by Karen Gladney
A strong onsite leasing team is the bread and butter of a successful apartment community. Your property can have a fantastic marketing game and the best amenities around, but if your leasing associates aren’t practicing the best habits, your property is going to struggle.
So just what are the habits of a highly effective leasing agent? In my humble opinion, here are nine of them:
They ask questions
Great leasing agents are truly interested in asking purposeful questions to help prospects find the best apartment. They are inquisitive and aren’t afraid to ask what the customer will be using their second bedroom for because they know the answer can only help them help their prospects that much better.
They never stop learning
High-performing associates are always gathering information about the property and the surrounding area, and they’re aware of the news of the day. They know every detail of their community AND the surrounding neighborhoods. If someone were to ask what restaurants 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 even know enough about what’s going on in the worlds of sports, arts and culture, etc., to have a conversation with anyone.
They tell great stories
Whether it’s sharing what the virtual painting classes are like or describing how convenient having a stoplight in front of the community is, the best leasing agents have mastered the art of storytelling. They can paint such a vivid picture that the prospect can not only see what the agent is talking about but feel themselves as part of the story.
They follow up
Intentional, personalized and engaged follow-up is a priority. The best of the best don’t simply rely on the auto blasts that go out. They artfully craft follow-up specifically for their prospects and continue to follow up until they lease or know a prospect’s reason for not leasing with their community.
They close on everyone
Confidence is crucial here – without it no leasing agent will succeed. The most effective leasing agents invite their prospects to lease. This is a direct question asking the customer if they want to lease. Some even take it to the next step and assume that answer is yes and just sit down to start completing the application.
They walk vacant available homes daily
This is so important. It enables them to know all the little things that can make a big difference in the prospect experience. Knowing that the light is just a little different in apt 101 than it is in apt 208 – even though they are the same floor plan – matters. So does knowing that the tour path to 1202 is warmer and brighter in the afternoon. These daily walks allow them to find and remove any little critters that may have taken residency in an apt overnight or get rid of that rogue Mountain Dew can that found its way into the bushes in front of your prime mini model.
They partner with the surrounding community
Another habit of top-notch leasing agents is community involvement. They partner with local businesses to promote them to residents. They are involved in local groups and organizations. When you are a true steward of the community, your connectedness helps your leasing.
They really listen
Excellent leasing agents are excellent listeners. They are in the know with their prospects and hear what their prospects tell them. When someone asks if the community has tennis courts, an exceptional leaser will not only answer the question but ask if the prospect plays. Unfortunately, I know of an example in which a prospect walked into a leasing office and said they had been exploring floor plans on the website. Instead of asking if the prospect had any plans they liked, the leasing agent went right into their routine as if the prospect hadn’t said a thing. Listen 🙂
They work to be great teammates It takes a team. Top leasers make a habit of sharing gratitude and appreciation for their teammates. They bring in treats, handwritten notes, and help others when they need it.