5 Keys to Unlock Effective Leasing Conversations


Are your leasing professionals drowning potential residents with facts, figures, and product information? So much so that your customers feel like they need to carry a can of “leasing professional repellent”? Then you want to learn these five keys to unlock effective leasing conversations.

Pretty much anyone can memorize sales techniques and strategies, and if you focus on doing only that, then you’ll quickly get lost in the crowd. There are a lot of leasing professionals out there doing the same thing—dancing together to the same music: “check off the list and close the sale”.

Then there are the “leasing superstars”—the ones who stand out from the crowd because they are actually interested in the well-being of their customer and the kind of customer experience they are providing. These leasing professionals are authentic, transparent, and unique. They use these 5 keys to unlock effective leasing conversations rather than just ‘presenting’ to the customer.

Today’s customer wants to engage with someone who is genuinely interested in them — a person they can trust and have a real conversation with. As I shared in a previous blog post, leasing conversations are real, memorable, and simply much more interesting and effective than leasing presentations.

There are leasing professionals who take the time to get to know you, to provide information so interesting and valuable that you would be willing to pay for the conversation itself. Then there are others who make you feel as though you have just been robbed of an hour of your life.

Too many fall into one more of the following sales traps:

  • They are unprepared, showing little confidence.
  • They talk too much about the product/community and forget about the customer.
  • They talk too little and the customer controls the conversation.
  • They ask too many questions (checking through their list), making the customer feel like they are being interrogated at a police station.
  • They are over eager and excited, leaving the customer wondering if they are desperate or consuming alcohol during business hours.
  • They don’t know their product well enough (or the competition) to show value.

5 Keys to Unlock Effective Leasing Conversations

Great leasing conversations don’t have to be rehearsed, difficult, magical, or over-the-top—they just have to be genuine. Here are 5 keys to unlock effective leasing conversations.

1. Plan to Succeed:

Set the table for success by going into each leasing conversation with a plan.

  • Approach the conversation with confidence, by being well prepared and planning to succeed.
  • Stay organized and do plenty of research and preparation beforehand. The more you know about your product and the wants and needs of your prospective resident before your appointment, the better.
  • Sometimes the only difference between a good Leasing Professional and a GREAT Leasing Professional are the steps they take “before” the customer arrives.

2. Start a Conversation:

Potential residents are people, and people lease from people they like and trust. Trust begins with the initial rapport that you develop with each potential resident. Every conversation needs a certain amount of rapport just to get a conversation started. As the customer begins to feel that you indeed are genuine, competent and professional, they begin to let you into their world—they begin to trust you.

  • Remember the customer’s name and use it in conversation.
  • Get to know your customer—before, during, and after.
  • Listen to them and make them feel important.

3. Uncover Needs:

Once you have started a genuine conversation it becomes a natural step to uncover your customer’s needs.

  • Uncover their needs by asking qualifying questions in a conversational manner. Then go beyond the qualifying questions and uncover their current and future aspirations and goals as they pertain to their home desires.
  • This process requires give and take. Engage them in the conversation so you can fully understand their situation.
  • Show them how you can help them achieve their goals.

4. Present Solutions:

Take the needs you have uncovered together and communicate recommendations based on your expertise to help them see how you can help. Help them visualize your product and service as the solution (if it truly is the solution) and build excitement around it.

  • Balance how much you talk and how much you listen.
  • Resist the urge to “laundry list”—listing all the products and services you have available. Instead, offer only those that connect with their wants, needs and desires.
  • Help them see the value. You can do everything else right, but if the potential resident doesn’t see the value of your product and services (and you’ve got to be very clear with what that value is) they will not lease.

5. Paint a Picture of the New Reality:

You are the prospective resident’s new trusted advisor. What will their new “home life” look like? How will it be better? How will it feel? Summarize in a conversational manner everything that you have covered during your time together.

“In today’s world, people are looking to be inspired, encouraged, taught, and heard. It’s no longer about simply selling. It’s about becoming a trusted advisor. You’re now learning to influence. And that, my friends, is where you begin to make the biggest impact and attract dedicated, highly committed, highly invested clients and contributors.”

– Lisa Sasevich, “The Queen of Sales Conversations”

Engage potential residents in genuine conversations, uncover their needs, and position your company as the place for solutions to those problems. Leasing conversations that focus on this approach will become more effective, enjoyable and profitable.

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Maria Lawson