We have had success by call forwarding the inquiry lines to a cell phone and allowing the employee greater flexibility during the course of the day.
Our rental staff attend the site office for a designated time period six days a week. The daily duration is approximately four hours. In addition they carry a cellular phone which is on for a total of twelve hours per day.
This arrangement allows the Leasing team to take the call personally and develop a relationship/friendship with the prospect and queue up a mutually convenient time to meet and show. This time can be well outside the four hours that they are at the office. For example the office is open daily 2pm to 6pm and all other times by appointment scheduled to the prospect’s convenience.
It also allows the rental team to have more flexibility in their day, keeping a positive and appreciative perspective to their duties—resulting in higher traffic and a higher closing ratio. As a side benefit, employees are more likely to stay where they’ve developed more friendly relationships with their residents.