7 Customer Services Tips for Leasing Professionals
Throughout my career in customer service, I have heard many quotes that helped shape my style of customer service. One that particularly resonated with me is from Benjamin Franklin:
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
― Benjamin Franklin
In essence, being successful at customer service and having success in leasing should be simple. We are given many tools when brought on as new employees, including extensive training, sales strategy information, standards of operations documentation, and more. However, without proper preparation, these are only tools. Success is achieved by continually expanding our knowledge and laying the groundwork for the days ahead.
What do I mean by that?
To ensure success in these areas, taking ownership of your property is a must. We, as property management professionals, should have complete knowledge of company standards, owner requirements, and all necessary property information. This will ensure that we are meeting all expectations put forth and that we’re providing a high-quality customer experience. With that being said, we also have to understand how to judge situations and speak to people with an honest understanding of their needs.
Here are the steps we can take to make this happen:
First and foremost, we need to make sure that we are always communicating with our team. Everyone should be aware of property needs, which will ultimately ensure cleanliness and adequate preparation for tours. Secondly, we need to communicate effectively with prospective residents by utilizing all tools at our disposal. Email is amazing, , however, the phone can create the beginnings of a more personable and permanent relationship. Knowing that you and your team are prepared will make for a customer service experience that consistently outshines your competitors.
- Know your property
We must frequently walk our leasing routes, property, and vacant units. Our property’s cleanliness and aesthetics are a direct reflection of our management. We have to show that we care about our community, and are willing to consistently maintain the highest possible standards. As previously mentioned, this also helps create a sense of ownership for your team and the potential residents. Showing that everyone has an important role to play is a key factor when establishing a sense of community at a property!
- Know your competition
All communities are different, however, they also all have similar underlying qualities. We need to know what separates us from the competition, and how to effectively communicate that we are the right fit for the prospective resident... What is your main sell? Is it the location, the amenities, or maybe even your staff? Find, and showcase, the one thing that separates you from the rest.
- Respect and the Golden Rule
Everyone in customer service should understand that all individuals deserve to be respected and appreciated. When touring, I do my absolute best to ensure that I mind my manners and that I treat everyone as I want to be treated. This creates mutual respect that can foster a relationship built on trust. This will not only help to close a lease but will also help ensure that your residents are comfortable talking with you about any problems or concerns they may have. In turn, creating the opportunity to have satisfied, long-term residents.
- Empathy and relatability
I make a point to get to know all prospective residents. I want to show that I am not just the person that leased them. Ask intentional questions so that you are able to break down barriers and show that you understand what they may be going through in their day-to-day life. Again - seek to create a connection that goes past the business aspect of the position.
- Be excited
We are fortunate to have the opportunity to work in an industry that provides people so much joy. We are in the business of creating a home that could foster so many memories; the first apartment of their very own, the place where they bring home a new baby, the place where they got engaged. For me, this is one of the best parts of the career, and it makes me excited for every new prospective client!
- Preparation is key
With preparation comes success. I bring this back to the forefront because we can ensure victory by being ready for the day. This may include getting a great night's sleep or making sure your phone is charged. By removing potential stressors, we can reduce tension, and ensure that you are comfortable and ready to be the best you. This will be apparent in your conversations and interactions with your team, residents, and prospects.
By implementing some of these ideas, we can create opportunities for success, not only in customer service/leasing but also in life. Happiness is infectious, and by creating a positive environment within your community, you will equip others to achieve success in all avenues.
This article was written by Chris Gaffney from Greystar, as a part of the XCEL Committee's goal to provide regular, educational, posts for TAA's blog.