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Lease like an Athlete - Finish Strong!

Lease like an Athlete – Finish Strong

In a previous blog; Train like an Athlete, we talked about training to be Leasing Superstars with repeating great fundamentals to instill great leasing habits.   That got me to thinking about other ways leasing is like sports….and the infamous words “finish strong!”

Being in softball and soccer as a kid, I always heard my coaches yelling out “Finish strong!”  Which meant, keep playing hard until the very end of the game.  Even now, as I watch my son during his baseball practice and games, I often hear his coach yelling the same words to him and his team, “Finish strong boys!  Finish strong!”  But what exactly does “Finish Strong” mean when it comes to leasing?

Our company does secret shops for many property management companies.  Our shop evaluation form is like most companies.  It’s broken down into 4 basic categories and contains many questions for evaluating each stage of the leasing process; Phone Call, Greeting & Qualifying, Demonstration, and Closing.  Closing would be the ‘finish strong’ portion.

All too often on shop reports, we see good, even great scores on agents phone, greeting/qualifying and demonstration sections, but then scores plummet on the final section – closing - they fail to close.  They don’t finish strong.  Even when our shoppers go on and on about how nice the agent was, and they were “really friendly”, the ultimate question is – did they attempt to close the deal?  Did they solicit an application, a deposit?  Did the agent invite you to live there?  More times than not, the answer is, “No, no they didn’t”.  That’s a shame.  It’s like you’re behind 1 run, bottom of the 9th, bases loaded, you’re at the plate, the pitcher’s throwing strikes and you just stand there.  You don’t even swing at the ball!  Why as a leasing agent, would you not try and close the deal?  To close everytime?

There are tons of ways to close the deal, but we have to not be afraid, be prepared and in Nike’s words “Just Do It”.  Regardless of when they’re moving, that their partner may not be present, always, always ask for the lease!  A direct approach may be your style.  Assuming the lease technique is another great close, the counselor close is great too!  So, as you train to be a Leasing Superstar, don’t forget that if you don’t attempt to close the deal, you’re not finishing strong.  And Superstars always finish strong.

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Can't you imagine yourself living here? The great community, convenience to shopping, schools, and transportation (Didn't you say your husband/wife/partner/significant other takes the train into the city?). We would love to have you as a neighbor. (I included everything but the fresh apple pie cooling on the windowsill!) This would be a great time to move in, we have lots going on.

Of course this close would need to be adapted for a particular property, but you all get the idea.

  Charles Fiori
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Great closing lines Charles! To include the surrounding community and how it will be of value to them as your new resident is the perfect way to implement the close!

  Laura Bruyere
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Many thanks for the compliment, Laura! WRH Realty was similarly very kind when I posted my comments on FB as they had 'shared' your article. My follow-on response is provided here:
My first sales role was in the bond markets in the mid-1980's. I was told from Day 1 to 'ask for the order'. So true. If you think about it, though, if you handle the sales process correctly, the customer will be giving you the order or wanting to sign a lease or contract before you ask for it. That way, it is more their idea than your suggestion that seals the deal. Be aware of every subtlety in the conversation that could give you, the property manager, leasing agent, or realtor, a clue as to what's important and then impart a laser-like focus on that. Address objections, reinforce 'likes' and preferences, and make the experience more personal. Re-using the athlete metaphor, you will be pacing yourself so you won't be breathlessly trying to close but rather have something left in the tank at the end and appear smooth, professional, and genuine.

  Charles Fiori

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