Try This Question For Hiring New Leasing Staff

“Do you talk to strangers?”  Ask a leasing candidate about a conversation with a stranger.  It’s a good starting point to understand how easily they can connect and establish rapport.

The answer to this question from a prospective leasing consultant gives you some insight into their character and personality.  Interview questions for an individual without leasing experience is challenging.

The questions that reference leasing skills may not be relevant to prior work experience.  Closing techniques, demonstrating an apartment, property tours and using a software application are skills that can be taught.  Skills that can be developed through training.  At the time of the interview, making the decision to hire involves anticipating if a new leasing consultant is going to be able to quickly connect with a prospect.  They must be able to create rapport, and start building a relationship.  Use this opportunity to ask about a conversation with a stranger.  The response shows some predictive behaviors.

Hiring For the Wrong Reasons

All too often, a manager  offers the recommendation, “I like them.  They didn’t say too much.  But I think, once they understand the information and the industry; I’m sure they’ll be fine.  I think we should hire them.”

Sixty days later, we wonder why the individual doesn’t seem more confident.   Their closing ratio isn’t increasing.   Regardless of training and strong traffic on the phone and coming through the door. Quiet people, are for the most part quiet people.  We have hired the wrong person.  This is not to say that all introverted personalities are a poor fit for leasing.  Nor is it an endorsement that all extroverts will be perfect fit for every leasing role.  This is about an ability to connect one on one to someone they’ve just met.

A successful leaser can start, build and sustain a conversation with anyone. Interviewing someone who tells you they talk to the cashier at the grocery store.  They had a chat with the overnight delivery person about the benefits of Amazon.  And just yesterday, they discovered  the waitress at the local restaurant is related to their third cousin twice removed, is someone that can easily initiate relationships.  These are positive leads for someone that will connect in leasing.

A prospect will remember the staff person that had a conversation with them, listened to their needs, offered suggestions about the schools in the area, where to ride their bicycle or the closest organic grocery store.

When interviewing, ask leasing about a conversation with a stranger.  Try the question…Tell me about your most recent conversation with a stranger? This will offer some insight into the individual’s,confidence, self esteem and maybe general knowledge to determine if the individual has the general nature to initiate conversations with prospects, create a relationship and close the sale.

Lori Hammond
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