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Marketing Your Property Using the Sense of Touch

Use the Sense of Touch to Give Tenants a 'Feel' for Your Property

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Picture of the Sense of Touch
© White Packert/ Getty Images

The sense of touch adds further clarification to our sight. Often considered the most undervalued of the five senses, new research is emerging every day that suggests the vital role the sense of touch plays in social interactions. Here are the ways this sense can help get your property rented.

How Weight, Texture and Hardness Influence the Sense of Touch

A study reported in the journal, Science, brought to light the importance of touch on our subconscious. In a series of six experiments, psychologists at Harvard, Yale and M.I.T. tested how weight, texture and hardness can influence a person’s judgment.

Among their most important finds:
  • Weight- Interviewers viewing resumes on heavier clipboard were more likely to assess a job candidate as better qualified than interviewers viewing the same resume on a lighter clipboard.
  • Texture- Those handling rough jigsaw puzzles pieces were more likely to view social interactions as harsh than those handling smooth jigsaw pieces.
  • Hardness- Candidates sitting in a soft chair were less likely to try to negotiate price than those seated in firm chairs.

So does this mean you should have potential tenants hold rocks covered in silk while sitting on a cloud? Not exactly.

You can, however:
  • Have potential tenants fill out applications while seated on a cushioned chair.
  • Give potential tenants a heavy book or clipboard to fill their application out on.
  • If your property has a plush rug, ask tenants to remove their shoes at the door.
  • If your property has a heavy front door, make sure the tenants open it so they can feel its full weight. A heavy door could make them view the property as more secure.
  • Sand rough surfaces like wood banisters, doors, and rough spots on walls. Give them a coat of smooth, glossy paint or stain.
  • Place a soft throw over a chair or bed.
  • Hang plush towels in the bathroom.

The Importance of the Handshake

When first greeting a tenant, a solid handshake conveys professionalism, confidence and approachability. Practice your handshake and be sure to make eye contact when greeting a tenant. Aim for a firm handshake that falls comfortably between dead fish and bone crushing. It should last no more than 5 seconds with about 2 or 3 up and down pumps.

Compare this to being in the grocery store. We can see that an orange is an orange, or an apple is an apple, but we often pick it up and squeeze to see if that piece of fruit is good or bad. When we are comfortable with the feel of the fruit we decide to bring it home with us. The same goes for the feel of your property. The more comfortable a potential tenant feels, the better the chances they will want to make it their home.

Personal Space and You

After the handshake, it is best to refrain from any further touching, as this could be construed as pushy or even downright creepy. Honor the age old rule and give the tenants at least 3 feet of personal space at all times.

Personal Space and Your Property

There is no personal space rule when it comes to your apartment however. Potential tenants will want to touch EVERYTHING in the apartment. Let them open appliances, cabinet doors and closets. Check all doors and cabinets beforehand to make sure they open and close correctly. Also, make sure all hardware is firmly attached. A doorknob falling off in a potential tenant’s hand could be a deal breaker.

A potential tenant may also run their hand along a wall or countertop, so make sure ALL surfaces are smooth and clean! Being greeted with a greasy hand or dirty finger is certainly not appealing.

By being aware of how the sense of touch can influence a potential tenant's perception of your property, you can utilize it to your advantage and help get your property rented quickly!


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