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4 Easy Security Tips For High-Rise Residential Leasing Agents

A leasing agent I formerly supervised asked me to write these tips and post them. Sure, leasing agents can carry a walkie-talkie, cell phone or pepper spray, but it’s wise to give yourself the extra edge. I’m not a security expert. However, I have leased and managed in high-rises and know these ideas are useful. Actually, the first three work for showing any type of apartment! Always use the deadbolt to block the apartment door “open.” When you enter the model or a vacant, turn the deadbolt lock so that it lightly props the door in the open position. Then there’s no fumbling around if you need to make a quick escape. Always put yourself between the customer and the door to the apartment. It takes practice at first, but you can learn to always lead your customer with your voice or gesture into one room or another, keeping yourself closest to the door of the apartment. Never walk out onto a balcony with a customer. Some people find this strange advice, but I cannot tell you the times I’ve been behind a leasing agent who walked out onto the balcony ahead of me. I could have either pushed her off the balcony, or locked her outside on the balcony. Think the latter wouldn’t matter? Try yelling for help from a 55th floor balcony in a noisy city. If you have to run, head for the stairwell, not the elevator, and run upward, not down. If approached dangerously, the attacker might well figure y......
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How Leasing Agents Can Turn their Smart Phones into Personal Safety Devices

How Leasing Agents Can Turn their Smart Phones into Personal Safety Devices
We all know that safety is a top priority for Real Estate Agents because of their vulnerability in secluded or abandoned homes, but Property Management Leasing Agent safety has been a real focus in light of recent events (for example: the woman who was molested while showing an apartment at her complex in Houston). In response to this – tech companies have begun developing personal safety apps that can be used any time right from the agent’s phone, turning it into a personal safety device. While some of the language surrounding the apps speaks about brokers, and real estate agents, these apps could also help to keep employees of apartment communities safe while showing apartments alone, later at night, or on the weekends. AgentAlarm is a free app, available for both iOS and Android markets that acts as a personal security system to actively monitor safety. There is a 4-digit PIN that is set by the user when the app is first registered. It is used to acknowledge that an agent is safe at a safety check in, and if necessary, to turn off an automatic 911 call that is made if the panic button is hit accidentally. The employee is able to add emergency contacts straight from their contact list, and if he or she activates the alert button, the emergency contacts will be sent texts and emails, and 911 will be dialed within 10 seconds. AgentAlarm also allows agents to set a safety check for a specific date and tim......
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Staying Healthy at the Leasing Office

With winter and the holiday season quickly approaching, many of us could use some time to think about what we can do to make sure we stay healthy through this busy time of year. Changes in the weather increase our chances of catching a cold or flu, and decadent food – from Halloween candy to Thanksgiving pies and Christmas cookies – is available at every turn.   Here are some tips for staying healthy and happy in the leasing office this fall: Choose healthy foods: In addition to a healthy diet, there are some foods proven to fight colds and flu and help keep you healthy such as green tea, garlic, ginger and orange juice. Supplements such as fish oil and Vitamin D can also provide nutrients needed to help keep your immune system healthy. Plan ahead: Pack and prepare your own meals and take them to work with you. Bringing healthy balanced meals and snacks will help you from hitting up the vending machines or grabbing that fifth piece of Halloween candy from the bowl. Keeps nuts, fruit and other easy snacks at your desk, so you can refuel quickly when you’re getting hungry. Drink lots of liquids: And, we don’t mean soda from the vending machine! Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and help you fend off colds and flu  Green tea also helps boost your immune system and contains antioxidants. Track your water intake by using a reusable water bottle and counting how many times you refill during ......
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When it rains, it pours...

