magazine articles, I’ve talked about the need for us to have a conversation about sales. It’s a critical part of the demand management platform, yet it rarely gets much serious attention in the C-suite—certainly not as much as pricing, marketing and expense management receive. And sadly, when it is discussed, it’s often done in a rather simplistic, “How can we just train our sales associates to close better?” kind of way. Deep down, we know that sales performance is really about a lot more than just “closing,” but we can’t help but focus on that key moment for success and wish it was as simple as emphasizing training about that segment.

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Topics: multifamily sales