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Leasing agents--Leads to Leases

Not too long ago on the #aptchat on twitter we have on Friday's, the subject was discussed on how to convert lead's to lease's better. One item that came up was the quality of training that was provided to the leasing agent in order for that to take place. So let's hear it please. What methods are you using to train your Leasing agent's? Did you do something in the past that you felt you needed to change? 

Thank you

Discussion started by Jonathan Saar , on 1505 days ago
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Blake Ratcliff
I believe part of preparation is your Apartment Marketing Site (your web site). Having a thorough website that explains items like unit features (bedroom, baths, square footage, details about appliances, etc), property amenities, information about property activities, surrounding shopping, and other features makes all the difference. Having such a site helps reduce calls to prospects that the right customer service and the right preparation converts quickly to new leases.

Of course there is much more to the process, but a though to add to the (in my opinion) accurate description of a crack leasing team.

Blake Ratcliff-CEO Pallaton Properties (a portfolio owner with properties across several states).
1505 days ago
 
Tara Smiley
In converting leads to leases and how to better train your staff to facilitate that process... I have a property managemnt team with a Very strong closing rate. Whereas most of my properties are forming the lease after 3-5 visits, this allstar property typically closes the deal the day of the first visit. They attribute their success to "preparation of the prospect"... This team works on the theory that the first visit is the initial phone call. The 2nd visit is their "accidentally forgot to tell you about "whatever unique detail" they thought you might like" phone call that typically comes 5 ,minutes later. By the time the prospect physically comes to the property (approx 10minutes to24 hours later), they have a strong sense of the property, staff, and overall good feeling. These two guys are amazing and what they do works. So as far as the "out of this world training" quotient... I am cloning them.
1505 days ago
 
Jonathan Saar
Thanks Mindy,

You are so right on target. The total package must be there. As one of my mentors Zappos put it-- the "company culture" facilitates the empowerement you describe. Thanks for your comments
1505 days ago
 
A Guest
I don't think training is the total answer. I think whoever answers the phone or meets with the Prospective Residents have to be completely confident in his/her ability to assist the customer. I find that when leasing consultants feel empowered they close more leases.
1505 days ago
 
Jonathan Saar
not sure how to say it in cyber terms -- but ___________ that meant jubilation!!!

job description is defining-- tell your employee who they are and expect them to live up to it!
1505 days ago
 
Dennis Funkhouser
just really passionate that we have become more professional.Hate the words tenants, projects, agents, consultants, resident managers etc. Not a jab at you:woohoo:
1505 days ago
 
Jonathan Saar
Maybe that was the reason there was little traffic on this discussion... tomatoe -- tomato-- gasoline pumper -- petroleum export engineer

Nevertheless I appreciate the job title clarification!
1505 days ago
 
Jonathan Saar
Hi Dennis

Leasing agents, consultants, salesperson, hope we are not trying to mince words too much here. Thanks for your clarification comment and I look forward to your comments on the discussion.
1505 days ago
 
Dennis Funkhouser
Leasing Agents??? havent heard the term in years
1505 days ago
 
Jonathan Saar
I could not agree more on the company policy on how you need to keep your employees happy. On the training end of the discussion I don't think I can concur totally.

I have participated in shops with companies that have very happy employees which scored well below average. Training is an integral part to provide clear direction on what is expected of an agent. That goes for the rest of the staff as well. You can have the happiest staff in the world, but if they are not schooled in the best modern methods of engaging a potential resident, than how long does that philosophy last?
1505 days ago
 
Sergio Navarrete
Jonathan,

Training is key, you have to make sure your leasing agents know everything about the property. You need to make sure that they respond promptly to leads and incoming applications, but as Jonathan mentioned earlier, those things dont necessarily make sure a leasing agent engages the prospective tenant and certainly do not guarantee that the leasing agent is "painting" a happy living picture for the potential tenants.

Just a thought. Training is not everything...

Something we have found that makes more difference on this specific subject is simply treating your leasing agents as well as you would like them to treat a potential tenant. Plainly put, a happy leasing agent will be excited about the company they are working for and therefore will speak wonders of your apartment property without you needing to train them to do so.

Hope this is helpful,
Sergio Navarrete
1505 days ago
 
Jonathan Saar
Thanks for your replies Sergio

A very nice proactive approach. In your training, what do you do to make sure the leasing agents are truely engaging the prospective resident? Are they able to paint a picture of the community with the words they use to the prospect?
1505 days ago
 
Sergio Navarrete
Its all about time.

We have found that leads responded to within 1 hour become leases over 50% of the time. Because of this it is imperative to find a way to bring new leads to your leasing agents at the most immediate moment.

What we have done, is:

All leasing agents receive immediate email alerts to their phones, and laptops.

We have extended hours in our central office to accommodate for leads received after 5pm. We have found that most leads come in during the after-work hours (after 5pm). Our central office is open until 2am.

We train all of our employees: They must respond to a fresh lead within 30 minutes and no more than an hour.

I hope this is helpful,
Apartment Marketing
Sergio Navarrete
1505 days ago