When we explore marketing our communities, the discussion often turns to social media or listing services. Yet the front line might not even enter the picture. Who is the front line? Your leasing agents, those individuals who typically have the first human contact with your potential and current renters. Successful staff are excited to come to work and feel invested in their product. The same should be true of your leasing agents. So it is important to keep them motivated and upbeat regarding your community to receive their best. Here’s four ways to build your team and motivate your leasing agents to feel invested in your community.
Many of us have received a special bonus for reaching a goal. The sense of pride and accomplishment upon receiving a bonus and reaching a goal is a wonderful source of motivation. On an individual leasing level, setting goals for each leasing agent and rewarding those who meet their goals can provide positive reinforcement and motivation. Additionally, awarding the top leasing agent of the quarter gives the group the incentive to be that agent. With prizes for 2nd and 3rd place, you show appreciation for the efforts of all your leasing agents, acknowledging their contributions. It’s also important to use rewards in a group context as a way to build a sense of team. Consider a group reward for reaching a monthly or quarterly leasing goal. A group dinner or other outing to a local attraction can provide an incentive for your individual leasing agents, but also encourage group efforts to meet the team goal for that quarter. “Reward your whole team with parties and dinners from time to time when they do a good job or lease a certain number of properties within a certain period of time. This will encourage the entire team to work together for one common goal, encouraging everyone to concentrate on making the renter sign a lease, rather than just concentrating on their own personal goals,” said Sarah Katz of Apartments.com. For smaller communities, an employee appreciation day every quarter can be a motivation for your team. Letting them know that you appreciate their hard work, even during a tough leasing quarter, can have a positive effect on the overall morale of your staff.
Lead by Example
Think about the last time you worked the phones or answered someone’s questions about the amenities of your community. If it’s been awhile, it may be time to give it another try. Showing your staff that you are willing to get involved on the front lines provides motivation and bonds you with your staff. At the same time, you are setting the standard by your example of dedication and with your positive attitude. If you focus on building up the team, using your staff strengths to compliment your own, your staff will follow your lead. Spend time discussing strategies and best practices with your leasing agents. These discussions can be instrumental in strengthening your team. Your staff will also function better when they see your contributions to the overall team effort. Along with an individual reward, consider a competition between yourself and your staff. It’s a great motivator to say you beat the boss. When it comes down to it, your leadership and example can be a great inspiration for your staff.
Leasing is the same as any other position. Success depends on continual training! Do you have a regular schedule for training your leasing agents on their phone technique, how to handle complaints and how to keep your retention rate high? By keeping your staff current on the latest industry techniques, they will have the tools to succeed. Look for locally sponsored training events or team building exercises and attend as a team. Online companies can provide training options to fit your schedule and budget. After training, set goals for implementing what you learned and follow through on those measurements. Your team’s confidence level will increase as these tools assist them in turning those potential tenants into community residents. At the same time, your agents will feel appreciated because you are investing in them and acknowledging their contributions to the success of your community.
Current tenants are the best opportunity for your leasing agents to cement their training and see immediate success. After all, current tenants already know the amenities and benefits your community offers. But if their interactions with your staff aren’t meeting their expectations, that renewal can be a harder sell than a potential tenant. Leasing agents need to focus not only on making a good impression in their initial contact with your potential residents, but continue those positive interactions with your current tenants. Motivate them to keep up those constructive interactions through small tenant retention bonuses, which can be based on the number of lease renewals they achieve in a set period. Your staff will grow their relationships with your tenants, so when it’s renewal time, they already know what your tenants want from your community to sign on the dotted line. Visual cues of the number of leases signed or renewed can also motivate your team, as they can see their progress as it happens. At the end of the day, your leasing agents are the face of your community for your tenants. Motivate them to bring their best to your potential and current tenants and your community will reap the benefits.
Ready to motivate your team?