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A Different World View

My son is moving to his first apartment in a few weeks and in anticipation of having his own crib, he is shopping for furniture. During his 48-hour research extravaganza, he concluded that the way we have purchased furniture and most other things for our home is “all wrong.” We have relied on brick and mortar retailers and focused on products that are well made and styled to last the test of time. And we have paid a premium for this approach. We always could have spent less.

A limited budget has required my son to look at more popular priced offerings that will outfit his new 500 square foot abode. He is attracted to online companies (he’s 22) and has convinced himself that the quality of lesser priced offerings that require self-assembly are of comparable quality to the furnishings he has grown up with. I questioned this claim. But his point got me to thinking, “have we really been purchasing incorrectly for years. Did we spend too much for everything?” When we renovated the kitchen, we spent more on a refrigerator than I did on my first car.

Here’s the lesson for leasing and sales professionals. We tend to focus on what we want our residents, tenants and customers to believe. We spend hours upon hours trying to explain and justify our value proposition as to why residents should pay a premium to live at our community when there are lower priced offerings in similar neighborhoods throughout the metro region. Yes, location, location, location remain the three most important words in real estate, but we often ignore the prospective resident’s lens and what customers/residents believe is right for them. Do your leasing professionals consider what story residents tell themselves?