It is important to always keep safety in mind when working in a leasing office. While sometimes it can be easy to take things for granted, you should always remember to keep safety first. Since most leasing professionals are the first point of contact with the public in a leasing office, it is imperative to remember that most of these individuals are people that you don’t know so you should keep your guard up at all times and engage in safe practices when interacting with the public.
Culled from the fantastic resource Grace Hill, here are some tips to keep in mind when dealing with prospective tenants and/or residents when working in a leasing office:
1.) Always collect a picture ID from all adults in the touring party and leave it in a designated spot in the management office during the tour. Look at the ID and make sure it is the person that is requesting the tour. Do not photocopy, but keep the ID in a locked drawer or office during a tour. Never tour a person without taking a picture ID, not only for safety reasons but for fair housing reasons also.
2.) Try not to go into a closed room first, and do not allow yourself to get backed into a corner. For example, in a closed kitchen, invite the prospect to enter in front of you. Demonstrate bathrooms and closets by standing aside and pointing out features and benefits. On stairs, always be sure to invite the prospect to walk up the stairs in front of you. Do not leave yourself vulnerable to an attack.
3.) Leave the front door of the apartment open during a tour. If the door has a deadbolt lock, turn the lock before closing the door so the door will remain ajar. Or, carry a door stop triangle like hotel bell-persons do, and prop the door open during the tour.
4.) Always let someone else know where you are going. When you are leaving the leasing center, mention to another team member which units you will be showing and how long you feel it will take you. If you are on your own, alert a member of your maintenance team by telephone or radio, or leave a message with your answering service.
5.) Use the “buddy system” and invite another member of the leasing or maintenance team to join you on your tour if you feel uncomfortable with your prospect.
6.) Rely on your instinct. If a prospect really makes you uncomfortable, just open the door to the show apartment and let the prospect tour him/herself. This rarely happens, but let your intuition be your guide.
7.) Develop a system of code phrases with your maintenance team that you can use in front of a prospect to call a maintenance person over the radio for help. Use of one of your code phrases will alert the maintenance person that you are uncomfortable, and let them know to join you at the leasing center or model at once.
8.) Carry a hand held two-way radio with you if possible. Also, carry or wear a personal alarm or “screamer” which will make an incredibly loud noise should you activate it. This will alert others in the area to come to your assistance.
9.) Invite a police officer to the property to discuss risk profiles with your leasing consultants. An easy resource is your Courtesy Officers, if that is a service you offer. They have terrific tips on how to avoid putting yourself in a dangerous situation.
10.) Be consistent. Always follow these safety guidelines and your management company’s policies no matter how clean cut, well dressed, or harmless the prospect may seem.
For more information, visit www.gracehill.com
Arisha Williams, Director of Sales