Leasing Professionals: Building a Legacy Through Relationships
Remain insistent on a relationship-first strategy not only for the business, but for yourself.
Whether you’re new to the profession or have spent decades in property management, you’ve seen the shifts in what it means to be successful in this industry. You see them regardless of your starting point as this field changes on what seems like a daily basis. It’s competitive and fast. Really fast. Our industry is influenced heavily by market trends, the health and stability of the economy, and, like it or not, aesthetic and recreational trends.
When you’re in a profession that sells a lifestyle product that may not be trending, your challenge is that much more significant. For instance, an asset with real wood floors, carrara marble countertops, and a private dog park has a much better chance of doing very well in today’s market.
Somedays it may seem that the asset is leading you versus you leading the asset. Your leasing legacy is dependent heavily on how well you, your teammates, and business practices can keep revenue high and costs low in every market and every property. You’re daily task is to manage all aspects of leasing from beginning to end in a solid effort to make the ownership of the property a return on their investment.
Every phone call inquiry that was missed and went to voicemail. Every elevator that is out of service again. Every sidewalk not shoveled. Every public garbage can left overflowing on a Friday to get to on Monday.
Everything is a leasing retention opportunity that you can lead in. This is where the rubber meets the road.
The Nature of the Leasing Profession You are probably realizing that this is a quick turnover game. Properties and management companies change all the time and usually their leasing agents and property managers turnover along with the property. As a leasing professional and property manager you need to be agile and aware of your property owners motives and continually assess your next role. In this assessment, take a look at the benchmarks you’ve solely, or assisted in meeting, currently. This is what’s important to you and this is what should be aligned with the properties ownership.
The Nature of Management Companies Management companies gain new business mostly out of a process referred to as syndication. Syndicating basically means using other people's money to finance real estate transactions. As one management company finds a deal, they work to pull together a group of investors to purchase a property. From here, they negotiate a fee for providing said deal and a fee for the management of said property. After the closing of the deal, a property management team will be employed to manage the property.
Your Legacy Your role is to protect the assets of the property and make it as profitable as possible through strategic marketing and partnerships. Your team members may fluctuate, but your vendors will likely remain consistent. Being an active leader in assuring vendor relationships are mutually beneficial is essential.
We suggest to all of our properties, that can’t imagine running without us, is to capitalize on the things you’re good at and outsource the services that take time, money and resources away from turning a profit. Most of our clients don’t want the hassle of dealing with personal trainer certifications, managing a class schedule, and dealing with general logistics of an on-site fitness and wellness program.
How you can lead and increase revenue...
- Raise rent by at least 3.5% per year and more with any renovations or turnover.
- Decrease expenses by encouraging submetered utilities.
- Enforce a strict late fee and stick to it.
- Keep property clean and presentable, but be budget conservative.
- Retain residents you worked hard to acquire and avoid turnover.
- Employ a reslife program or some kind of community engagement program that keeps your residents happy and put.
Some question to ask yourself in your assessment:
- In what ways are you leaving a leasing legacy?
- Have you increased the ROI since beginning with said property?
- What is your occupancy track record? What was the occupancy when you started, and what is it now?
- Are you active with the associations and sitting on boards?
- Remember that relationships are key to maintaining your professional profile, but it’s also good for business. Stay plugged in with associations and other property management companies.
Now, share with us your experience as you plan your legacy. We’d like to know how you’d like to best contribute and where you can build relationships to outsource projects and tasks for the greatest success.