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A Collection of Centralized Leasing Resources in One Place

We gathered all the recent information about centralized leasing and compiled it into one single location for you to digest. Learn what this new model is, what value it can bring to your portfolio and a real-time example of how it’s currently panning out.

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What Is Centralized Leasing in Multifamily?

Centralized leasing has gained popularity over the past several years and especially as of late. This model moves away from the traditional leasing model—on-site teams leasing and operating at each property in the portfolio—and centralizes them in one or multiple regional locations.

The reason this model has gained popularity is due to several factors, not just the pandemic: the need to operate more efficiently, to be able to scale technology and the fluidity we see happening in the current market conditions such as massive buying and selling of assets. In addition, the workforce demand for more appealing schedules, salaries and the ability to work remotely.

A centralized leasing model makes remote work possible for traditional on-site teams, creates a more holistic approach to apartment shopping for renters and can reduce operating expenses. For this model to be executed effectively, a mix of the right people and the right technology needs to be in place. In fact, a few of our clients have started to use Realync to implement a successful centralized leasing model.

How Does Centralized Leasing Work?

For centralized leasing to work, property management companies have to move leasing activities from multiple properties into one (or a few) operating location(s). Before you question if this means on-site staff is no longer needed or if you’re out of a job, that’s not the goal of centralized leasing. There’s certainly an opportunity for fewer people on-site, but ultimately the goal is for teams to operate more efficiently in flexible working conditions and not feel overwhelmed.

For a list of how centralized leasing benefits prospective renters and property management companies, check out this article as our friends at NurtureBoss did an excellent job discussing those benefits.

Here’s an example of what centralized leasing could look like—let’s say a prospective renter finds your property online but he/she notices the property doesn’t have a pool. Instead of the leasing agent disqualifying this renter, a centralized leasing model would require this leasing agent to be familiar with most if not all the other communities within the portfolio around the designated region. The leasing agent can then lease another property with a pool to the same prospect. This gives renters ease, assistance, and options during their apartment search.

What Are the Benefits of Centralized Leasing?

With fully virtual workforces and the Great Resignation, property management companies realized they needed to stay competitive. One way these companies are doing this is by piloting a centralized leasing model. Here are 10 benefits of centralized leasing versus traditional leasing.

  • Eliminate duplicate prospect guest card form fills
  • Recruit high-quality employees
  • Improve employee retention
  • Create more attractive work schedules and hours, with weekends off
  • Offer more competitive pay
  • Improve the renter experience
  • Allow associates to work in more specialized roles
  • Eliminate or reduce on-call hours for service teams
  • Improve leasing conversion rates (lead to lease or tour to rental)
  • Create economies of scale and reduce operating costs

Keep in mind a centralization model will look slightly different for each org, based on their geographical footprint, workforce, tech systems, and other factors.

Our friends over at Knock did a fantastic job explaining other advantages of centralized leasing alongside how their CRM supports it. (Did you know we’re integrated with Knock? See how we’re delighting our mutual clients’ wishes!)

Example of Centralized Leasing in Action

Tricap Residential Group, a Chicago-based multifamily management firm, is dedicated to providing renters incredible customer service by instituting technological advances and adapting to resident preferences, all of which led Tricap to develop and execute a centralized leasing model.

Prior to the pandemic, Tricap had begun plans to transition away from the traditional in-person leasing model and into an entirely virtual workforce. Partnering with Realync, Tricap virtualized its portfolio to allow staff to market their communities, lease apartments, and connect with renters through video communication and self guided tours.

As renters’ preferences evolve, Tricap continues to lead a new way of property management in the modern age. In addition, Tricap is paving the way for how other companies and communities can effectively partner with technology solutions to see success without sacrificing resident satisfaction.

Tricap named Realync as its preferred video partner for virtual leasing and resident engagement!

How Centralized Leasing Is an Advantage for Careers Instead of a Disadvantage

Career pathing with centralized leasing was a topic of conversation for Mike Hogentogler, COO of LCOR. He mentioned how it’s enticing to have their best leasing agents serve as many prospects as possible versus, in a traditional model, property-based agents serve as many prospects as they can until the property is occupied then typically wait to some degree for units to turn. As Mike put it, “a better model would deploy the most successful leasing agents wherever we have exposure within a given submarket.” Read more about Why Centralization Is Good News for Career Paths by Dom Beveridge.

A centralized leasing model is actually an incredible way for on-site associates to level up in their career. A model such as this gives them exposure to multiple asset types, in some cases experience across different geographical markets and gets them heard and seen with multiple leaders within the organization (not just their direct supervisors) — much more so than if they were working on-site at a single property. And, with more specialized roles, a centralized model can really give an associate the ability to shine and succeed, faster.

What's An Objection to Centralized Leasing?

A trending objection we hear to centralized leasing models from the on-site teams is a fear of losing their jobs to technology or a reduction in the workforce. While centralization does allow you to move your best people into specialized roles (where performance then naturally accelerates), most of the time a centralized model also allows core employees to shift into other disciplines within the organization – areas that didn’t have enough manpower or focus via traditional operating models.

Centralization is a win for on-site teams because it actually removes some cumbersome responsibilities (and interruptions) and allows them to do better, more focused work, and gives them time back to do what they’re most passionate about—engaging with renters.

Join the Centralized Leasing Peer Group

Are you curious about centralized leasing models and how others in the industry are tackling this topic and getting results? There’s a peer group to help! Suzanne Hopson (Tricap Residential Partners), Dustin Lacey (Mark-Taylor Residential) and Kristi Fickert (Realync) host a Centralized Leasing Peer Group, where multifamily leaders from various organizations troubleshoot, share resources and strategize about all things centralized leasing. If you want to join the next virtual roundtable convo, message Kristi (kristi@realync.com) that Ashley (👋) sent you.

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