Like it or not, mystery shops are part of the property management industry. Mark and Jonathan are back to chat about Mark’s recent harrowing experience and, of course, share tips to help you avoid mystery shops of horrors.
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Host(s): Jonathan Saar from Market Me Social and Mark Howell from Howl Creative Concepts
What is the worst thing you can say ever happened to you during a shop; whether you were the one doing it or the one being assessed? Well, part of Mark’s services as a trainer is to complete mystery shops. It’s been a while due to Covid, and he was absolutely floored by the response he received.
Key Questions/Topics Covered
Mark’s shops of horrors
We know that shops are not going to be perfect. That’s the whole point. But what do you do if you can’t even get past the front gate? Well, that is precisely how Mark’s first shop went. He pulled up to the gate and asked to be let in to look around, which resulted in him being asked, ”Look for what?” How would you have answered? Mark couldn’t believe it and, in his shock, spelled it out to the person on the other end of the speaker that he had driven a long distance to look at apartments, which he was promptly told that they had nothing available and then silence. He never got past the front gate.
At his second shop, he at least made it through the front door but was met again with a dismal response. It was the same thing as last time. We have nothing available, followed by silence. Mark tried to give them every chance to talk to him about their property, the amenities, anything! The overwhelming attitude of: “All the units are full. I don’t really need to do anything” left Mark speechless.
What should leasing professionals do even if they have nothing available?
The whole objective in the sales office is to impress and sell. You can still sell your property even if you currently do not have any units available. Share with people why you have no units available. It’s because your community is so great! “It has all these amenities. Let me show you a virtual tour of our beautiful units!” Just because you are full now doesn’t mean that it will stay that way. By doing this and making a connection, you now have a sales lead that you can follow up on if a unit becomes available.
Another good reason to always be engaged in your sales even when you don’t have anything available, is so you don’t become rusty or inconsistent in your approach. Look at every interaction as a chance to work on your personal development skills. Also, having a consistent sales approach will help you if the shopper is actually a fair housing tester. You can quickly find yourself in the middle of a fair housing complaint just by doing or saying one thing to one prospect and not another, so work hard every day and keep your skills sharp.
Overcoming the negative perspective about shops
It’s easy to get a little twisted up when we see the results of a shop. Perhaps you are the owner, and you are not happy with your employee’s performance, or maybe you are the employee and having a tough time with constructive criticism.
Either way, you can take a shop’s results and view it as a basis for training and improvement. If you are a staff member, consider this an important stepping stone in your career that will help you overcome any challenges you may be experiencing.
Shops allow trainers to see the pain points and where they can help. Leadership can take these results and create a positive and nurturing environment that encourages learning and development.
Shops have come a long way in recent years. Most are no longer focused on checking specific boxes but instead take an overall approach. Shops are now including sections for the tester to remark on their overall friendliness, sales ability, and so on. These insights are crucial to help businesses and their employees increase their sales skills.
Shops will continue to be a crucial part of how we do business. So take the points here use them as a reference for your team to get the conversation going. Help everyone see the benefits of mystery shops, and please let us know what your thoughts or experiences have been when it comes to mystery shops of horrors.
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