Selling apartments are not just about telling the prospective tenant about the features and benefits to living in your community, you are also selling yourself. Prospects will look on average at six communities before making the decision to lease an apartment. The market is competitive and many communities offer similar styles and concepts for around the same price. Forget specials, your competition is running an even greater special. Only you can stand out through it all.
I started in the apartment industry ten years ago as a leasing agent. Before that I worked in a lab and before that in research and development. Those prior jobs were lonely, working in a lab, and it provided very little contact with people. I was bored with the work I was doing and had just finished my degree in business management when I saw an advertisement in the newspaper. The classified was for a leasing agent at the very same apartment community I was living in. The job sounded ideal since it was really close to home and it would give me a change to meet my neighbors. I had lived in Fort Wayne for about six months and really hadn’t made any friends. I have social anxiety that makes it difficult for me to reach out and met new people. I was shy, and still shy today, but have since learned how to appear confident when meeting potential renters.
Tip one: Quite being self conscious. It’s easier said than done. The thing to remember is most people are focused on themselves. They often times will not notice even if your fly is down or your bra strap is showing. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put forth the effort to look your best every morning before work and take care of personal hygiene. I have a fairly large colorless mole right where my nose meets my face. I have always wanted to have it removed. I worried that people were staring at it when I talked, so I wouldn’t talk. I didn’t want to draw any attention to myself. Then one day I realized that lots of people have similar points of interest on their bodies. I realized that people were not going to stare at my mole, and if they did it wouldn’t be for long. The mole didn’t change who I was as a person.
Tip Two: Let them see your smile. That’s right a simple smile. Make sure it reaches your eyes and that you smile often. A smile will give you the appearance of being friendly and approachable. Every prospect has their own unique situation that has brought them to your community today. Some of them may be going through a divorce or just lost a spouse and has to downsize, they could be going through something painful and could use a friendly face. You could be that friendly face by just exercising your facial muscles.
Tip Three: Ask questions. People like to take about themselves. There is nothing wrong with it; it is what we know best. By asking the prospect questions you are taking the focus off of yourself and at the same time getting to know your prospective tenant.
Tip Four: Have fun. No other job allows you to meet new people every day and help them find their new home. You stand the chance of making some wonderful new tenants as well as friends. I have made some of my best friends from leasing apartments that I would have never otherwise met.
Overcoming shyness is imperative if you want to be a successful leasing agent. Unfortunately, a shy leasing agent is normally the first to be replaced if the properties occupancy is dipping. You either fake the confidence or you may find yourself looking for a new job.