If you’re a multifamily leasing professional, it’s never a bad time for self-reflection to look at what you’re doing well, what you can improve upon, what is working, and what’s not. If you’ve set goals for yourself, take the time to look at where you’re at in respect to those goals? Are you making good progress, are you a little behind target?
The great thing about being a leasing professional is that a majority of the outcome from your role is controllable by you. You are your best weapon and sales tool, so always make sure that you are feeding yourself, adjusting your strategies, and have your eyes on the prize to hit and exceed the goals you have in place for yourself.
To help you get there, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top, simple tips, tricks, and best practices to help you get started or jumpstart some fresh new habits for your multifamily leasing. Take a read through and give a couple a try to see how they work for you!
Create a Plan
The first thing any successful leasing agent should do is create an effective apartment leasing action plan. Without directions and a roadmap of where you want to go and how to get there, your leasing practices will be all over the place. The shortest point between two distances is a straight line, so make sure you have a plan in place that you can follow and track against. When creating this action plan, think not only about your personal goals as a leasing professional, but who you are trying to reach, where you need to reach them, and what you need to do, not do, or put in place to efficiently do your job.
Have a Goal You’re Working Toward
This is basically part 2 of the above tip. A plan without an end goal is like a game with no end. Without a goal, there’s nothing to really track against or progress towards. And tracking will be the ultimate piece of the puzzle to do properly and get right. The tracking is what will tell you if you’re being effective and making progress or if you need to take a step back and think critically about how or what you’re doing and if any changes need to be made. When developing your goals, consider setting SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Smart goals for leasing consultants fit right in with the actionable and deadline driven characteristics of the job. Leasing agents tend to be naturally driven and goal oriented people, so set goals that play into your strengths, but also to your weaknesses as well to challenge you to grow and improve.
Organize for the win! As far as apartment leasing tips and tricks go, staying organized is at the top. Or at least near the top…third next to goals and plans. There are plenty of leasing agent organization tips around, but a few of our favorites include keeping a very well kept lead management system with notes on every single lead that you interact with along with a rolodex or binder or contact list of all of the local restaurants, schools, dealerships, cleaners, etc. You never know when a prospective resident may be moving from outside the area and looking for a new dry cleaner or looking for an introduction to a moving company. Being able to make introductions that provide value beyond your aiding in the leasing process will help you stand out from the crowd and make an impact to that person.
Keeping a clean and tidy lead management system is an absolute must though. Log any and all information about a prospective resident that you can and set reminders for yourself. If you know that a prospect will be moving on August 1st and that date is approaching, but you haven’t heard back from them, proactively reach out to see if they’ve made a decision or if you can help in any way. Even if a resident doesn’t choose to move into your community, reach out 12 months later and acknowledge that you remember they were looking for a space with large closets, and send them a video of an available unit that you have that could meet their needs. You never know when that follow up could result in a new resident that didn’t enjoy where they had ended up the last go around.
Remember Details with a Checklist
If your lead management system isn’t quite up to par or able to track all that you desire it to, consider laying out a checklist for yourself. A well thought out leasing consultant daily checklist can be your best friend. With all of the madness that can go on in a leasing agent’s day-to-day life, a simple checklist of your daily duties or tasks that you need to complete can keep you from forgetting simple things. It’s one of the easier apartment leasing tips and tricks out there, but is also easily forgotten. Setting a routine of establish your checklist and to do list every Monday can help you stay organized throughout the week and ensure you are following up with prospective residents or doing the outreach needed to fill your pipeline, and will help ensure that none of those key tasks go overlooked. To get started, create a checklist item to build out your first checklist!
Look the Part
That old adage? You know, dress for the job you want? For leasing agents, it’s dress for closing the deal. Keeping and managing a proper leasing consultant dress code will not only help you appeal to the prospective resident that you are looking to attract, but will help you personally feel prepared for the job at hand on a day to day basis. Working with Gen Z or Millennials prospects? You can likely keep things a bit more casual and leave the suit at home. If your main prospects are on the higher end of the spectrum or senior residents, keep your clothing choices aligned to that audience as well. It’s an intangible that may not feel like it has a direct impact on your success as a leasing agent, but you may be surprised just how impactful looking the part for your audience can be.
Get More Training
Even if you are a top producer and are always crushing your numbers, it’s never a bad idea to continue to learn from others and make sure that you are staying at the forefront of your profession. Look for free leasing agent training online or in your area with your local association. Also, be sure to keep and update a leasing consultant training manual specific to your property. There are always a plethora of leasing consultant books, ebooks, manuals, and guides that are published as well as a considerable amount of thought leaders and online blogs and publications that you can follow. The fact that you are reading this article right now means that you were proactively looking for ways to improve and came across this article as one of those ways. So keep doing what you’re doing and never stop learning. And don’t forget to think outside the box! While leasing-specific training is necessary and valuable, look to other industries to try and pick up some of their unique sales tactics and best practices as well.
Standardize the Sales Process
There’s always something to be said for making something your own or for allowing leasing teams to infuse their own personalities into their specific sales process. However, apartment leasing phone scripts, guides, and templates can be beneficial for all. Having a defined process, template, and script to follow will allow for some individualization and personalization for prospects, but also gives piece of mind knowing that you have a proven model and method that can be replicated for success. Don’t have these scripts or processes in place? Start with the basics. Having standardized leasing agent follow up scripts and leasing consultant sales scripts handy can save a lot of time and anxiety. Plus, those carefully thought out scripts can mean quicker and more efficient closings when done right.
No apartment leasing tips and tricks would be complete without at least one that talks about how to close a deal. One of the best tips we can give on this front is to be proactive with information and have collateral already built out to minimize response time and back and forth with prospective residents. You probably get the same 10 questions asked by every single prospect. Instead of waiting for those questions to be asked, create a one page PDF or record a video answering those questions that you can proactively send to a prospect in advance of a tour.
We’ll throw a second nugget in here as well. One thing that we have seen prove invaluable for leasing professionals as of late is personalization. It’s easy to get into a routine where you’re sending the same follow up and same information to every single prospect, but taking the extra five minutes to personalize your message or even record a personalized follow up video can make all of the difference. In today’s multifamily space, competition is fierce and only increasing in most markets. Technology makes it easy for prospects to search on their own and they are likely looking at more properties than ever before as well. So how do you stand out? Make your interactions real and authentic. Go above and beyond and cater your messages to them. Make them feel heard, understood, and valued. Just keep it real, be transparent, and the rest will take care of itself.
There’s no real magic recipe to being a successful leasing agent and so much can vary based on your market, your community, your team, your occupancy, and so many other factors. At the end of the day, the one thing you can control is yourself and how prepared you are for the job, how passionate you are about it, and how intentional you are with every leasing opportunity that comes your way. There’s a reason why you are where are. Make the most of the opportunity and never stop learning, growing, and pushing forward.
If you have any additional multifamily leasing tips, tricks, best practices, or things that have worked well for you, let us know! We’d love to hear them. If you want to learn more or figure out how video can be one of the single best leasing tools in your arsenal, message firstname.lastname@example.org!
Until next time…keep it real!