I have railed about commission based sales in the multifamily space for years.
It’s a worn out model. But people keep finding premise after premise to keep it alive and kicking. It’s broken
The article below clearly demonstrates that the model is broke:
That’s an “elephant in the room” that we need to talk about. Most salespeople only benefit from sales going up; but our leasing associates can sometimes feel like they’re being penalized for their own success. They lease well, so the pricing system raises rents which makes it harder to lease. This is not “normal” in most of the sales world, so we should be purposeful and address this very real situation with our leasing associates.
But to keep things alive and kicking; it goes on and on with suggestions about how to make leasing professionals feel okay about it. Here is the cold-hard truth, they feel penalized because the business model is different yet the compensation plan is the same. Let’s face it, money in the bank is the only thing that makes a sales person Phappyrrell [Read: Happy].
Drop leasing commissions – make them a thing of the past. Raise base wages to offset lost commissions (take a two-year trailing average of all commissions paid and tally an average increase – tweak where necessary) and move on.
Your looking to push the edge with leasing commissions Multifamily Maniac,
Follow up can be equated to the gold mine of all gold mines in property management. Ask any leasing consultant worth his or her salt and they would all tell you that following up yields them some percentage of additional sales that they would not have otherwise booked.
Two Saturdays ago I made an unscheduled trip to my local urgent care – yeah, pneumonia. Prescription – get more rest.
To the point – that was a Saturday; the following Monday afternoon I get a call from a strange number. I don’t answer and they leave a voicemail. Guess who; yes – a nurse from urgent care. Just checking in on me to see how I was feeling. Took all of 2 minutes to make that call and leave that message.
Two minutes that – god forbid I have to go back – insured that I will return to do business with them in the future. That is despite the fact that I don’t know anyone at the urgent care. Not enough to call them friend or otherwise.
It boils down to Care. Now one could argue that it’s superficial. Okay – but it is effective.
Take away – pick up the phone and call someone you do business with and see how they are doing. Just check on them with no mission in mind. Work on securing some loyalty down the line.
Your follow up on someone today multifamily maniac,
My current lease ends at the end of September, so I spent the last month doing the usual research: searching Craigslist, calling apartment management companies to inquire about their current availability and driving through the area where I want to live looking for For Rent signs.
The main issue with my search is that my criteria were very narrow: I was looking for a 2nd floor in a specific area with a small price range to work with. Because of this, there weren’t too many options, ultimately leading me to Red Brick Management, the management company that owns/manages a large chunk of the real estate in my neighborhood.
Being that I work in the apartment management industry and have rented more than a few apartments in my day, I have certain expectations about how I think the leasing process should run.
1. Friendly and Welcoming:
It’s not that they weren’t, it’s just the first time I can remember not being walked through an apartment with a member from the office, which I find to be somewhat unfriendly and impersonal. Given the choice, I’d prefer to be given a tour, not just an address and a set of keys.
2. Professional and courteous:
Instead of a tour through their available apartments, I got a set of keys, signed a waiver stating I would not damage anything in the apartment, that I would be responsible for locking the door behind me and that I would be back before they close. Shouldn’t I be getting the paycheck…I mean didn’t I do all the work?
I will say they were timely with my application process. In fact, they were very timely, running my application and approving me before I ever even submitted my income verification. On the other hand, on my “tour”, there were 3 or 4 maintenance repairs not yet completed with little post-it notes next to them that read: “This will be completed.” Since I already paid all my move-in fees, all I can do is hope that the maintenance will be as timely as the application process.
4. Smooth and Easy
From the first phone call or e-mail to the lease signing, the process should be 100% easy for the prospect. I think it is easy to fall short on this, as there are many steps to the leasing process and prospects have lives outside of leasing and have to fit within “normal office hours” when getting things done (unless the whole process can be done online). Red Brick is open on Saturday, which is convenient. They also allow credit card payments for application fees and deposits and their application is very simple, only taking a couple minutes. Overall, the application process went pretty smoothly and was very easy for me.
I think the takeaway here is ultimately quality customer service. In my case, there weren’t a lot of options, but we all know that’s not usually the case. How the prospects feel treated and how easy we make the process for them is usually what makes or breaks a lease.
If this had been your experience, would you have rented?
Common question from a regional manager to a property manager; “What is the reason they didn’t lease?” Maybe the better question is; “Why did they lease?” Take the people that did lease and find out what pulled their commitment trigger.
1. People want to look good. Is it that your address or your building one that will give them celebrity status?
2. Does it save them money?
3. Does it shave their commute time?
4. Does it help them worry less?
5. Is it comfortable?
6. Does it help them feel accepted or included?
Who out there asks, ‘why they did’ in lieu of ‘why they didn’t?’
What did you do with the information?
Your wondering why contributor,
Ran across a great post over at Brains on Fire recently that spoke to the necessity of companies being human. It’s well beyond the time of shedding fear. In their terms; “welcome to a brave new world.” Be it on your facebook pages, your blog, your web copy on the phone or in person; it’s paramount that you go for friend first and business transaction second. The hard part is letting your company hair down; in that context consider this.
In order to examine the role of self-disclosure in perceived credibility, 120 students between the ages of 18 and 23 were split into three groups. Each group followed the tweeting of a supposed professor. One group saw only scholarly tweets, one group saw only social tweets and the last group saw a mix of the two. Each “professor” included the same number of tweets and hyperlinks. Students were asked to rate the credibility of the professor they followed based on the tweets they observed.
It’s Time to Shine
Imagine for a moment; you meet a cool guy or gal at xyz function and decide that the two of you should get together again sometime. You agree to call in a couple days to see about a time and place to meet. When you call you let him/her know that you have appts stacked on top of appts but you can squeeze them in around six two months from Tuesday. Oh and, by the way, don’t forget to bring your credit card.
It’s a bit tongue in cheek but in the same respect it is how we treat the human beings that are reaching out to befriend us in our businesses. “Thank you for calling Hidden Treetop Village on Golden Pond Apartments; this is Suzy Trying to Hard to be Cheery Cardwell; how can I be of service to you today?” People see right through the lipstick.
Do we talk to friends like that?