Five Tips to Start 2019 Off Right
Five Tips to Start 2019 Off Right
If you’re in Property Management, your leasing office most likely looks like it’s been hit by a package tornado. You’re silently promising yourself that you will not be convinced by any residents’ requests to stay late on Christmas Eve for last minute deliveries. A notice for holiday office hours will be plastered everywhere so no resident is able to miss it. The annual Holiday Party is right around the corner and before you know it, it will be January 1, 2019.
Once all of the holiday excitement dies down, another feeling starts to set in: “OK, what next?” Since busy leasing season is still a few months away, this is a great time to connect as a team and prepare yourself for a new year of great service.
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Being part of a Property Management team can be fun, rewarding, challenging, and full of constant surprises. It can also be hectic, overwhelming, stressful, and difficult. While this is by no means an exhaustive list of tips to keep in mind in order to make your year successful, here are my top five:
1. Consistency is key.
Whether you’re creating a lease, giving a tour, speaking with a resident, or answering the phone, you need to be consistent and fair. Not only is this necessary for Fair Housing, it can also help prepare you for those unforeseen situations that pop up on a daily basis.
Although every situation needs personal judgement, it’s important to make sure your entire team is enforcing the property policies that have been implemented over time. The tighter you cling to these policies, the better. Doing so will protect your team from being taken advantage of because let’s face it – we have all been in a situation where we’ve given an inch and a resident has taken a mile.
2. Spell it out.
Communicating with residents and prospects is forever a learning process. Chances are high that your office relies on email blasts to send out notices about pretty much everything. You probably also rely on email to get future residents ready for their move and to help current residents with their daily needs.
There’s just one major issue: there’s no way to predict how someone else is going to read an email. On top of not being able to convey tone, it’s easy to brush over details when explaining something that may feel like second nature to you.
Example: explaining to someone everything they will need to submit to you before you are able to give them their keys on move-in day.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to spell everything out, explain your message as plainly and accurately as possible. Use your past experiences on the most common follow up questions that prospects have in response to application approval and answer them before they even have a chance to ask.
3. Teamwork makes the dream work.
This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to get lost in the chaos and forget how important it is to work together as a team. Since there is commission involved when leasing apartments it’s also easy to fall into a competitive mindset – especially for leasing consultants.
At the end of the day, every member of your leasing office is responsible for taking care of the building, keeping your residents happy, and moving new residents in. Typically, whoever conducted the property tour owns a prospect’s file until they move-in. However, anyone in your office has the knowledge to help collect information from them or answer any questions they may have.
If everyone is willing to work hard and help each other out, your office will feel more positive and productive on a daily basis.
4. Positive attitude.
Be positive! You are in that leasing office to provide great service and take care of the property. Great service is nearly impossible if you forget to smile or have a negative attitude. When you greet prospects and residents with a warm welcome, they will not forget it.
With so many multifamily properties being developed every year, many of them have similar or even the exact same features. Although various factors are considered when people are deciding where to live, one of the most important ones is how they feel when interacting with you and the rest of your team. They want to feel confident that your leasing team is eager to help and can take care of their needs for as long as they live there.
5. Be prepared for the good, the bad, and the ugly.
No matter how many great interactions and great days you have in Property Management, it’s inevitable to also experience the opposite. There will be times that you need to have tough conversations with residents, run interference after a middle-of-the-night fire alarm, or deescalate a conversation whether it’s in person or over the phone. There will be countless times where you say to yourself “Just when I thought I’ve seen it all…” and then another surprise will be waiting for you around the corner.
Whenever you have one of these bad days, just remember that you are a problem solver. When a bad situation pops up make sure your entire team knows about it, that way you can work on solving the issue together.
If you experience a bad interaction with someone, take responsibility for anything that could have been done differently and remember it for next time. If someone is overly rude or hostile to you, it is OK to set boundaries and end the conversation if it’s no longer productive.
Last but not least, always remember that we are all just people. If you’re able to step back and look at a situation with patience and have empathy for the people you encounter, you’ll be able to handle anything this year throws at you.