We regularly interview asset managers and their supporting property management teams to stay on top of the evolving needs professionals have in managing their portfolios and agents. This week we interviewed Justin, an apartment manager with more than 12 years of multi-million dollar asset and community management experience.
Justin started as a leasing agent and worked his way up to multifamily, with six years of experience managing student communities. He currently works with a property company that manages over 30,000 units. We asked Justin how he manages leasing agents and about the metrics and reporting his company uses.
What's the data that matters?
ResiDesk:What does a typical Monday morning look like for you?
Justin: I start with a quick check-in with maintenance to ensure there are no outstanding emergencies from the weekend. I also check for any urgent resident messages. From there, I shoot off an email to the associate team recapping the previous week, highlighting our current leasing goals, following up on outstanding tasks, covering general financials, and identifying where our focus should be in the new week.
ResiDesk:What does your weekly reporting cover, and how do you use the data?
Justin: Typically, weekly reporting is a collection of reports compiled from current occupancy, highlighting projected occupancy 8-week's out, recapping our leasing goals and actions for the week, and listing any maintenance or renovation issues. I also cover financials, where I look at unit delinquencies and unexpected maintenance expenses.
I mainly use the reports to focus on how the leasing team handles communication. When multiple prospect emails result in only a handful of shows, I help them identify potential issues, such as: Was there enough personalization in the emails? Were the prospects' questions really being answered?
"I use [data] to focus on how [my team] handles communication...[so I can] help [my team] identify potential issues"
I also try to motivate the associates where concerns may be high due to being short on application or administrative fees or down on security deposits for the week.
ResiDesk:What data do you look at?
Justin: We look for the weekly number of leads, tours, and applications submitted. When we identify a significant gap in the number of tours vs. the number of inquiries, we look into the correspondence. What kind of follow up was taken? How quickly was the follow up taken?
"It's essential to know the details when a lead is lost, not just the last action."
It's essential to know the details when a lead is lost, not just the last action. What activity overall took place? What emailing or calling occurred? Having context into how much work was involved helps when coaching leasing associates.
ResiDesk:How often do you meet with your manager?
Justin: I meet with my regional manager about once a month, depending on occupancy and financials. My regional manager's support is primarily giving me the principles and foundations of coaching and managing associate teams. Although we are allowed leeway into managing our teams in our own styles, our regional manager ensures we are doing so effectively.
How do you coach your agents?
ResiDesk:How do you coach your leasing associates?
Justin: Our leasing associates are our most significant investment. Part of the coaching process is helping them understand the context of things that happen. We encourage them to ask the right questions and figure out resolutions on how they can do things differently going forward.
Reading associates' correspondence with prospects is very useful. I can review things like:
"How quickly are leads being responded to? What type of vernacular or grammar is being used? Is the general salesmanship good?"
I also address texting communications. Although leads may use common abbreviations and emojis in texts, I work with associates to help them understand there is a balance to strike in maintaining professionalism vs. relating to the person they are talking to.
"Establishing how associates carry out the leasing process is smart coaching."
Finally I follow up with leads that haven't been responded to, discussing with associates why leads were missed or discovering what missteps were taken to avoid similar situations in the future. For example, where calling and leaving a message for a lead did not work, I encourage the associate to try texting.
I make sure all avenues of correspondence are covered and conducted a sufficient number of times. Only then can we assume a lead is not interested, the price point is off, they are postponing their move, or they are simply shopping around. Establishing how associates carry out the leasing process is smart coaching.
What we learned from Justin is that while coaching your staff is hard work, it's necessary to run your portfolio at peak performance.
That's why we built ResiDesk. With our software, clients can supercharge their team in 10% of the time. ResiDesk turns tenant chatter into actionable insights management teams can pinpoint to prevent turnover and maximize lease conversion rates. Reach out to learn more!