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5 Tips for Boosting Leasing Team Performance

Our leasing teams are the backbone of this industry. They’re on the front lines of your business and are responsible for selling the dream of living in your multi-million-dollar assets.  So, it’s vital to bring on the best team and help them grow into leasing all-stars. We’ve outlined five actions you can take to help your onsite teams provide excellent customer service, improve resident retention and convert more: Build a team who can work in the new digital reality Make great hires with thoughtful interview questions Invest in employees’ growth Use data to measure performance  1. Build a Team Who Can Work in the New Digital Reality Heading into this year’s leasing season, the industry has shifted into a new (virtual) reality with more demands on an already stressed-out workforce. To build a high-performing team, managers must hire, train, and retain leasing agents willing to adapt to a more digitally focused world.  “As we consider future talent, we will need to incorporate into our job profile ‘tech savvy,’ as we will not be moving away from what we have put in place with our future residents,” said Angela Gibbons, senior vice president, human resources, at Bell Partners. 2. Make Great Hires with Thoughtful Interview Questions To that point, when hiring leasing professionals, it is important to gauge their potential fit with your team and determine their ability to adapt to unexpected problems during the day. The NAA Facebook’s Apartment Management & Maintenance Support Group put together a list of sample interview questions that push......
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The Poor State of Lead Sourcing in Multifamily

The Poor State of Lead Sourcing in Multifamily
In many ways, the multifamily industry is growing more sophisticated every day. In recent years – and especially since the pandemic – operators have implemented a range of new technologies that have optimized the prospect experience. These optimizations have allowed prospective renters to trade in their own currency i.e., shop for an apartment home in exactly the way they want to. Examples of these solutions include self-guided tours, video tours, chatbots and online tour-scheduling tools. But one area where property managers need to up their game is sourcing their leads. An Anyone Home analysis of one large operator found the company's lead source accuracy was only 56%. In my experience, this stat is far from uncommon across the industry. Before we dive into the reasons for the inaccurate sourcing, it's important to discuss the dire consequences.  Stated simply, when you don't know where your leads are coming from, you don't know which components of your marketing efforts are working. You're not going to make correct ad-buying and marketing decisions. This can lead to spending lots of money in the wrong places and seriously undermining the performance of your community. Now, let's examine the factors that lead to inaccurate sourcing, which is basically rooted in three issues: One issue stems from the fact that somewhere between 18% and 40% of prospects do not lease at the first property in an operator's portfolio that they contact. The problem with this is that in the standard property management system, the original source of the lea......
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Three Ways that Self-Guided Tours Create More Effective Leasing Associates

Three Ways that Self-Guided Tours Create More Effective Leasing Associates
Even before the coronavirus, self-guided tours were beginning to emerge as a major factor in apartment operations and leasing.  Now, as the industry continues to navigate the effects of the pandemic, self-guided tours are firmly in the multifamily mainstream. Much has been made about the positive impact these tours have on prospects – and for good reason. More and more of today's prospective renters want to visit a community without being led around by an associate (and, in the present moment, social-distancing mandates may not give them much of a choice in the matter). In fact, according to a recent RENTCafe survey of 3,500 renters, 83% of the respondents said they would take a self-guided tour if it was available at an apartment community.  But the benefits of self-guided tours extend well beyond allowing prospects to visit a community in their preferred manner (as critical as that obviously is). These tours also help onsite associates perform their jobs better. Below are three examples of how self-guided tours do just that. 1) They help associates take better care of current residents. Without having to spend so much of their workday touring prospective residents, team members can devote more time to the needs of those who already live at the community. Associates have more bandwidth to plan great resident events, make sure maintenance requests are completed in a satisfactory manner and handle any other resident issues that may come up. Signing new residents is important, but so is retaining current ones. Self-guided tours c......
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100 Properties: A View into the Leasing Experience

100 Properties: A View into the Leasing Experience
I recently set out to visit 100 properties in 100 days. I wanted to get a truly informed understanding of the in-person experience that today’s prospects have. I wanted to see where the opportunities for improvement are and where leasing teams are knocking it out of the park. I genuinely went into it as a blank slate not quite sure what it would reveal. So often I hear people make broad, sweeping statements after visiting only a handful of properties - as if those limited experiences represent the industry standard. My intention in visiting 100 communities was to see what the industry standard really is.So I set out on my adventure and to say I was surprised at what I found would be an understatement. I was quickly and vividly reminded that the in-person leasing experience often is less than ideal for visiting prospects. I also humbly realized I had personally committed several of these leasing experience blunders myself. And while I understand today’s landscape has vastly changed our in-person touring options, it provides a great opportunity to discuss with your teams how to create a truly impactful experience whether virtually or in-person.  The properties I toured were all high-end apartment communities from coast to coast. These are typically the properties that are the early adopters of the latest and greatest practices and technologies that the rest of the industry eventually follows.   Here are some of the experiences and surprises that occurred on my visits:Greetings and First Impressions: About 10 com......
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Modern Apartment Prospects: How Do They Differ from Before?

