5 reasons You Shouldn’t be “Spooked” to Hire A Leasing Agent from Outside the Apartment Industry
We now find ourselves in October of one of the most monumental years in our time and it’s safe to say that standards across the apartment industry have changed. Our industry has not escaped the upheaval the pandemic has caused, especially when it comes to hiring.
The apartment industry has not slowed down since the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 and because of this there is a high demand for leasing agents, especially ones that can sell over the phone or video chat.
The good news is that there are plenty of excellent candidates in the hiring pool, although they may not come from a traditional leasing background. Below we go into detail of why you shouldn’t be “spooked” this October from hiring a leasing agent that comes from another professional industry.
1. Look for a Background in Phone Sales
Many sales for apartment homes are being conducted via phone calls and video chat with virtual walkthroughs. Because of this, a candidate that is used to selling a high-priced item over the phone would be an ideal addition to a leasing team. Look for candidates that come from a background of equipment sales, or even car sales, that were conducted via phone call follow ups. Basically any sales experience where the majority of the sale process was conducted virtually would be acceptable.
2. Seek out Experience with Video Chat for Meetings or Sales Calls
While high-priced sales experience is great, don’t ignore candidates that may have extensive experience of conducting meetings with fellow employees or clients via video chat and conference calls. Closing the sale in a virtual experience is more about establishing credibility and connection with the prospective tenant, which is a skill that is learned from extensive time communicating with people in a virtual manner.
3. Customer Service Job History can be Ideal
The customer service industry is a tough one to work in. You have to be extremely flexible with handling people at their worst times, while usually doing so over the phone or virtual chat. Being a successful customer service agent means you can keep cool under pressure, have the stamina to work long hours in a repetitive environment, and be able to troubleshoot during the customer interactions. All of these skills would equate to a great leasing agent that is selling apartment homes over the phone.
4. Check out the TimeShare Industry
An industry that is often ignored when looking for candidates to sell high-priced items over the phone or video chat is the timeshare industry. This is a huge industry that has taken a massive hit because of the reduction of tourism. Many successful timeshare agents that are used to closing big deals on high-priced vacation rentals are finding themselves on the hunt for their next opportunity. These candidates not only have experience selling rentals via virtual walkthroughs, but they also have extensive experience selling clients over the phone.
5. Consider the Non-Profit Employee
Lastly we want to mention the non-profit employee. This may not be a sector you would usually consider when you are thinking of sales, however a big part of working in the nonprofit industry is raising money for their company. Many employees spend the majority of their time on the phone with prospective donors, trying to secure funds for their cause. Being comfortable with asking for money from people over the phone is an important key in virtual sales and a component that many people are not comfortable with.
We hope you find success with seeking leasing agents from outside of the apartment industry, there certainly are many different sectors that you can look to for your ideal candidate. As we close out this strange year we can be sure that some things, such as virtual selling, aren’t going to disappear once we have a vaccine. Be prepared for the new normal!