Leasing With Confidence, Every Prospect Is A Future Resident

The most important function in property management is leasing. With no rentals, no residents; no rental income; no revenue; expenses can’t be paid, property failure results in foreclosure.

Renting apartments is the life blood of our industry. Unfortunately, leasing positions at a property are viewed as the entry level and experience the highest volume of turnover. Hopefully, the employee turnover is a result of a promotion to a manager/management role. Successful managers will continue to participate in the leasing process, not isolate themselves in an office with their reports, computer and purchase orders. This allows the Manager to mentor new hires, as well as keeping active in the leasing responsibilities, reinforcing the importance of leasing, EVERYONE leases.

Leasing teams should be empowered with the importance of their role. Their energy and enthusiasm will be the determining factor when a prospect chooses to lease or continue their search. Within the property management environment, too many individuals would respond to an inquiry of what do you do?, with a response of “I work for XYZ Management Company.” ¬†Empowering our teams to realize the impact they offer on such an important decision can be dynamic.

Leasing Is Problem Solving

As leaders, supervisors, how can the philosophy of “I lease apartments, I help families with one of the most important decisions they face; providing housing for their family,” become the driving force and daily focus.

At the end of the day, can we determine success as “I leased two apartments today,” as opposed to; its 6 o’clock time to go home.

Every person that calls the leasing office or comes through the door is interested in renting an apartment. Successful leasing teams will ask enough questions, and show enough interest to identify needs and wants of the prospect. The goal is to provide a solution for future housing. Much more effective and useful than simply providing information and answering questions regarding pricing and availability. Without the closure of suggesting how the property meets the needs for the prospect, the prospect leaves the property drowning with information overload.

Just Looking?

In our “need it now society,” few individuals are looking for housing six months from now, or later. The “just looking” response is an easy out for a leasing person that isn’t confident in selling their product.

Leasing staff should start every conversation with the assumption the prospect will make their decision today, and the move in date is a matter of scheduling, not IF but WHEN. With a friendly knowledgeable leasing team, the prospect will be anxious to commit to the apartment, reserving their apartment before its leased to someone else.

There should be time each day to review the leasing traffic, creating accountability for the results for each phone call and each visit. Emphasis placed on closing every piece, not allowing a “maybe the next one” philosophy to develop. The job description for leasing should include an expectation for closing. Individuals hired to lease must understand to be successful, is measured in terms of leases, not attendance. Too many prospective rewnters leave the property without ever being asked, “Can I start the reservation process for you today?” Every lease represents thousands of dollars in rent revenue, why wouldn’t every effort be made to close the deal while the prospect is in the office, or a model home?

Lori Hammond
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One thought on “Leasing With Confidence, Every Prospect Is A Future Resident

  1. Very interesting and very true. As of late, with 11 very recent vacancies (raised rent equals quite a few non-renewals, plus several residents recently passed away or went to nursing homes, as this is an independent senior property), our mantra has been: To Fill, To Fill! But, until I read your article just now, I don’t believe that I actually realized just how important that SELL is.

    I’ve often joked that if I believe in a product, I can sell anything. I DO believe in our senior apartment community, but overcoming unhappy residents that cannot afford to stay on has been disheartening for all involved, while selling the community to new people coming in at the higher rent is not the issue. The REAL issue is getting them to move on it NOW. To close that deal and make them feel that they will miss out if they don’t commit today.

    I do want to say that when I came onboard last May, I was hired for the office and didn’t even know that I was going to be working in the capacity of Leasing Consultant. My boss and I are both new at this (she came onboard as manager at the same time I came on board and was in my position, albeit not as Leasing Consultant, for two months before I came onboard. So, we are both learning the ropes together and we miss a lot. I have learned a lot from reading your blog, however and will continue to do so.

    I am going to send your post to my site manager and district manager and pay attention to what you’ve said. ALL of it. Thanks for this great advice and I will let you know how it works.