Model Protocol: Show the Model, the Vacant, or Both?

And if you show both, which do you show first?

Model at Hillcrest 2.jpg

My vote is always to show the vacant first, then the model if there is time.  I’ve heard too many residents say, “my apartment isn’t like the model,” or “Mine isn’t like the one I saw.”  So I train Leasing Professionals to:

1.       Show the actual apartment the prospect will move into!  In perfect ready condition, of course.
2.       At most, show 2 vacant apartment homes. More than that, a prospect gets confused.
3.       Then if the model is the floor plan the prospect is interested in, show him or her the model so they can see what it will look like with furniture. If there are differences between the model and the vacant, explain them up front so they don’t remember something in the model that will be different in their home.

One of my consulting clients LOVES all her models. She works directly with the decorators, selects the furniture, picks colors, chooses the finishes and creates a vision.  Sometimes the model is not representative of the apartments they offer.  The problem?  Last time I was with her she was handling a frustrated new move-in whose apartment didn’t match what she saw in the model.  And I bet that wasn’t the first unhappy caller. 

If there’s only one model of a floor plan, put it in the least upgraded that you offer, furnished to look its best!  If the community is also offering renovated homes, it may be worth having a second model with all the new features, so prospects can choose. 

Model or Vacant?  For me, it’s BOTH, with the vacant first every time!  What’s your opinion?

Mary Gwyn, CPM
Making the World a Better Place One Lease at a Time!