I have a real passion for truly loving what I do for work. That’s not necessarily a bad characteristic to have either. I learned how to display that passion through enthusiasm, effervescence, and a general bubbly personality.
Many employees in the property management community display that same perkiness day in and day out in their jobs, and that’s good, because in most cases that enthusiasm leads right to a sale. But if you happen to be one of those people, when you conduct a mystery shop…it’s time to put the brakes on and let the leasing agent shine.
You have to remember that as an apartment mystery shopper you are posing as a potential apartment renter and that’s all. You should not be seriously consider moving there at the time you are shopping them. Imagine how uncomfortable that could be down the line when your report has been read! You should remember that you’re there to gauge if the agent is asking the appropriate qualifying questions, following standard procedures, demonstrating the apartment, attempting to close the sale, and the all important follow-up.
Emotion should never enter the technical part of a mystery shopping report, although some mystery shop companies ask for subjective or emotional feedback as supplements to the objective question areas.
From the moment you start your shop to the moment you hit “submit” on your report, one of the most difficult things an impassioned person has to deal with is writing your report from an objective point of view. It can be hard, especially when the agent has done or said something you personally didn’t agree with, or as a manager/trainer, you KNOW is not accurate.
Some of the errors that an agent could make along the tour and sales pitch could be personal statements about political or even religious views – two areas that sometimes even good friends don’t discuss because of the passion or emotion behind them. (A good agent, by the way, would never try to discuss these things in a sales environment. It’s supplied here just for example.)
As one of these passionate people, I have had an entire report rejected because there was just too much “me” in the content. I had to take a look back at what I’d written, and I realized that my proverbial feathers had indeed been ruffled and I let it shine through in my report. Of course, I re-wrote it, realizing that the management company only needed to know that the agent had or hadn’t done what was expected, and how the sales presentation was handled.
But boy, did my best friend get to hear a good story!
All kidding aside, remember that you’re helping the management company identify both the good and the not so good efforts in their company, and our place as shoppers is to provide a subjective view of those efforts. Save the emotion for some good music, a good laugh, or a good conversation with someone else, and don’t ever lose it! But as with everything, keep it in its appropriate place!