Enter your email address for weekly access to top multifamily blogs!

The Property Partner

Insights on training, coaching, and new ideas in multifamily.

The Cost of Untrained Leasing Consultants

The Cost of Untrained Leasing Consultants

Most of us have published an ad looking for “experienced leasing consultants” and received an array of resumes that may have included a rookie or two. Sometimes, we try our luck with first-timers; maybe because something sparked our eye, or maybe we’re just desperately in need of new talent. Sometimes, we find people with experience, and sometimes an impressionable candidate finds their way onto the top of the pile, regardless of their experience in multifamily.

I’ve had the pleasure of training diamonds-in-the-rough a few times, but more often than not, due to time constraints and manager obligations, consultants are thrown into the fire, head first, and told to take an online leasing class or wait until a company trainer comes in. So smile, answer the phone, and lease.

The number of leasing consultants that are on the front line that lack proper training is surprising. This is often because companies either don’t accurately assess the legal and financial ramifications of untrained staff, or they have not allocated the time or resources necessary.

I preach an old saying that multifamily vets know all too well, “It costs money to make the phone ring.” And how much does it cost? Usually quite a bit. Even with a minimal marketing budget, you’re ideally still allocating funds for “curb appeal” i.e. flags, banners, signage. With larger budgets, allocation for ILS services for lead generation, SEO, answering services, chat bot, websites, and tracking systems are standard. Not to mention the presence of any outreach marketing, resident and employee events. Even your drive-by has probably cost you money. The list goes on and on!

So, you’ve spent a lot to make the phone ring, and by now it should be ringing quite a bit. Let’s look at where issues arise when we have untrained employees answering those highly-valued, very expensive calls:


·     Liability under Fair Housing laws, legal protections


·     Sales revenue


·     Resident retention


·     Reputation management


These aspects are all vital pieces of what makes a property successful, and more broadly, operational. If you have agents that aren’t comfortable with their closing techniques, they will lose rentals to their competition solely based on the inability schedule a tour. If agents are not working within a healthy environment due to disorganization of roles, lack of training, and lack of responsibility, that negative morale will seep into their daily interactions with prospects and residents and effect your company’s reputation as a whole.

Not to mention the reason we’re all here: revenue. Your company’s revenue is generated by sales and account retention. Where do these sales come from? Hopefully, they’re coming from your consultants. Yet, oftentimes, management pulls the weight from lack of a strong, skilled leasing staff. I’ve seen this happen all too often, and it seems to be ignored by many companies. The focus is on numbers: not typically on their source. This must change! To run a property effectively, duties and responsibilities should be upheld and constantly improved upon by each team member. This is the reason properties either succeed or fall short. And because success is driven by focus and achievement on all levels, leasing consultants should be not only held accountable for generating sales effectively, but should be properly trained in order to do so.

Your properties can spend money on advertising, marketing, and retention, but sales rely solely on the quality and competency of their leasing consultants. I recently taught a class in my multi-series leasing course, where multiple leasing consultants told me they’d been working in the industry for years. 

Yet, being as seasoned as they were, not one of them were confident in their ability to close a deal or “ask for the money” (I teach an entire sales course on that concept alone). They simply didn’t know how to ask for the commitment. They were never properly trained, and as a result, had been struggling to define their roles and areas of improvement. They were bogged down in the same routine. They weren’t confident in themselves or their capabilities, which are the basic necessities of successful salespeople. Having a background not only in property management but in advertising sales, I can tell you that no matter how much you spend on making that phone ring, if your agents can’t close the deal, it won’t make much of a difference.

You don’t need to lower your prices to increase rentals when you can train your sales team and give them the techniques they need to succeed. Selling value and not savings is a strong technique and a value in itself when it comes to generating real revenue. Next time you’re looking for a solution, consider investing in your front line. Your leasing consultants can make or break a property, so invest in the most important marketing technique you have: them. Not only will you increase the strength of your company’s foundation, but you will increase revenue, occupancy, and retention.


Rate this blog entry:
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Love this! I completely agree and as a leasing trainer, it is my main priority they have CONTINUOUS training and i hold that connection with them. I wouldn't be where I'm at with great training and motivation from my managers and supervisors when i was leasing.

  Brittany Lozano Stasko
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Thank you for your feedback Brittany!

  The Property Partner

Comment Below

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location
Welcome back! In last week’s blog, Go Ahead…Encourage Your Residents to Complain, I shared some examples of how encouraging customer complaints can improve their experience and increase customer loyalty.  While it is important that employees make it clear that they welcome complaints, all too often they are not given the tools they need to handle complaints effectively. So, before you pin your employees with the “I am the complaint department” button, teach them how...
The gap between animal lovers and non-animal lovers can be as difficult to bridge as many of the differences between our two major political parties. But just as the issues that divide our nation have nuances, so do the pro- and anti-animal advocates in the multifamily industry. Some of us can remember the day when apartment owners could hold the line on pets. Markets were strong and the bar could be raised to preclude all un-caged pets to avoid all the issues pets can create. But markets became...
 You’ve just hired a rockstar employee, now you start to wonder, how long I will keep her.  Wage and benefits are not enough to promise that your best and brightest rockstars will remain engaged. I bet you will find that when you interview your employees about what they value most at work, that none or few say salary. Instead, employees are most likely to say something like even-keeled bosses who made time for me, who helped me riddle through work issues by asking questions, not ...