I was just recently in Dallas for a start-up at a property and spent the latter part of the afternoon shopping a couple of apartment communities. For the sake of this blog and confidentiality, I will call the properties “property X” and “property Y.”
Property X was a very luxurious property that had numerous amenities and was located in an up and coming part of the city. The
surrounding area is a little rougher around the edges, but there is a great deal of construction being done to bring higher end shopping to the area to provide a hopeful facelift to the community. The leasing agent was very insightful about the property, but went out of their way to provide me with all of the negatives about the property and the area. I found this to be slightly awkward, because I had not even broached the topic about any concerns or objections I may have had. The tour was decent due in part to how nice the property itself and the interior of the apartments were, but there was no urgency at the closing to persuade me to lease an actual apartment. My overall experience at Property X was what I would typically expect at an everyday apartment community in any city.
Property Y was a much more unpleasureable experience than my time at Property X was. First off, Property Y was hands down the nicest community I have ever seen before. This property had all of the bells and whistles that you could ask for in a community and was the epitome of the word “luxury.” The clubhouse was nothing short of a mansion and had me sold on the community the second I walked through the doors. About the same time I walked through the doors is also the last time that I was sold on this property, because it was all downhill from that point forward due in full part to the leasing agent I was “helped” by. I could probably write multiple pages about my experience with this individual, but I will briefly summarize things that stood out: I was not greeted by this person when I walked through the door; the individual neither introduced themselves, nor did they even get up from their desk; I was given the prices and specials for every floor plan, before I was even asked what I was looking for; the individual gathered my name and phone number, but did not ask me anything about what I wanted; this person was working at the Taj Mahal of apartment communities, but did not have one bit of excitement about working at this property; I asked about viewing an apartment and was instead shown a 3D model of what an apartment typically looks like; I had to ask again to see an actual apartment and was basically given a sigh and rushed through a mediocre tour of all of the amazing amenities this community offered; I showed the model apartment to myself with no details pointed out by the leasing agent about this luxurious apartment; at the end of the tour, I was given a business card and told to call if I decided I wanted to get an apartment. From these details, it should come as no surprise that the property is about half-full, because if I was in fact a prospect, I probably would not have leased at this community solely due to my experience with the leasing agent.
My point in analyzing both of these experiences is to show how big of a role a leasing agent can play in the success of an apartment community. More so with Property Y, this individual is working at an amazing community that will absolutely sell itself, but if what I experienced is how all of their tours are given, this person is probably single-handedly dampering the property’s possibility of success. Having pride in what an individual is selling as a leasing professional is one of the most important things to display to a potential resident. The leasing agent is a representation of the property and if a bad vibe is felt by a prospect, much as I did with Property Y, then people are naturally not going to want to live at that community. With that being said think about this everytime you are showing an apartment to a prospect and strive to have a aura of positivity and pride about your community. It will make a huge impact on the success of the community.