Leasing professionals are arguably the most important team members in multifamily housing. They are the face of the property to the residents and are responsible for keeping the apartment homes full and the property profitable. Leasing professionals must possess some key traits across the board to be able to find success in their job.
“Keys skills I look for in a Leasing Professional include: Excellent communication and problem solving skills, Professionalism (demeanor and attire), Strong customer service with sales experience, Strong organizational skills, Basic computer (MS Office), telecommunication and office experience” says Maria Gonzalez, a Houston-based property manager.
Below we have listed some of the best traits to look for in your next rock-star leasing professional!
While leasing professionals work in a property’s office with the other team members, they spend a lot of their day undirected. When a potential resident walks in the door they have to be ready to take the reigns and show them the property’s features. This requires the leasing professional to have initiative and not be someone that needs to be told what to do.
Attention to Detail
A leasing contract can be a lengthy document and one that requires vast attention to details. A potential resident must be able to pass background checks and financial checks to qualify for a lease and it is up to the leasing professional to guide the entire process. Not only does the leasing professional have to have the property’s interest in mind, but they also need to be able to answer any questions from the potential resident with confidence to assure them they are making the best decision for themselves and their family.
In addition to being detailed oriented and Independent, a professional leasing consultant must also be friendly and likeable. They are not only representing the property to potential residents, but they are also the continued representative for the residents that live there. They must have a smile ready for everyone that walks in the door of the property’s office.
According to Houston-area property manager Omar Ramirez “Successful leasing professionals have a genuine human interaction while being themselves. They must be supportive to the prospect/residents needs and wants. Being a team player and a great problem solver is a skill that is needed on a daily basis to succeed and achieve daily goals. Being able to adapt to multiple personalities and understand how to properly respond is a key trait.”
Many things go into being a successful leasing professional, however we can not forget that the core of the job is sales. Leasing consultants must have the ability to persuade a potential resident that might be on the fence about choosing that property to rent. Sales skills such as listening and problem solving are a must to be able to consistently close the sale.
Working in the multifamily housing industry requires a lot of energy from each professional position, and this is especially true for leasing professionals. They must wear many hats during the day and still have energy left over to be friendly and outgoing to residents and potential residents.
Since the leasing professional is the “face” of the property, they must dress and act professionally at all times, no exceptions. This includes their online and real life personas since a quick internet search could result in their social media profiles to being discovered by a resident.
It can be disheartening when a leasing professional has a series of rejections from potential residents. Sometimes you can do everything right and still not get the sale, and in a career where commission is sometimes on the line, this can be very frustrating. A successful leasing professional must have a level of persistence that is unshakeable so they can continue to be their best at every opportunity.
Notice that we did not list “experience in the multi-family housing industry”?
According to Houston-based property manager Maria Gonzales “Some managers insist on only hiring candidates with multi-family experience, but that’s a huge mistake. There’s an abundance of talent out there and hiring through a temp agency opens the door for an individual just waiting for their opportunity to shine in our industry. I’ve had ZERO turn over in 5 years [and] 4 out of our 7 long term team members came from a temp agency and they possessed absolutely no prior Multi-Family experience.”
Finding the right leasing professional for your property is an extremely important task, make sure you don’t compromise on someone that doesn’t possess these essential traits and don’t forget to look for talent outside of the industry!