Leasing agents have a pivotal role in the success of apartment communities, although sometimes they can be taken for granted.
Multifamily operators want their properties to achieve strong occupancy and meet revenue expectations. They ensure their communities are well-managed, maintain an appealing look, and those pivotal elements, like their marketing and pricing strategies, are in good order.
But when it comes down to it, solid marketing, pricing, or management cannot overcome an underperforming leasing staff. Giving leasing agents more assistance and guidance is imperative if operators want their apartment communities to succeed. Here are some ways to get started.
Give Leasing Agents Only One Goal
Unfortunately, many apartment operators instill undue stress onto their leasing agents through unrealistic performance expectations, like maintaining an occupancy rate above 95% year-round.
That may be why the multifamily industry is dealing with staffing issues, as most employee turnover occurs in the leasing agent position.
It would be best to provide more precise expectations for leasing agent performance. A specific goal that is both achievable and inspiring is to get an application for a unit within a certain number of days after the previous resident moved out.
With this one objective, leasing agents understand what they must do to shorten the number of days between a move-out and an application received. They can proceed confidently when it’s clear what has to take place to achieve that goal.
Avoid Having Multiple Leases Expire At The Same Time
Some operators allow all lease expirations to occur on the last day of the month, which automatically induces an immediate vacancy crisis and headache for their leasing staff.
It would be best to avoid this from regularly occurring because when there are fewer vacant units to turn over and occupy, leasing agents’ duties become more achievable.
Operators can apply alternative lease expiration methods on every new lease. This multifamily company suggests spacing out lease expiration timing by signing actual 365-day lease terms or setting expirations to only happen on Sundays.
Set Clearer Rent Prices
Many legacy revenue management systems that multifamily operators use to set their rent prices make things unnecessarily hard for their leasing staff.
These revenue tools change rent prices dramatically so frequently that leasing agents have difficulty keeping up with those changes. It’s difficult for them to retain the exact price for each unit when that price changes daily.
Second, the challenges compound with these revenue systems’ complicated pricing tables and leasing structures that take more work to convey to prospective residents in the leasing process. It leaves leasing agents in the position of having to be price advisors or negotiators when neither is a part of their job requirements.
These things have caused rent prices to become the objection that continually hurts a community’s leasing success. And when added to all the expectations and pressures placed on leasing personnel, it’s unfair that poor pricing practices are why they cannot achieve lease goals.
Review how rent prices are set and if the revenue management tool makes things more complicated than necessary. The team at RentVision has a multifamily revenue solution that establishes trust and transparency with rent prices to the benefit of operators, leasing agents, and prospective residents.
Ensure The Marketing Strategy Generates Higher Qualified Prospects
When the demand for apartments is high, leasing agents are in a quandary of having too many potential leads to sort through. Often, it needs to be clarified who among those individuals is more interested and ready to rent than others, creating a whole other set of problems for leasing agents.
Again, more employee turnover occurs in the leasing agent position than in any other in the multifamily industry. Working through too many leads is a contributing cause to this because leasing agents waste valuable time conducting tours or communicating with individuals who will likely never rent their apartments. When this continues, burnout occurs, showing-to-lease ratios subside, and overall employee morale weakens because they’re doing more work with little proof of success to show for it.
Ensuring that a community’s marketing plan generates higher qualified leads is the best way to combat this issue. Operators should instruct their marketers to funnel their ad budgets to the channels with the highest lead-to-lease conversion rates. It also means moving away from a static marketing strategy, where the same amount is spent on ads each month regardless of occupancy, for a dynamic one.
Dynamic apartment marketing emphasizes paying for marketing sources to generate leads only when necessary. When demand is higher, it would be best to dial down spending on marketing sources because leasing agents may already have enough potential prospects in the pipeline. When they don’t, it would be best to increase spending on marketing sources that are proven to generate higher qualified prospects.
Additionally, it helps if an apartment community has a dedicated website with video tours, as those help prospective residents see the apartments without visiting them. These engaging tools benefit leasing personnel because, more often than not, the prospect they’re dealing with has already seen the inside of units and is expressing interest in them.
Leasing agents have a critical but often neglected role in the success of apartment communities. Without competent leasing personnel, any effort to improve a community’s marketing, pricing, or management is ineffectual. Apartment operators must be mindful of this and take actions that set their leasing agents up for sustainable success.