Recruiters in the property management staffing industry often receive resumes with no experience for a leasing position they have available.  This may be the case because over the years a leasing position has been seen as a gateway or entry level position in the Property Management industry.  While at one time that was true and in some instances still is, there are many things that our clients are looking for when selecting a person to be on the front lines in one of their offices. Qualities that entry-level job seekers often don’t possess.
Most people believe that a leasing agent is just another sales person.  Over the years this is less and less true.  The Leasing professional is so many things and just like any other property management positions, you wear many hats. And, more frequently than not, at the same time!  Anyone that has leased before can tell you that at any given time you will need to learn how to shift gears and do so quickly while providing the highest level of customer service possible.  
Ask yourself the following questions:  Do you like people?  Are you a good listener?  Do you communicate well?  Can you multi-task like no other?  Is customer service a high priority?  Does paperwork scare you?  Can you close the deal?

Do you like people?  
As a leasing professional, you will have to interact with many diverse groups of people from all walks of life.  The key is treating everyone in a fair and consistent manner to help them find the best home suitable for what they a looking for.

Are you a good listener?  
The leasing person is often referred to as the local counselor of the community.  You are on the front-lines literally and that means several things.  You are the first impression of the community so it is very important that you listen to your prospective renter about their situation and what they’re looking for.  As opposed to real estate sales, you have become a part of their day-to-day interaction long-term.  Multi-family communities pride themselves on resident retention and therefore maintaining fewer turnovers means that you will see this person again and again.  When they have a service issue, pay their rent, and hopefully renew their lease, they will expect to see that familiar, friendly face and sometimes even need an ear to release their woes.

Do you communicate well?
Communication is the key in about every industry, but for Multi-family personnel it’s even higher.  If there is a possibility of doubt about day-to-day communication, it can be disastrous.  Meeting and exceeding the customers expectation is priority one, there is no half way.  If you make a commitment, you had best keep it.  If you can’t, communicate in a way that others can understand.  You will save you a lot of headaches on the back end.  Not to mention you must be consistent in that communication otherwise you open the door for a Fair Housing complaint.

Can you multi-task like no other?  
As a Leaser, you are not simply expected to do sales.  It is your responsibility to maintain files accurately, follow up on all phone activity, walk your tour route, and act as an assistant at times.  The most successful leasing people I have ever met have this down to a science.  They plan their days effectively into segments, always leaving time for the inevitable walk-in and daily surprise.  

Is customer service a high priority?  
Without the customer, why have someone to maintain them?  Each person should feel welcomed at your desk.  Whether it’s the first time or the fifteenth time they have been at your desk that day.  Remember that they moved here in part because of you.  They will choose to renew or move based on the value you place on your customers.

Does paperwork scare you?  
Here is where most people get lost.  They believe that leasing is just sales. It’s so much more! You must maintain your guest cards and keep your follow-up documentation up-to-date.  You will have to put together your files for approval.  You will need to update and manage all interaction with your residents in their files and sometimes in the computer database.  Most companies have checklists for their files.  Make sure that you are following this as one missing piece of paperwork could lead to a file not being approved or inconsistency in your business practices.

Can you close the deal?
You may say to yourself, of course I can!  But could you do it consistently and not sound like a used car salesperson?  There are subjective ways to subtly close and have a future resident emotionally attached to their home before they sign the dotted line.  Are you savvy enough to ask the right questions, listen to their needs, and catch the special moment so that they can visualize themselves in the space?

A leasing person is someone that is highly relied upon to keep the community full.  As you can see it’s not just close the deal and move to the next.  It’s a commitment to your community to be the expert on your resident’s needs and keeping them happy!

Jacquee Landry, Recruiter

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