5 Tips to Prepare Your Leasing Team for Busy Season
Are you ready?
The end of February is just days away and in Property Management that can only mean one thing: busy season is coming! Although May is widely recognized as the start of busy season, many properties will tell you that traffic noticeably picks up in March. This leaves me with one question: is your team ready?
Here are five tips to get your team on track for increased traffic this Spring:
1. Have a Team Outing
Property Management is an extremely unique work atmosphere. Your team is extremely small, stays consistent every day, and each person has a different role in order to ensure that the property is running smoothly – like an extremely well oiled machine. When you have such a small team, making sure you’re all on the same page and communicating together is absolutely vital.
If it’s within your monthly or yearly budget, I highly suggest organizing something special for you and your team. Whether it’s an extended team lunch at the property or an outing after work, doing something non-work related together can help boost morale and shake off any lingering winter blues. Two of my personal favorites are going bowling or visiting a local brewery. Both have all of the following: games, food, drinks and a light-hearted atmosphere – a perfect combination for bonding and relaxing.
2. Planning & Budgeting the Event Schedule
If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you know I’m a HUGE fan of resident events and how important it is to plan them in advance. It’s even more important when you’re preparing for busy season! As soon as those leases and renewals start rolling in, it becomes harder and harder to think of anything else. This is not just because of the new residents you’re about to move-in, but also the steady traffic of people who just want to walk through can start to become overwhelming.
Planning in advance is not only great for your team in terms of time management, but it’s also an awesome marketing tool. Prospective residents love to ask about community events during tours, so how much better would it be to just have your event schedule on-hand to show them? It’s a great way to give them yet another reason to move into your community.
3. Review the Sales & Move-in Processes
Perhaps the most important tip – always review your sales and move-in processes before leasing speeds up! Slow season allows you to move slower with your overall process. Less people are moving in, less renewals are being signed, and overall – people tend to be more flexible with their move-in dates since the market is less competitive. Once the process starts speeding up, it can hit hard and all at once.
It’s important to review who is doing what, especially for the sanity of your property manager and maintenance team. They are the ones responsible for signing off on a new resident’s file and for making sure all apartments are turned for the correct move-in date. If you don’t use one already, your leasing team should definitely be using a move-in checklist to make sure every box is checked off before they give a new resident access to their apartment. You may think you can get a copy of that person’s car registration or renters insurance later that day or the next – but let’s face it, those odds are never in your favor.
4. Schedule Weekly Meetings
Busy season also means less time is available to catch up with one another in the office. Setting a 30 minute block for a weekly meeting – even if it only lasts 5 minutes sometimes – will help to encourage open communication. This is especially important for the relationship between maintenance and leasing. There will be days the maintenance team is so busy preparing turns and the leasing team is so busy giving tours, they may not even cross paths.
Both teams are so intent on completing their individual goals that they may forget to communicate with one another when important changes are made – such as a move-in date or a final clean date on the make-ready board. Setting a weekly meeting can help serve as a check-in to make sure all communication and processes are running smoothly.
5. Inventory of Move-in Gift Supplies
If move-in gifts are within your budget, chances are your inventory has not been closely monitored during slow season. Now is a great time to either make sure all of your supplies are stocked up, OR, to come up with a new move-in gift. During any down time in March, putting together dozens of gifts in advance will make them super easy to grab as you go through your move-in checklist in the future.
How do YOU prepare for busy season?
These 5 tips are only a start – there are SO many factors that go into a successful, team-oriented, busy season! If you’re on a Property Management team, I want to hear from you. What’s your number one rule for yourself in the world of Property Management as summer approaches?