Author Archives: Loa McManus, CTS

How to Train Your Leasing Agents to Sell Over the Phone in Three Easy Steps

Phone skills in your leasing agents may be something you take for granted. A pleasant demeanor and politeness are great for making a caller feel comfortable, however phone calls are 3 times more likely to convert than any other type of lead. Are your agents adequately trained and ready to handle business over the phone?

Don’t let these leads get away, prepare your agents with this quick and straight-forward training. In three easy steps, they can be ready to turn a caller into a future resident.

The first step is to create the right call environment. A leasing office can be a busy place. From current residents walking in with questions, to prospects stopping by to tour the property. When someone calls the office, they don’t want to feel like they are interrupting. Make sure that phone calls are always taken in a quiet and reserved environment. A caller can be put on a brief hold while the agent goes behind a closed door so they can focus on the caller. A pen and paper should be in this space so important details can be written down about the call. Any other materials that will ensure the agent is well-informed and ready to quickly and confidently answer questions should also be readily available.

The second step is to have a checklist that is followed for each sales call. It is easy to forget the small stuff when engaging with a prospect on the phone. Many times, even getting the caller’s name is overlooked. Before launching into the conversation, have your leasing agent pause and let the caller know that they want to make sure they have all the relevant information in case they should get disconnected. The caller will then know that they are being asked for their benefit and they will appreciate the professionalism.

The third step is the most crucial one, build a connection with the caller. Once all the basic information has been collected, it is time for the agent to listen to what the prospect has to say about their needs. This is not the time to launch into a pre-scripted sales pitch about property details, sign-on specials, and lease terms. The key here is to listen and determine what the caller would find most attractive about your property, then explain that detail to them first. After the caller has finished talking about the specifics of what they are searching for, the agent can ask if they would like to hear other details that the property prides itself on. This would be the ideal time to invite the caller into the office to take a tour of the property. Don’t let prospects that call in to your leasing office slip through the cracks. Take these three easy steps and make sure your agents are prepared to represent your property beautifully over the phone.

Posted in Uncategorized |

Property Managers, Save Your Sanity!

Finding a skilled, quality, leasing or maintenance professional is no menial task. In fact, it can be so difficult and time consuming, there is an entire industry devoted to helping property managers find quality talent!

Losing a good apartment industry professional costs you time, money, and often a little sanity! Every good property manager wants their employees to succeed and grow- ideally with their current management company.  Are you doing everything you can to make sure your employees are happy? A little extra effort and attention can go a long way in keeping your team happy, and sparing yourself the difficulties that come with a new hire.

Here are some relatively simple things you can do as a property manager to make sure you are keeping a happy team!

  1. Inspiring Activities– The more clarity your team has on the direction they are going, and the goals they are trying to accomplish, the more excited they will be to contribute to those results. Consider playing an inspiring talk or film for your staff, and exploring team dynamics from a place of common interest. Inspiring speeches can move people to put aside their differences and work together for something bigger than themselves.
  2. Equalizing Activities– Letting employees know that, regardless of their position or rank, they are equally imperative to the success of the team can bring an office closer together, and create a sense of harmony. Try bringing them together by setting a stage where they are all at the same level. For example, challenge them to raise money for a charity as a group. The added bonus of working together for a good cause could unite them even further.
  3. Feedback– An important aspect of asking for employee feedback is ACTING on employee feedback. Collectively select specific issues to work on and create action plans together. There is no point in asking for feedback if you plan to ignore it. Quarterly, all employees should collaborate and come up with one great thing the company is doing, and one thing that needs to change in the company. Give them the opportunity to present it to the Regional manager (or high level management).
  4. Playing Favorites– Do not play favorites. When the property manager spends a lot of time praising and recognizing one employee, but not others it can cause jealousy and create a ridge between employees. This isn’t to say that you should under appreciate an exceptional employee. Distribute praise evenly and appropriately. While public praise is usually best, one-on-one praise can be just as fulfilling for an employee.
  5. Take Time to Care– I know we are all busy with a million things to do, but taking time to get to know your employees can go a long way. Simple things like remembering family member and pet name’s, let them know that you are listening and care.
  6. Provide Training– When employees show interest in moving up in their career, give them the opportunity to follow their boss or someone in the roll they wish to embody for a day. Help them learn something new. Let them know you care about their growth as an individual. Shadowing employees in different roles can help an employee understand all parts of an organization. Providing external development opportunities is also important. Don’t forget to link training and development planning to strategic goals.
  7. Lead By Example– Your habits and leadership will rub off on them. You should never dip below the bar you set, and expect your team to perform at. If you check out for a two and half hour lunch every Friday afternoon for a mani/pedi- don’t be surprised when others follow suit.

