One of the most important skills that a leasing professional can have is the ability to connect with people. Although leasing presentations can be impressive and may meet or exceed the required expectations of the management company as reflected on a mystery shop evaluation, it is a rare and extraordinary experience when you come across a leasing professional who actually connects with you.
Who are these awe-inspiring leasing professionals who provide the ultimate in customer experience?
A few characteristics of a 5-star leasing consultant:
- They go beyond the basic questions listed on the guest card and engage their customer in conversation by asking things such as, “What do you do for work?” These agents show real interest in what their customer has to say and they continue to ask questions that build on their answers, so that the customer can reveal more about who they are and what appeals to them.
- These 5-star performers understand that their customer isn’t looking for a sales pitch, but rather someone who can offer a solution as they look to find their new home. They might say things like, “Tell me something about your current apartment that you don’t like and wish you could have.” Then they find creative ways to achieve those desires.
- These agents convey sincerity. When they express interest in what their customer does for fun, they listen carefully to what the customer is saying. For example, if the customer enjoys hiking and the outdoors, the agent is fully prepared to respond with information about local recreation areas that would be conducive with their lifestyle. The agent will reiterate this information and talk more about it if the customer expresses initial interest.
- These leasing consultants don’t hesitate to follow-up with their customers, which serves as a reminder to the customer of how important they are! Many will continue to follow-up until their customer has decided to move elsewhere and seem sincerely disappointed when they learn the customer won’t be joining their community.
The two common threads for most 5-star customer experiences are that the leasing professional listens more and talks less and that they tailor their presentation to fit the needs and desires of the customer.
Because most leasing professionals are trained to present their community in a certain way, there is a tendency for them to come across as scripted. The customer who has visited multiple communities with similar experiences will take note of that rare leasing consultant who seems to go off script and engages them in conversation.
The customer knows when they are connecting with someone because they are suddenly put at ease in a situation which is oftentimes stressful and intimidating. These leasing professionals who know how to connect with their customers by finding out what their needs are and by carefully presenting them with solutions are the most successful at what they do because they care about their customer’s needs and they make them feel important.
These leasing professionals have the ability to naturally build a level of trust which puts their customer at ease and creates a genuinely exceptional customer experience. Ultimately the customer will see more than just the apartment and the community amenities – they will discover a helpful friend in a time of need, and they will find that their decision to lease has quite a bit to do with the service and care that they have received.
When friends or colleagues come to you for recommendations about where to look for apartments, don’t be surprised when the first place that comes to mind just happens to be the community with the 5-star leasing professional. Developed connections almost always become new leases – or at the very least, lasting impressions.