Transforming your Home Furnishings Team with Digital Sales Training — Podcast

Transforming your Home Furnishings Team with Digital Sales Training — Podcast

How do you leverage your website to enhance the customer experience and convert more online leads into sales? In this episode of The Bridge Podcast, Andy Medley and co-host Muhammad Yasin discuss digital sales training for home furnishings teams with Bryan Scott, President of Big Sandy Superstore, a one-stop-shop for home furnishings with 21 locations and counting.


As president of one of the nation’s fastest-growing retailers, Scott has a unique perspective on growing a business within a shrinking industry. “The website is more important than ever, it starts that consumer’s journey,” he says. “It is our job to collect that customer information to be able to engage with that consumer online.” 


Listen in as Bryan shares the secret to Big Sandy’s success and how they leverage cultural incentives and digital sales training on this episode of The Bridge. 


The Bridge Season 2 is available wherever you get your podcasts including, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast and Spotify. You can see all of the episodes, on your podcast app of choice, by visiting this link


Resources and Links Discussed


Additional Home Furnishings Resources


Multifamily Properties Discuss Virtual Apartment Tours in Happy Hour Chat

Multifamily Properties Discuss Virtual Apartment Tours in Happy Hour Chat

Seeing someone smile and laugh while sharing stories through virtual chats helps to keep the human connection alive during lockdown. As the multifamily apartment industry finds new ways to do business and connect with rental prospects, we wanted to check in to see how everyone is holding up. Through a virtual happy hour, we chatted with some industry peers and learned about virtual apartment tours.


Joined by our partners at Realync, CEO and co-founder Matt Weirich and Director of Marketing Robyn Tyner, we were able to catch up with approximately 20 individuals in the multifamily community, including marketing managers, directors and VPs; operation VPs; property managers; and leasing consultants. 


We discovered the multifamily industry has learned a lot about the new way of leasing and have had to pivot. Many are seeing success, some have faced challenges and everyone was happy to share their stories. If you couldn’t attend our happy hour, here are a few takeaways from our chat.


Use Video Tours to Show Off Your Personality


Even though most in-person tours have stopped, video tours build trust from prospects and it gives them more insight on apartment communities without ever having to leave their living rooms. Communities have the ability to use their websites to offer multiple tour options, allowing people to schedule a video chat or tour at the click of a button. Prospects can see their future home through video and ask leasing consultants questions in real time or afterward through text, call or email.


Virtual apartment tours are a way to let your personality shine through, however, starting a video tour can be intimidating. Weirich says people are learning quickly that while you can be your own worst critic, get over the fear of being on video. His advice: be yourself and you’ll make a connection. 


For live tours, he recommends showing yourself first to put a face to a name, but then flipping the camera to show off the property and narrate the elements of a floor plan, room features or community offerings. 


Over the past few weeks, Weirich says he’s hearing a lot of awesome stories from properties about how they were nervous or scared to be on video initially. Now that they’re seeing success and signing leases, however, he says they’re celebrating and excited to do more virtual tours.


Tips for Virtual Apartment Tours


Everyone at the virtual happy hour weighed in on their advice for virtual tours. Here were some of the best tips that any property can leverage: 


  • Visualize the path you want to share with the rental prospect
  • Be intentional with what you show on video (show amenities they’re interested in — granite countertops was a big discussion)
  • Walk slowly — slower than you normally would. Don’t give people vertigo!
  • Be consistent in videos about whether you show your Fair Housing and ADA compliant logos or not. Don’t only do it sometimes and not others. 
  • Clean the path and pick up any trash before you do the video tour.
  • Close the toilet lid! (This was echoed loud and clear by everyone in attendance)
  • Open the blinds to let natural light in.
  • Make sure the light is behind you when you do the video so people can see you.
  • End on an outdoor shot.


Overall, practice makes perfect. Require everyone on your team to do some test videos to help them become more comfortable and natural on video. 


Make sure your team uses an app to test the speed of the wifi beforehand in different areas of the community they plan to show in the video to avoid lag times. Best speeds for good quality video should be around 5 to 8 Mbps. If you start your tour at the leasing office and are on wifi, Weirich recommends staying on wifi, but if you’re using LTE Mobile Data, stay on LTE during the tour to also avoid lag times.


Other Recommendations to Consider with Virtual Property Tours


Some communities have decided to only do pre-recorded videos, rather than live videos, using only community smart phones or iPads. It’s up to each property whether they choose to do live property videos, but as one attendee mentioned, you have to protect your employees, first and foremost, and not allow them to use personal devices to do virtual tours.


Consider apartment rental prospects when you set up a virtual tour as well. Some might not be as knowledgeable about using technology. Discuss with them what they typically use. Are they comfortable with FaceTime, Zoom, Skype or some other platform? Walk them through the steps they need to take so they can connect with you.


As the multifamily industry adapts to new changes, everyone agreed that virtual apartment tours will be a new reality even when people can do in-person tours again. We’re a society that likes to do our own research online and who likes convenience. Tours are resulting in leases for properties leveraging the technology, and they recommend taking the next steps to do video tours if you haven’t already.