Try out one or two of these helpful suggestions, and see if you notice a boost in moral or team commitment. Save yourself the stress of being under-staffed, and on the hunt for a new team member. Keeping your team happy… is the key to keeping your team.

Posted in Featured Jobs, Management Advice |

How to Cultivate a Healthy Community



Creating a sense of community is key to cultivating happy residents. Even the most isolated resident cares about the sense of community on their property. Community translates to comfort and safety. Happy residents increase retention rates and create the strongest marketing tool you can get- word-of-mouth marketing. Here are some ideas that may help you create that sense of community:

  • Decorate- Decorate the office, and even the property for the holidays. Don’t just decorate for Christmas. Be festive, and decorate for ALL of the holidays! Celebrate a little bit of everything.
  • Bird Houses- Does your property have a lot of trees? Why not adorn them with unique bird houses from your local thrift store, and simple bird feeders. Make your property have a nice backyard feel.
  • Gardens- Create a community garden. Make a little section an herb garden for any one to use, and encourage residents to plant flowers, fruits and berries throughout the year.
  • Picnic Tables- Create areas that encourage residents to come out of their apartment homes and hangout!
  • Rock Painting- Create an area for residents to paint rocks for the property. Add encouraging sayings. Place them in the community garden, pool area, or lining community trails.
  • Our Kids Art- Who doesn’t like to be noticed for a job well done? Create a wall in the leasing office where residents can temporarily hang their children’s art. Children will be excited to see their work hanging proudly on the wall.
  • Create Bulletin Boards- where residents can post their different services. It’s always nice to have a babysitter in your community. Or, a dog walker! No washer and dryer connections? Maybe someone to wash and fold your laundry. Maybe someone onsite has their own spray tan business. You never know what kind of fun things your residents have to offer to the community!
  • Resident Hangout- Establish a resident hangout. Talk to local businesses, bars and restaurants. See if anyone can offer your residents a discount. When you find a business that can, do everything you can to promote that business in your community.
  • Teach Classes- Hold a monthly class onsite. Choose different things depending on the month or season. Encourage residents to get together to try new things. Maybe divide your class into groups and ask people to partner with a stranger. Class ideas: cooking class, yoga class, dance class, painting class, bead or jewelry making class, planting/ gardening class. Think outside the box! What kind of establishments might benefit from giving a free class to your community? Maybe the yoga studio down the street needs more members?
  • Private Cabanas? Take them down- or open them up! Encourage residents to interact, get to know each other. Not seclude themselves from their neighbors.
  • Garage Sale- This one needs some idea development, but why not pick a day once a quarter to do a community garage sale? Allow your residents to set-up tables and designated areas in the main parking lot. Advertise your garage sale ahead of time on places like and other garage sale apps. You can also encourage buyers to consider living onsite when it’s time for their next move!
  • Get Behind a Charity- Pick a charity and let your community know what you are supporting. People want to contribute to something good. Choose something like a local soup kitchen and plan a couple days a year for your community to get together and volunteer!

Those are just a few ideas. Take sometime to think it over. I’d bet you have a couple great ideas of your own! Make sure everyone on your team knows that it’s your goal as a community to make your property feel like home to all of your residents.

Posted in Career Advice, Management Advice |

How to Write a Raise Request Letter for Property Managers


Here is a step by step guide on how to write a raise request letter:

Paragraph #1: This paragraph should leave your employer wondering where you are going with this. It’s best if you can leave them hoping you aren’t going to quit. It’s a good frame of mind for them to be in while they read the rest of your letter!

Paragraph #2: Point out the ways you have gone above and beyond the duties of your job. Claim responsibility for the progress and down falls of your team. (This doesn’t mean stealing the credit of someone else’s work. Your message should come across as you accepting responsibility for your role as a leader).

