What Makes Leasing Professionals Tick – and What Ticks them Off?

prevent high leasing employee turnover

Tune In to these Four Things to Prevent High Leasing Employee Turnover

Have you ever had a job where you dreaded going to work every day? Where you spent time during your workday looking at job boards, or networking undercover in hopes of escaping the prison you call your job? Could this describe the work situation of your leasing professionals? As scary as the thought is, it’s possible.

If you have great leasing professionals, you want to keep them. So, it’s important to know what makes them tick – and what ticks them off. Let’s examine cultural fit, leadership, training, and compensation, and the role each plays in retaining your leasing team members.

Culture Fit or Miss

It is important to ensure you are matching the candidate to the company culture in the hiring and onboarding process. Do this by asking key questions that will make these similarities or differences stand out. For example, an individual who needs a more flexible schedule because they have personal obligations may not be a good cultural fit in an environment of rigid work hour coverage. Or, if your company has a collaborative way of solving issues, implementing policy, or approaching customer service, someone who likes to work solo may not be successful in your organization.

Here are a few of my favorite example interview questions, courtesy of The Balance Careers:

  • What are the characteristics exhibited by the best boss you have ever had — or wish that you have had?
  • Describe the management style that will bring forth your best work and efforts.
  • Provide an example of a time when you went out of your way and jumped through hoops to delight a customer.

Your job candidate’s responses to these questions will reveal much about how well they will fit into the work culture at your organization.

Mentor or Maniac

I have heard leasing professionals complain about their leadership team and the lack of hands-on participation from their supervisor. Or, what about the maniac who has their own plan – they just haven’t shared it with anyone else…and yet, they get a little crazy when the goals are not met. How can any leasing professional feel successful or rewarded in such unreasonable work environment?

In comparison, the good leader creates an environment where the leasing professional can flourish. The good supervisor will:

  • Provide continuous feedback on performance and expectations.
  • Be specific when setting goals and timelines to achieve.
  • Recognize and reward accomplishments.
  • Mentor the leasing professional as a valued part of the team.
  • Manage the desired outcomes with the employee.
  • Roll up their sleeves and walk it like they talk it. They will answer the phone, follow up on leads, tour apartment homes, and do whatever work needs to be done to clearly set the tone and expectations of the team. This shows they value the work of the leasing professional.

Leasing professionals deserve steady, consistent, and supportive leadership. If they don’t get that at your workplace, expect them to have one foot out the door until a better opportunity comes along.

Training or Tossing

This one is very important to me, as  I have seen how profoundly training can impact bottom-line results. Having a specific training plan in place prior to your leasing professional’s first day is critical to both their success and yours. None of us like the feeling of being tossed into a role with no clear plan. Let’s examine a few ideas on how to set up your leasing professional for success on day one:

  • Have a specific “Leasing Professional Training Checklist” of items that you want them to learn within a specific time frame. This will also ensure that you or others involved in training your new hire do not skip over important information.
  • Make sure you are identifying the learning style of your leasing professional. Providing a blended learning approach makes for a better training experience and greater likelihood that the training will stick.
  • Provide additional training where a skill gap may be evident. This requires continuous assessment and feedback. Training doesn’t stop after it’s been checked off the list.

Coach your newly hired leasing professional, and all of your team members, to understand that training is not something that is reserved for those new to the job. Instead, it is a career-long pursuit. Model this lifelong learning approach by participating in continuing education and honing your supervisory skills.

Compensate or Exacerbate

Money isn’t the only motivator, but it can become an issue if the leasing professional isn’t getting paid what they are worth. According to the National Apartment Association’s NALP Promo Packet, https://www.naahq.org/sites/default/files/naa-documents/career-center/NALP-Promo-Packet.pdf the compensation for a leasing professional ranges from $27,100-$38,900 per year. There are important factors in determining how to fairly compensate your leasing professional:

  • What does a leasing professional typically earn in terms of hourly rate in your geographic market? Your local apartment association may be able to provide this information.
  • Is there a bonus potential or some sort of incentive to meet leasing goals? If yes, that may mean a lower base salary could be appropriate.
  • Are there other rewards that your company provides for exceeding expectation that add value to the position? Be sure to emphasize those rewards to your job candidates and encourage them to consider them as part of your total compensation package.

Looking for additional ways to compensate your associations other than money? The options are as boundless as your imagination. Here’s nine creative ideas to get you started.

When it comes to earning the continued tenure of your leasing professional, your goal is to keep them enthused and engaged, right? Identify where you need to go to work on their behalf and make some positive changes. Remember, when they’re satisfied and successful, so are you! And together, you make a winning team.



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