…but do you take a prospect to tour the community?  What if there is lightning or thunder, a tornado warning, or high winds?  What if it is getting dark?  What if the humidity is high and your hair will get frizzy?  And of course, the age-old (at least in property management) question, what if the prospect is scary?  What if the prospect is really scary – as in Ted Bundy or Hannibal Lecter scary?    Well, the answer is, “it depends”.   And ere I be accused of equivocating, let me elaborate (I love to elaborate).   No one in the fair housing world really cares what your policy is.  But there are good risk management steps to take to be sure you do have a good one…   Think it out.  Based on staffing, risk tolerance (both of the company and/or owner, as well as the leasing staff), local conditions (usual weather – no hurricanes likely in Iowa; blizzards less likely in Florida), time zone and the like, establish a policy for when and how (photo IDs?) you show apartments that makes sense for your operation. Write it down.  Once you have figured out the when and how you show apartments, create a written and dated policy for your records.  “Put it in writing” is a good idea here. Follow your policy.  Hey, you thought it out and you created a policy; it would be really smart now to adhere to it. Document that you do in fact follow your own......
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Relationship Selling and Why YOU Should Master It!

Used Car SalesThe word sales person conjures up all sorts of unpleasant images...  Need I even say more? Oh you know me, I have plenty more to say!  As professionals in the multifamily industry; we are all sales people, but what sets us apart from other industries is we are selling a "product" that is a basic NEED of everyone... housing!  We aren't the "stereotypical" sales person (or at least we shouldn't be). No one likes to be sold to, yet everyone needs what we sell. So how do you not SELL when you need to get leases? Easy... have a conversation.  Yep, you read that right, talk to your prospective residents. Easy as that! Think you do? OK, let me ask you a few questions... Do you say and do the same thing on each tour like you're following a script? Do you tell each person the features and benefits of living at your community without hesitation? Do you wrap up by asking for them to lease? If so, that's certainly one way to do it, but a better way is to actually have a two way conversation. You know, find out about them... their wants, their needs, their deepest darkest secrets (HA! I kid).  The easiest way to build rapport with someone else is to get them talking about themselves, and the benefit to listening to a prospect tell you about their life, is the clues you can get just from that simple and friendly conversation. Without question it'll tell you more than......
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Welcome Means So Much

Welcome matWelcome means so much.  Have you been to a Wal-Mart recently?  If their greeter is out to lunch, and not replaced, you haven’t been greeted properly by their standards and you have missed out.  It is normally a senior citizen with a warm and friendly smile who goes out of their way to grab you a buggy. How do you greet your new prospects? Does your property say, live here?  First impressions are huge in every industry. Have you noticed that the sales force for pharmaceuticals, copy machines, and real estate are always dressed to perfection with big smiles, bright eyes, and ironed shirts with ties for the men and perfectly coifed ladies from hair to make-up and business suits, every detail in perfect order? So, how do you rate onsite? How about your community? Is your community dressed for success? Are your leasing specialists looking their professional best? Clothes make the man and woman, otherwise, would there be so many fashion magazines out there?  I hardly think so, something to think about. Swept sidewalks, groomed grass and flowers when in season, impeccably clean glass windows and decorated lobbies are all a factor when you want to put out the welcome mat. And speaking of, is your welcome mat clean and vacuumed?  Do you have a candy bowl or fruit available?  A kid friendly snack for children keeps little hands busy and bottled water is always welcome. How about courtesy and kindness upon entering the leasing office? Are you standing up......
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Romancing the Prospect

We have covered the true first impression for our Prospects is our online presence, aka our Website (if you have not, begin here), after which, we would assume the second impression would be the community itself as the person is driving in.  If they don't like what they see, they will turn around and drive away (this is true statement, I have been guilty of it myself). So, we have got them all the way in the front door, and they are about to make their third impression, which is the Leasing Agent themselves.   It's funny how must people don't stop to realize the apartment home itself is actually the LAST impression made to the prospect.   Furthermore, that multiple third party companies have spent many years, and countless dollars doing massive amounts of studies, to come to the very true realization that more often than not, people base their buying decision on the person, NOT the product.   So how do we deal with this?   We begin to build our relationship with our prospect in the same way that we do anyone else, to set our foundation for a long lasting relationship that continues through thick and thin, good times and bad (noise complaints, long lasting work orders), and will last for the very minimum of a year, but hopefully much longer. Yes, just like a first date. On our first date we are eager to find out everything there is to know about the person in front of us.  Everything......
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