Bullet Points: Highlight all of your major accomplishments since your last raise and review. Be specific. Use numbers and percentages when you can. Point out times when you have worked long hours to meet deadlines and accomplishments that show you’re a team player.

Paragraph #3: Inform your employer of your raise request and date you’d like for it to go into effect.  Do your research! Know the low, middle and high-end of salaries for your position. If you are currently making the low-end of the stick, make sure you bring this up in your letter. (i.e. “The industry standard for my position is $___, which is $___ lower than I’m currently making.”).

Paragraph #4: Let your employer know that you feel you have earned this raise. But, if for some reason he/she disagrees, request a path with specific goals to help you get where you want to be.

Paragraph #5: Always offer to discuss your raise in person.

Paragraph #6: Recognize the things that your employer does that for you that aren’t monetary gain, and express your appreciation. End with a compliment and a statement that expresses your devotion to your position and the company.

Remember, this letter needs to explain how you are an asset to the company. Never explain the reasons you “need” a raise. (i.e. “I have a baby on the way,” “My rent was raised $200/mo.”).  Just because you want a raise doesn’t mean you deserve one. You need to state your case and remind your boss how awesome you are!

If your boss refuses to increase your salary at all, it’s time to start looking for a new job.  You deserve to be in a position where you are valued and appreciated.

Best of Luck!

Loa McManus, CTS


Posted in Career Advice, Career Blog Categories |

Time to Go New-School on Your Job Search!


In a world full of change, it comes as no surprise that the world of job search is changing too. Having the right resume and approach are just as important as having the right skills. Let’s take a look at a few of the important changes the job search world has seen in the past few years.

1. Short Summaries of your job descriptions are a must! As a leasing professional, you likely did the same things at many of your leasing jobs. Property managers know the job description of a leasing consultant. Do not put your daily tasks on your resume. Highlight accomplishments, “Won Leasing Professional of the Year with ABC company in 2014,” or “Raised occupancy from 82% to 96% in two months.” The average property manager or recruiter spends 30 seconds or less reviewing a resumes. Make sure yours stands out!

2. Keep it Current. Make sure your resume is up-to-date. Even when you aren’t thinking of changing apartment jobs, you should be periodically updating your resume. Always be tracking and documenting your apartment industry accomplishments, awards and news.

3. Technology is Here to Stay! When you are updating your leasing resume, don’t forget about your LinkedIn profile. You should be logging on weekly to update your profile, add new connections and post relevant content. Being known in the apartment industry is invaluable to growing your leasing career.

4. Don’t Go Old-School! Back in the day, typing 60 wpm was a skill. An impress skill even. Today, typing isn’t a skill, it’s a necessity. Adding this to your resume is like adding “English” under the “Language” section of your resumes. It’s a given.

5. Social Proof is Imperative. Getting testimonials, endorsements and recommendations of your leasing and management abilities that appear on social networks is crucial. The best way to get LinkedIn recommendations is to give LinkedIn recommendations. First, do your research on, “How to Write a LinkedIn Recommendation.” Then start recommending your friends and colleagues.

6. Relationships Still Trump Resumes. Before you start worrying about fixing up your leasing resume, it’d be nice to have someone to show it off to. Unfortunately, you can’t do everything in your pj’s, from behind your computer screen. Focus on where you can meet key people in the apartment industry. “Why don’t you send me your resume?” is often an afterthought, following an engaging conversation. Look into attending apartment industry events like, the Austin Apartment Assoc., San Antonio Assoc., Houston Apartment Assoc., Texas Apartment Assoc. and the National Apartment Assoc.

7. Most Employers Only Care About Their Needs. What value can you bring to the management company/ property? Do your research on a company and property before you interview. Be thinking about how you can help the manager/ property and how soon they can expect to see results. Being able to solve a manager’s present problem is a sure- fire way to get to the top of their hiring list.

Now that you are caught up on current job search trends for the apartment industry, go out there and snag the leasing job of your dreams. If you are still having trouble finding the perfect fit, feel free to register with Hire Priority, and leave it to the experts! Apply today!

Loa McManus, CTS

Posted in Career Advice, Featured Jobs |