by Karen Gladney
Apartment operators have spent the last year navigating a challenging market.
But leasing hasn’t stopped. Prospective renters are still out there shopping for their next home. And while they understand some of the limitations of leasing in the COVID era, they still expect onsite associates to bring their A game and deliver a high level of customer service.
One of the perhaps overlooked bedrocks of providing that great customer service is having a deep knowledge of both the apartment community itself as well as the surrounding area.
High-performing associates are always gathering information about the property and the surrounding neighborhood. They know every detail of their community. And if someone were to ask what restaurants or parks are in the area or what are fun things to do, they have an answer. They know what businesses are growing and moving to the area. They know the history of the neighborhood.
Below are some suggestions for how associates can develop the level of knowledge that will drive leasing results.
- Do an honest self-assessment. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you score your product knowledge? Is there room to grow? Even if you’ve been working at a community for years and years, there almost certainly is. Remember there is an almost limitless amount of material that you can add to your mental rolodex of knowledge.
- Access internal resources. Reach out to your community manager or the corporate office to see if your company already has created a workbook outlining common prospect questions and answers that is specific to your property.
- Routinely tour your property and your vacant apartments with your whole team, including service technicians. This is so important. It enables leasing associates to stay on top of all the little things that can make a big difference in the prospect experience. Knowing that the natural light in apt 101 is better in the afternoon than it is in apt 208 – even though they have the same floor plan – matters. So does knowing that the tour path to apartment 2402 is in the shade and chilly by lunchtime.
These daily walks also allow a team to identify any repairs, problems or general unsightliness before they become big problems for prospects and current residents.
- Know your comps as well as your own community. Knowing the floor plans, rental rates, current concessions and amenities at the competition is essential to presenting your community in the best light and understanding what about those other properties will most appeal to your prospects.
When leasing associates dedicate themselves to learning as much as they can about their apartment community and the surrounding area, they set themselves up to be great storytellers and great companions for touring prospects. They can easily share a community’s unique selling points and create an informative, warm experience that allows their community to stand out from the crowd.
All leasing associates have the ability to achieve this level of community and neighborhood knowledge. So get out there, enjoy building your expertise and become a knowledge master!
Categories: Apartment Leasing