I was recently asked how apartment prospects have changed over the years. I don't know that there's a quick and easy answer because modern apartment shoppers are so profoundly different from their predecessors.   To start with, by the time a prospect visits a community today, he or she is usually armed with a lot of information. ILSs and property websites allow prospects to learn nearly everything about pricing, floor plans and amenities.   So the prospective renter who arrives for a tour often is less interested in gathering basic information and more in experiencing the service and rapport a leasing team has to offer. More than ever, onsite associates have to be ready to provide a warm, engaging and comfortable site visit to prospects.   But that's just one of several ways in which prospective renters have changed over the years. Here are some of the others:   Many of them want the option of self-guided tours. This is perhaps the ultimate customized tour experience.   So many of today's prospective renters know exactly what their checklist for a tour is. They know exactly what they want to see, and they don't want to talk with an associate while they're seeing it. They want to get in, get out and be able to visit a property at a time that works best for them, not for an onsite associate. Self-guided tours are perfect for those laser-focused shoppers.   They also work for prospects who may not be hyper-focused but ......
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Closing Deals Over the Phone: How It's Done

Closing Deals Over the Phone: How It's Done
The phone remains a top sales tool. For many leads, it's their preferred method of contact. But the phone can be intimidating. The fear of it is akin to that of public speaking. The phone is the only way to reach some people, much like being on stage is the only way to achieve certain goals. Both platforms can be efficient routes to positive change for the presenters and the listeners. Those who lack the heart to put themselves out there only miss out.   Much of the anxiety some feel about phone sales comes from their obsession over what to say. All variables cannot be predicted, especially in conversation. There’s nothing like the unknown to make a person nervous. That’s one reason many prefer to close deals in-person instead of the phone. In part, they hope non-verbal cues will enhance their ability to know what to say. Others prefer full automation, approaching sales as just a numbers game. They avoid including any person-to-person contact in their sales cadence, hoping to buffer themselves from rejection. Many of these would fair better if they used the phone along with their email outreach and digital marketing funnels. In-person meetings can be sweet, but they're not always possible. Automation can be handy but not always sufficient in building trust. Plus, not everyone who invests in fully automating their sales see a good return. It depends on their approach, their target audience, and what they’re selling, to name a few factors. But anyone can learn to use t......
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An Experienced Team Adds Value To Your Community

Marketing numbers  Possibly the most valuable asset in property management is an experienced team. Properties with tenured, long time employees benefit from: development of annual systems. they have noticed, realized and anticipate occupancy trends. they create and build relationships with residents, which improves resident communication, rent collection and resident retention. Preventive maintenance is incorporated into the monthly schedule without fail. Staff Endorsement A experienced team is an unspoken endorsement for a future resident. “I like working here, you’ll like living here.” Including this information in the introduction of team members to new residents, creates a sense of stability.These individuals, three, five, nine, ten, fifteen and even twenty years of seniority, bring immeasurable experience, wisdom and common sense to the workplace with them every day. A new manager, or newly promoted can offset any short term insecurities, by acknowledging “I’ve been in my role as a manager for a couple of months but I’m surrounded by 18 years of property management experience. Internally, we acknowledge our team members as our best practice experts. Rebecca has developed a fantastic system for this process. The organization would be lost without her. A question develops regarding a capital improvement or a unique repair, ask Bob, he’ll know the answer, find it for you or point you in the right direction. A new initiative to roll out, Abby will be the team leader for that. She’s overseen all of our transitions. That property has been stuck in an occupancy rut for a couple of weeks, have Carl take a look at the op......
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Discovering Cupholders is the Key to Create Features

Features  You probably know someone who has recently purchased a new vehicle.   It’s all about the touch screen features, navigation, blue tooth, wi-fi connections, adjustable cup holders and maybe the average miles per gallon. No one has to tell you it has a motor, four wheels, or even a transmission.  Its a vehicle!   Every vehicle has those components.  But what makes it different?  What makes it special? Locating Cup Holders Applying this descriptive process to our apartments; creates features out of hidden attributes in our apartment homes.  We can make these items into cup holders.  The specialized knowledge about these details can add to our expertise and establish our authority about our product. Are you selling the extra shelf in the refrigerator, the energy star appliances or the hundred lineal feet closet storage? Or are you giving them the “four wheels” – Here is the kitchen, There is the closet… Discover Features Finding the “cup holders” will make your apartments stand out from your competition. Point out the number of shelves in the cabinets. The Energy Star Electric range has two cooking racks and a broiler pan. The programmable thermostat is rated to save “insert your data here..”, either a percent, or a specific dollar amount every year.  This type of data is available for most appliances.  You can point out savings opportunities for every appliance in the apartment. Calculate the cubic feet of storage space in the cabinets, linen closet or pantry.Know the potential savings from the Energy Star appliances. Focus......
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#1 Question Salespeople Should Ask in Every Sales Presentation


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'Sun'sational Summer Leasing Tips

'Sun'sational Summer Leasing Tips
  Make the most of tours with quick easy summer leasing tips Studies show that prospects that spend more time in the display or vacant apartment home, are more likely to remember the property and much more likely to LEASE there! To help kick off your summer leasing season, here’s some tips to extend your prospects visits:   Keep cool beverages in the display/vacant frig!  Allow your prospects to slow down, take a breather and absorb the apartment surroundings with a break & a few sips of a cold beverage! Stock it with interesting choices & make it memorable!  Try raspberry lemonade   Have a Seat!  If you have a furnished display, let your prospects have a seat. Leasing agents should take the lead and be seated first, then ask your prospects to do the same!  This is the perfect time to engage prospect into conversation of how they would place their furniture in their new home and visualize living there!     Enjoy the great outdoors! Have a patio or balcony?  Make sure you’re taking prospects outside and as you linger, ask how they will enjoy their outdoor space once they get moved in! Make this popular space really inviting, with bright flowers & wind chimes.   GRAND FINALE!! FAV 3 close:  After the tour, ask your prospects to take one more look through the apartment on their own, and return and tell you their favorite 3 features!  This is a fantastic tool to use in your summary close!! It wil......
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