Employee Retention—Making Sure You Keep Your Super Stars
Good quality employees are hard to come by in any industry, but in the multifamily housing industry, finding super star leasing consultants poses an even greater challenge.
Not only does a leasing consultant have to be outgoing, friendly, and personable, but he/she also has to be organized, have attention to detail, be punctual, polite, and phenomenal at selling their community. 5-Star Leasing Consultants – in other words – are NOT a dime a dozen.
When a company is fortunate enough to add a super star leasing consultant to their team, they need to make sure they keep that stellar employee for many years to come! With new communities popping up all over town and a plethora of management companies they can choose to work for, you need to make sure that YOUR company stands out in order to retain the best leasing staff.
One of the largest unknown costs to a company is employee turnover. The Center for American Progress estimated in 2012 that it costs on average $4,500 – $10,000 to replace an employee once recruiting, interviewing, hiring, training, and reduced productivity were all considered.
So how does a company go about retaining their Super Star leasing consultants?
Here are 5 ways to keep your 5-star leasing consultant:
1. Work/Life Balance
This probably isn’t a shocking solution, but it’s one of the most common reasons why a leasing consultant decides to move to a new company. Employees want to feel valued, valuable, and an asset to their company. When your super star starts feeling over-worked, under-appreciated, and replaceable that’s typically when their eyes (and their resume) start to wander elsewhere. Encourage work/life balance and in turn, you will have higher productivity and a happier super star leasing consultant.
2. Growth Potential
Most super star consultants don’t actually want to be leasing consultants forever. Sure they love the rush of meeting new people and helping prospects find their new home, but they also want to move forward with their career. Have a clear and concise plan in place for all employees’ growth. Leasing Consultant to Assistant Manager to Property Manager to Regional Manager, and so on. When a leasing consultant knows there is room for growth within their company they will work harder to reach and fulfill their personal goals working for you instead of for the competition.
3. Reward Theory
These leasing super stars work best when challenges and offered incentives. Give a super star a challenge and they will instantly feel a sense of ownership and pride. Leasing bonuses and incentives do wonders to motivate the team. Create a little bit of healthy competition amongst your team members. Maybe the incentive is a gift card to a local eatery or maybe it’s an extra bonus in addition to their regular leasing commission. Whatever it is should show your 5-star leasing consultants that they are the company’s greatest asset.
4. Rank Your Super Stars
It is important to super star leasing consultants that they have a tangible method to track how well they are doing at their job. Perhaps you can institute a company-wide or regional list that comes out monthly with leasing consultant rankings based on new leases. Super stars want to be in 1st place and a ranking method for your sales team certainly can’t hurt your sales across the board.
5. Conduct Exit Interviews
Sometimes, regardless of the work/life balance, growth potential, contests, incentives, and rankings, super star leasing consultants decide to move on to a different management company, or even a different career path all together. Don’t let them go without an exit interview! Bring the 5-star leasing consultant to a neutral location with a neutral interviewer to get to the root of their decision. Maybe there’s a resolution and you can end up keeping your super star, but if not you’ll likely gain clear insight into how to hold onto your remaining super star leasing consultants… or ideas for hiring a new one.
Super stars deserve to be treated as such, and remember, leasing consultants truly are your greatest asset to your leasing efforts. They are on the front line, eager to meet and greet each new prospect, ready to help disgruntled residents, and happy to sell your community for you. Retaining your super stars will not only save you money in the long run, it will also help you make money by keeping occupancy high and current residents happy.