role-playing office

Think back to the last time you shopped an apartment community. At the end of your tour, did the leasing agent try to close the sale or merely give you an application and let you walk out the door? I’m willing to bet it was the latter. There may be a few different factors that led to the lackluster closing, but surely one of the most damaging is the leasing agent’s lack of training.

If your company has utilized our CLASS Training services it is very evident from the start that we focus heavily on role-playing. Everything from phone calls, to the greeting, product demonstrations, closing, and follow-up are all played out at the CLASS home office during training. You cannot expect to merely hire a leasing agent, sit them at a desk, and assume your occupancy will skyrocket.  Training is crucial and role-playing different scenarios gives your team the confidence to close prospects– and more confidence equals more sales.

Here are some tips for using role-play successfully in training:

  1. Act out everything: At CLASS, we don’t just role-play phone calls and closing. We enact the in person greeting and follow-up phone calls, too. These things are just as important and your team needs a framework for what to say in these situations. Don’t forget to cover the basics!
  2. Don’t make it easy: As a trainer myself, I know role-playing is tough and uncomfortable for most people. However, it is important that we don’t stop challenging our employees because that’s how they improve. Instead of acting out the “perfect” phone call with an extremely pleasant prospect, give them the real world experience of a prospect who is agitated and short  with their responses. Then give them the tools to deal with the situation.
  3. Get a group together: Role-playing one-on-one can be a bit intimidating. We find that role-playing with 2-3 leasing agents at a time is the most beneficial. Not only does it take the pressure off of  any individual agent, but it also allows them to learn phrases and tips from one another.
  4. Teach them how to be self-critical: After each turn ask your agent two questions. First, “what did you do well?” Your leasing agents need to be able to pinpoint what they do well so they can gain self-confidence and continue to grow. As the trainer, you should also have a list of things your employee did well, big or small. The next question to ask is “what can we improve for next time?” Recognizing weaknesses is just as important as knowing strengths. Have the leasing agent pick a couple things to focus on and talk these things through together before role-playing again. It’s all about repetition!