I Love Leasing Blog

"Learning from Rejection" by Lori Hammond


I just finishing reading “Rejection Proof” by Jia Jiang. The author created a personal challenge to overcome his fear of rejection. He created one hundred scenarios where he was likely to be rejected. This would give him experience with rejection.  It would prepare him to pursue entrepreneurial efforts, where he would likely experience repeated rejection.

Throughout his journey, the author is mystified when presented with even the most ridiculous request; more times than not, the response is a YES, not the expected NO.

Overcoming The Fear of Rejection Brings Results

The opportunities to apply his experiences with leasing and property management are striking. With every prospect to lease an apartment, or any resident presented with a renewal offer.  The desired outcome is a Yes, I will lease the apartment, or renew my lease.  But we are, also facing the possibility of rejection.

Touring a prospect, the desired outcome is the YES decision to lease an apartment.  The conclusion of the tour is time to ask for a decision.  Instead the prospect is given an application or a brochure, with a comment, “Call or come back if you’re interested.”  Asking for a decision, opens the door for the answer to possibly be NO.

As a manager, I have reviewed many mystery sales shopping reports. This involves a mystery shopper calling and possibly touring an apartment community.  This provides an evaluation on the leasing presentation.  The most important question, “Were you asked to lease the apartment?”  The checkbox is sadly marked “no.”

Consider this, the prospect has come to us.1. They clearly know we lease apartments.2. Renting apartments involves paying rent.3. Pricing and deposit information is readily available through a variety of sources, so this is not a surprise.

I have to believe this fear of rejection prevents us from asking the question, “Do you want to lease this apartment today ?” Too many leasing trainings and meetings vilify car salesmen, “we don’t want to be pushy.” Instead we provide a lovely tour, a wealth of knowledge and watch the prospect leave.
If we don’t ask if they are interested in renting, the prospect has no opportunty to say yes or no. Its a 50/50 chance.

Understanding Why?

Sometimes people will tell us no. Jia Jaing, addresses this in his book. He emphasizes the importance of follow through, asking “Why?” People want to make their own assumptions of why a sale is not completed. Most often, the reference involves price. But what do we really know if we don’t ask.

Rejection gardenJia Jaing approached a homeowner and asked to plant a rose bush in their backyard. The home owner, politely declined. Not surprised, Jaing posed the question, “Could I ask why?”, assuming of course, that no one lets a stranger into their backyard to plant flowers. The response was unexpected. “I don’t like roses,” the home owner replied. “ But go see my neighbor, she likes roses.” With that recommendation, another inquiry was made and sure enough the next homeowner accepted the offer.

Asking the question of why someone does not want to rent an apartment could provide new information that might assist in adjusting a presentation to meet the prospects needs.

Take the Rejection Proof Challenge, make sure to ask every prospect if they want to lease the beautiful apartment they toured?  If the answer is no, be willing to learn the reason, by asking the question Why? READ ARTICLE