Anyone Can Lease Apartments
If you can read this, you can lease. If you have the desire to, you can lease. If you learn, practice and apply the necessary skills, you can lease! Leasing is just like riding a bike, playing tennis, and swimming, using a computer or any other skill that can be acquired. You can learn the skills necessary to be a successful leasing professional, and I promise that it isn’t even as difficult as it might appear!
Succeed with Confidence
When you rode a bicycle for the first time, you might have been afraid of falling and scraping your knees on the sidewalk. When you entered the swimming pool for the first time, you might have been afraid of going under. When you took your first tennis lesson, you may have become frustrated because it wasn’t as easy as it looked. The first time you sat in front of a computer you may have been afraid that you were really going to mess something up or make some important bit of information disappear forever. Once you learned, practiced and applied the new skills that each of these pursuits required, you found out that they weren’t as difficult as they appeared at first! You learned that if you fell off your bicycle, you didn’t break into pieces. After a couple of gulps of pool water, you learned that if you relaxed a little, you could float and then actually swim! The same will hold true in Relationship leasing. You’ll find that even if everything goes completely wrong on some of your early attempts, you can pick yourself up and go on to make a great leasing presentation with the very next future resident!
Practice Makes Perfect
In learning to ride a bicycle, swim, play tennis, or use a computer, you probably developed the basic skills fairly quickly, and with a little practice, then became quite comfortable with the new activity. The same will hold true with relationship leasing. If you learn proven techniques, practice and apply, you’ll become very comfortable leasing in no time at all!
Of course, it’s also necessary to put those acquired skills into action with the right attitude. I’ve found that the perception of leasing as a “sales” business and the negative stereotypes attached to sales as a profession can make it difficult for leasing professionals to place themselves in a positive and confident mindset. The word sales makes many of us think of fast-talking used car sales people or some guy on TV selling snake oil, using every trick in the book to talk people into buying a car or gadget that they don’t really want at a price they can’t afford! In fact, sales has gained a pretty bum reputation over the years – great news for comedians and movie producers, but not so great for a sales professional’s self-image. Fortunately, there is absolutely no need to use fast talk and gimmicks to be successful in leasing apartments.
This series of articles is going to show you how to use the opposite approach — integrity, honesty, and an attitude that conveys a willingness to help the future resident — to show you not only how you can increase your closing ratio, but also how powerful this leasing strategy truly is. I’m not suggesting that you merely pretend to help the future resident or to be their best friend. I’m proposing that if you simply treat the future resident just the way you would want a salesperson to treat you if you were looking for an apartment, you’ll realize an immediate increase in your closing ratio, and will be well on the way to achieving your personal best!
The golden rule is only one important ingredient in leasing success, but the others are no more complicated. In this book you are going to learn that Relationship Leasing is the easiest way to succeed at increasing your closing ratio. You will learn how the Resident and the Future Resident’s needs and wants can actually help guide you through the leasing process. In addition you will learn how to work with the future resident as the most valuable key to closing the lease, instead of against the future resident as an opponent who must be “sold”.
I can just hear you thinking to yourself right now, “If this relationship leasing technique is so great then why aren’t more leasing professionals using it?” The answer is very simple: most of us don’t begin our careers that way, and the skills and philosophies that we absorb earliest in our training, when we are most impressionable, are those that tend to follow us for the remainder of our careers. Most of us begin our leasing careers focused on ourselves and our own performance – doing all we can to just get that lease! Instead of focusing on the needs of the future resident, you probably spent the first several months of your leasing career thinking I need to get all the information on this guest card or my supervisor is going to get mad at me. Can I get them to visit the community? Will they like what I show them? Can I convince them to lease? Can I even do this at all?
Once this initial fear has passed, new leasing professionals then tend to focus on the apartments, community and services – still largely missing the needs of the future resident. “Let me tell you about our great community.” “Our service is better than the competitions.” “ We have ______ & _______ & ________ and our competitors don’t.” The truth is, our future residents don’t care if we need to fill out guest cards or what you perceive to be your competitors’ shortcomings. They are much more interested in finding out if your community offers what they’re looking for in a new home, including the lifestyle that they expect or aspire to.
Don’t just think about the features and benefits of your community. Put yourself right in the resident’s shoes. What living solution can you really provide to them? What are your apartments and community going to do to make their apartment living experience better? And also, why should they even listen to you? In the remaining articles you will learn how to totally focus on the future resident; how to adopt the future resident’s perspective; how to build the future resident’s trust; how to get the future resident to not just be willing to listen to you, but to want to listen to you, and even to guide you right through the entire leasing process. We will also review each component of the leasing process in great detail and show you how you can put the relationship leasing approach to work. This article has been provided to give you a quick overview of the entire process. We’ll begin by addressing the basic steps involved in presenting your community to future residents. We’ll continue with a list of questions that we intend to answer along the way, with the ultimate goal of helping you to become the very best relationship leasing professional you can possibly be!