A few days ago I attended an amazing class taught by the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando’s very own, Desiree Star. Sitting in a room full of leasing agents, ranging from newbies to seasoned veterans, was quite the experience for a supplier like me. Not only did I get a chance to wrap my head around a day in the life of a leasing agent, but I also picked up on some awesome tips and tricks to share. Check out my list of five things I learned in Leasing 101!
Nine times out of ten a leasing agent is going to hear this question when giving a tour: “How thin are the walls?” I learned that the best thing to do is be honest. Realistically, apartments are multi-family housing and the walls are typically built pretty thin. Inform renters that they are going to hear sounds between units and floors. If it’s a real concern for them, encourage them to consider a top floor. This goes for crime, too. If someone ask you if your community is safe, your best response is “Crime has no address.”
If there’s one thing to remember on the phone it’s this: always answer a question with a question. It’s a great way to stay in control of the conversation, and makes it easier to ask for an appointment. The more you know about the prospect the better you can sell your product and satisfy their needs. Converting more telephone calls into walk-in traffic will increase your overall traffic and, consequently, your sales!
No matter how good you are at your job, there are going to be some people with whom you don’t connect. Instead of desperately trying to close these people, make a deal with a coworker to help close the deal and split the commission with him/her. If the coworker can vibe more with the prospect, it's a win-win situation. This is also a great technique to use with managers. When a manager pops into the room and chats with the prospect, the person immediately feels as though they are getting special treatment. This could ultimately be their push to complete an application or sign a lease.
You go out on a first date and everything goes well. You’re interested in a second date, but when do you call and ask? You don’t want to seem desperate, but you also don’t want to miss your window of opportunity. When following up with a prospect, a good time frame to reach out is within the first 48 hours. Now you might not get a response for a few days or weeks. It may even get to the point where you feel as though you are stalking these people when you continue to follow up. What I learned: stalk until you can’t stalk no more… or until they tell you to stop calling! One of the leasing agents told a story about how they followed up with a prospect for over 6 months. The gentleman initially said he was just looking, but eventually ended up signing a lease!
Using the right words with the right people is so important in this industry. You wouldn't want to tell a prospect that you have a make ready 2 by 2 unit, even though that’s how you would speak with the maintenance and office staff. Below you will find the appropriate terms to use with both audiences:
|Staff Language||Renter Language|
|2 by 2||2 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom|
|Handicap Unit||Accessible/ Barrier Free|
|Maintenance Man||Service Technician|
|Leasing Agent||Leasing Associate/ Leading Professional|
|Make Ready||Move- In Ready|
|Model||Furnished Apartment Home|