Phone calls, emails, leasing tours, resident interactions … these are just a few of the things taking place in a leasing office on any given day. Leasing teams are the definition of walking, talking multitaskers – creating inefficiencies on the best days and organized chaos on the worst. With leasing quotas to reach and individual prospects/residents to manage, there’s often misalignment when it comes to big picture goals.
Leasing can create a high-pressure environment, and there’s always room for more structure, organization, and team collaboration.
Of all the many challenges arising in a leasing office environment, one of the most common questions we hear from multifamily portfolio managers is: “How can I empower my sales team to meet or exceed their goals on a regular basis?”
With the rental market showing some signs of softening in recent months, it’s more important than ever to maintain a leasing sales force that’s motivated to crush their goals regularly. Here are some ideas on how to empower your leasing professionals in 2017 — and beyond.
1. Educate to Motivate
Knowledge is power. Power your leasing teams with meaningful insight into your leasing team’s goals on a day-to-day basis — not just the dollars and cents of them, but the how and why behind them, too.
- How do their daily or weekly goals impact the community’s long-term goals
- Why focusing on leasing two-bedrooms, rather than one-bedrooms, will make a more immediate impact this week
In other words, what do these specific leasing goals mean – for the health of the business and for each individual leasing professional?
Helping your leasing professionals understand the duties and assigned tasks of other team members can empower them to be more than their job description requires. Offering a glimpse into what others in the office do — and how to perform those tasks if called upon to do so — can also groom promising employees and help them “level up” in the future, as they meet and exceed their goals and show themselves to be worthy of promotion.
Offering insights into your business’s goals, as well as shedding light on others’ functions, will make your sales team feel part of something bigger than themselves.
2. Foster a Team Environment
Although leasing professionals are working toward individual goals on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, there’s always more room to create an environment that invites collaboration, cooperation, and knowledge sharing among your sales team.
Starting team meetings by sharing good news and success stories is one way to develop this environment. Celebrating milestones and offering challenges and incentives that the entire team can tackle together is another.
Depending on the personalities and preferences of your employees, you may find that encouraging the buddy system or other teamwork scenarios helps boost accountability — and numbers — across the board.
3. Create Friendly Competition
Vince Lombardi once said, “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.”
Leasing individuals are often competitive by nature, so it follows that many teams thrive on a friendly competition.
Here are a few ideas to keep your sales team’s fighting spirits ignited:
- Post an office-wide sales leaderboard that updates on a daily/weekly basis
- Form a friendly competition between leasing agents – putting them against each other head-to-head on specific sales goals
- Create reward-based competitions for the leasing professional who’s hitting the phones the most consistently – or who’s set the most appointments for the week.
4. Offer Incentives That Make Sense for Your Team
A 2014 TinyPulse report on workplace engagement found that money actually isn’t the biggest motivator for many employees.
When more than 200,000 workers were asked, “What motivates you to excel and go the extra mile?” they answered that peer motivation, the intrinsic desire to do a good job, and feeling appreciated were bigger motivators than money. In fact, money and benefits barely ranked in the top 10 for employee motivation.
Understanding what motivates your sales team (and each individual) is key. So ask!
If monetary incentives are effective in your leasing office, consider leveraging the element of surprise.
Are there perks you haven’t offered before, such as bonuses for leasing certain types of apartments (longest vacant, hardest to lease based on location)?
Offering off-the-beaten-path incentives can keep leasing professionals on their toes — and at the top of their game.
5. Leverage Technology That Encourages Independence
Historically, it’s been tough to get a pulse on individual agents’ performance in real time. Previously, the only way to understand an individual employee’s performance was through weekly or monthly activity reporting in your CRM – or through time-consuming activities like shadowing and secret shopper reports.
Shadowing and shopper reports still have an important place in providing detailed anecdotal insights into individual performance, but today, solutions exist to offer real-time reporting. These are fantastic for management with multiple properties, for example, because they can have access to by-the-minute numbers without being on site.
The challenge is few lead management platforms actually offer real-time insights, including call scoring, that help management reward success, benchmark team performance, and spot and address one-time issues before they become systemic or widespread.
How Will You Empower Your Sales Team in 2017?
Unfortunately, there’s no button to push that will magically help your sales team hit all your leasing goals in the New Year.
Find and utilize a lead management solution can optimize your team of leasing professionals so they’re spending time with qualified prospects and residents, not wrestling with data input and fielding unqualified leads. Features like real-time call scoring allow your sales team to focus on customer interaction rather than call documentation and other time-consuming CRM data input.
Considering that customer experience is key in keeping tenants on year after year, it pays to empower your sales force at all levels — and encourage a personal touch whenever possible.
Reprinted with permission of Multifamily Insiders. Visit www.multlifamilyinsiders.com.