It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s that handsome guy playing Superman in Man of Steel! (Just got whiplash on that one.) Nope, it’s a helicopter…parent. Loads of them, actually. And they’re everywhere.
You’ve heard of them, right? It’s that new set of parents who love their babies so, so much and just want the best for them, even though little Sam and little Matilda are now in their 20s. Before, these parents would complain to schools over every little infraction. Then, they came to job interviews with their kids. And what about when Sam and Matilda land that job and are ready to leave the nest? Well, mom and dad are right there with them, looking at amenities and asking a ton of questions.
I choose to take things literally.
Are you appealing to these helicopter parents?
Well, you should. Because without mom and dad’s approval, that lease will probably not get signed by that potential resident.
Here are some ways to appeal to helicopter parents who come with their kids to look at an apartment.
Highlight safety. Parents want to make sure that their kids will be safe. Do you have a 24-hour doorman? What about a video security system or an alarm system in the apartments? Or Home Alone-style booby traps to catch intruders? Let the parents know how safe their children will be in the building, and that no strange men will be able to waltz in without verification (much to the dismay of all those daughters out there).
Talk about how quiet it is. Their kids are going to need a good night’s rest. This isn’t the frat house, and the renters are not there to party with their neighbors (or imitate a zit). Make sure to mention (in your indoor voice) how quiet the apartment is.
Mention how close it is to transportation. Mom and dad want to make sure that Sam and Matilda are able to easily (and safely—never forget safely) get to work. Talk about how close the bus stop or subway is (and how well lit the stops are), or if there’s a garage, also mention how you need to be a resident to enter it (and also how well lit it is). Light is apparently catnip to worried parents.
Reassure them that maintenance requests are taken care of quickly. Let everyone know how to handle maintenance requests, and how quickly they’ll be addressed. That way no one has to worry—or worse, try to fix it themselves and make it worse—about what to do if something breaks.
Talk about the gourmet kitchen. We wouldn’t want the resident to starve! Make sure you point out the apartment’s great kitchen, and talk about all the [healthy] cooking he or she could do there? I mean, sure, the refrigerator will probably end up being filled with beer, the freezer vodka, and the drawers take-out menus, but that’s neither here nor there.
Explain how easy it is if parents need to pay rent. The renter is an adult. Of course. But money goes quickly when you’re…paying a lot of overdue fines for all the library books you’re devouring. Yeah, that’s it. Anyway, on occasion, the renter might need mom or dad to help them pay the rent that month. If there’s an online system, is there a way for parents to sign in as well? Or do you send a bill every month well before when rent is due, so the kids can know it’s time to call the parents and beg to send a check? Explain the system so that everyone knows how it works. Also, in the same vein, let the parents know if it’s easy to become a guarantor, if necessary.
How else can you appeal to helicopter parents? Have you ever seen this when you’re showing an apartment?
-Jessica Fiur, News Editor
Image credit: KateChris