Let me start by saying, everybody makes mistakes. But the only way to correct those mistakes is to acknowledge them and work on fixing them. Whether it's a lack of training, laziness or case of the "Mondays", it's important to make sure you are on the top of your game each day. Here are the top 5 mistakes leasing agents make and how to correct them:
Lack of Followup
I've seen a lot of leasing agents focus their follow-up efforts on renters who have toured the community and showed a real interest in the community or property. But not many take the time to follow-up with EVERY lead (including ones that haven't seen the community already) that comes across their desk. Sometimes that lead that requested information but never set up a tour is busy. Following up on all your leads is vitally important.
Not Gathering Enough Information
So you have a prospects name, email, move date and price range. But what about the other stuff? One fundamentally selling technique is building rapport with a potential resident. Selling involves matching a renter's needs with your product. Ask questions like: where do you work? What are you most looking for in an apartment? What's your decorating style? Is view important? Do you have a pet? What do you do for a living? Get to know your prospect!
Touring Only Sample Unit
Renters want to see the space they are going to live or something close to it. Showing them a bottom floor unit that is staged when the unit that is available is on the second floor with a different view isn't helpful. If a unit that might work for them isn't available at the time of a tour, make sure to show them something comparable.
This may not seem like a big deal, but smiling when you meet a prospect or even over the phone can have a huge impact. Nothing worse then walking in for a tour and seeing a straight-faced leasing agent. This isn't a high-level negotiation! Be friendly and approachable. And if you can't do that, fake it and crack that smile!
Not Asking For Application
I've seen this first-hand numerous times. You tour a prospect, you hand them a marketing piece, tell them process for applying but never ask for them to apply! It's like quitting the race right before the finish line. It is my experience that leasing agents miss opportunities by not asking the most crucial question. And instead of asking "would you like to apply for the apartment?" ask "when do you think you'll be applying for the apartment? Be a closer!
Author: Justin Cleary is an almost 20 year veteran of the Multifamily Industry. He has owned and operated several multifamily focused businesses and startups including The Philly Apartment Company, The DC Apartment Company, BlueSquare Real Estate & Property Management, and his latest venture, BreadBox (http://breadbox.consulting)