Helpful Virtual Tour Resources


Realync’s Live Video Apartment Tour Checklist

PERQ’s Digital Leasing Guide

The Bridge Podcast: Using Virtual Apartment Tours to Get More Leases


Additional Multifamily Resources:

Empower your Leasing Team: A Guide to Effective Digital Leasing

Empower your Leasing Team: A Guide to Effective Digital Leasing

Your doors to your leasing office may be closed for the public, but that doesn’t mean prospective renters aren’t looking for their new home. Connect with your renters digitally and empower your team with the best digital leasing practices and tips during COVID-19 by using our Digital Leasing Guide


Use our Digital Leasing Guide to learn how to effectively generate opportunities online while there are little to no in-person visits. The guide outlines how to leverage your website to generate and manage quality leads, tips on how to budget your marketing spend, and the best ways to stay connected to rental prospects during COVID-19.


Check it out to learn how to increase your occupancy during COVID-19, byvisiting this link:


Additional Multifamily Resources:

Standout by Using Video: Covideo The Bridge Podcast

Standout by Using Video: Covideo The Bridge Podcast

Want to find a way to stand out from your competition and make a great first impression? Join Andy and Fabian on The Bridge as they chat with Jason Price, president and co-founder of Covideo, a video email software company that is enabling businesses to engage with their customers in a more meaningful way using video.


According to Google, 72% of consumers prefer to watch a video of a product as opposed to reading about it. So stop writing those boring plain text emails and tune in to find out how to have a significantly bigger impact using video. Like what you hear? Make sure to leave us a review and subscribe to The Bridge.


The Bridge season 1 and season 2 is available wherever you get your podcasts including, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast and Spotify. You can see all of the episodes, on your podcast app of choice, by visiting this link. Subscribe on your favorite platform to never miss an episode.


Reference Links

Connect with Jason

Learn More about Covideo 

Connect with Andy 

Connect with Fabian

Surviving COVID-19 Through Live Video Consultations

Surviving COVID-19 Through Live Video Consultations

The COVID-19 pandemic, commonly known as the coronavirus outbreak, has completely changed how companies do business. However, you can still connect with customers through video while maintaining social distance. Right now, customers are hungry for human interaction and you can provide that and move them closer to a transaction. 


Test Your Technology


Video consultations or chats may be new to you, but it’s important not to let the customer know that. The time to troubleshoot potential technical issues is BEFORE you connect with the customer. 


Test your WIFI or cellular signal. Perhaps video chat a colleague to do a dry run just to ensure all the bugs are worked out. 


Don’t forget to turn on “do not disturb” to avoid unwanted interruptions!


Prepare your space 


It’s important to make the background and space you are touring look as wonderful as possible. Before the video call, adjust the lighting by turning on lamps and overhead fixtures and opening the blinds.  


Make sure there is minimal background noise. You may need to turn off the furnace or air conditioning. If there are any loud appliances humming, you should unplug them temporarily. Just don’t forget to plug them back in when you are done! 


Prepare for the video consultation as if it were an in-person conversation and adjust all the little things that someone might notice. 


Confirm the details 


Confirm with your shopper the details of the video consultation. Here are some questions to ask beyond the date and time: 


  • How many shoppers? 
  • Who is calling who? 
  • What platform are you using to communicate? 


Confirming these details beforehand will help make the call go smoothly! 




Always thank customers for doing the video consultation once it has ended. Be sure to send them pictures and videos to remind them of the best parts of the specific product or property they looked at, for example. 


If they had questions during the video call, be sure to reiterate the answers in the follow-up communication and close the loop on any other questions they had. 


Finally, include and clearly describe the next step you want them to take.

Using Virtual Apartment Tours to Get More Leases: The Bridge Podcast

Using Virtual Apartment Tours to Get More Leases: The Bridge Podcast

In the season opener of The Bridge, co-hosts Andy Medley and Muhammad Yasin sit down (a few weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic) with Matt Weirich, CEO and co-founder of Realync, and Jordan Easley, their Director of Operations. The pair at Realync, a multifamily video leasing and engagement solution that enables leasing teams, talk about a topic that is now top of mind for many businesses: “How do I connect with rental prospects when they can’t visit in-person?”


Video touring, whether it be pre-recorded or live, gives a human interaction that static images can’t compete with. “A video can be used to establish that first connection between a rental property and a consumer who’s looking for a new place to live,” says Weirich. “Video tours allow these consumers to experience a space on their own time and to see the exact unit they could be living.” 


If you want to learn more about how Realync is bridging the gap by using video touring, check out Season 2, Episode 1 of The Bridge podcast now. The Bridge season 2 is available wherever you get your podcasts including, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast and Spotify. You can see all of the episodes, on your podcast app of choice, by visiting this link.


Reference Links

Connect with Matt

Connect with Jordan

Learn More about Realync

Connect with Andy

Connect with Muhammad


Additional Multifamily Resources