An interview with Leasing Angles — virtual and temporary placement leasing firm
“How do we keep a healthy resident retention rate?” is a common question that haunts many a property managers. Is it the luxuries? The hot tubs and the tennis courts? Or is the answer much more simpler? To find out the we sat down and talked with the president of Leasing Angles, a firm that specializes in resident retention and customer relations, N. Bean. Read the interview and then check out their blog and their articles on multifamily insiders.
Q: What is Leasing Angels, Inc. and what service does the company provide?
Leasing Angels, Inc. is a full service virtual and temporary placement leasing firm. Collectively, our team leaders have over 50 years experience in the property management, marketing and customer relations arenas. We offer a multitude of services from on-site leasing services to small and large firms, leasing professional training, constant contact programs, customer relations (property specific) property analysis, etc. Our only goal at Leasing Angels, Inc. is to build the relationships needed to ensure our clients success.
Q: Why do you think a communication gap exists between the owner and the resident?
A gap between the owner and the resident exists because of the owner. We as leaders and guides in the leasing and resident relations process have to take credit and blame where it is due in order to correct our error in ways and make it better. It is our job as service providers to provide a service and to adequately provide that service to the fullest, we must understand our customer. If we fail to understand our customer by building that necessary bridge we like to call a “relationship”, then that gap we have diligently created will swallow both our customer and us whole time and time again, leaving both of us in the same predicament we were in prior to our initial meeting – our customer looking for another place to live and us looking for a new resident.
Q:What factors do you think are most important for resident retention?
The only factor most important for success in resident retention is relationship building. Something that we as leasing professionals, owners, etc. have to understand is that people will never stay where they do not feel appreciated – there are too many other options out there! Apartment communities and single family homes are just as plentiful as gas stations now a-days and if I don’t like the service provided in one, then I go to the next … simple as that. Things such a constant contact, work order follow-up, renewal incentives, etc. all should be apart of a leasing team’s relationship building practice.
Q: What do you offer in your “Constant Contact” program?
Now I can’t give you all of our secret service juice but I will tell you that composed in our “Constant Contact” program are tons of awesome services! The coolest thing about our “Constant Contact” program is that it is specifically catered to our client’s client which is ultimately our client and it’s all centered around relationship building. Ask yourself, how do you provide the perfect move-in gift or send the perfect birthday card? Answer? That’s right! You simply have to know who you’re dealing with.
Q: In your article #1 Rule for rock star leasing you make an important point separating luxuries from necessities. Hot tubs, tennis courts and tanning beds are all nice to have. Do you think that many leasing agents fall into this trap of advertising the luxuries when all they need to do is focus on building relationships?
Of course they do because that’s how they’re trained – not to say that that’s a bad thing by any means, but customer relations is an exciting and ever-changing roller coaster ride that every party involved must adhere to the rules of. I think for a long time we were trapped in an age of materialism. It was 7 hot tub this, 10 swimming pools that, but now – a – days as we talk to thousands of people annually, we see that a majority simply want to feel appreciated while at “home”. They want to walk/run the nature trail, go out to enjoy or cook a natural healthy choice meal and relax. Time and time again, what we hear is that simplicity is key.
Q: As a continuance of the question above– How does one take the first step towards relationship building? Should one start with the existing residents?
The ideal approach would be the proactive approach which begins with prospects and then keep it going as they grow into residents and then continued residents and on, into residents who refer other residents. But if you’re a little behind (which is okay) and you’re just now boarding that relationship building train, a great way to re-introduce yourselves and new approach toward customer relations into your community will always be through your existing residents.
Q: Do you think that the current tenants can be a good source of new prospects?
Yes! Of course. Residents are always talking about you and your community anyway (Have you read some of the articles on apartmentratings.com – OMG!) … why not give them wonderful things to talk about?? A respected community is a happy community indeed.
Q: As resident retention is a pretty big headache in student housing, with a large percentage of residents moving out every semester, do you have any specific strategies to improve the retention rate for the student housing sector?
Simple – relationship building. Student housing is a different type of beast all together, but the fact still remains that relationship building cures all. Some move outs in student housing can not be prevented, but some very well can. So with that being said, our job as housing professionals will always be to FIRST understand the resident to better understand the situation. Once the situation is understood, proactivity can then be practiced. The next question is then, “How to go about such a thing?” We will answer this question and many more in our upcoming article “Resident Retention 101 – The Student Housing Edition”.
Q:Finally, how does one balance retention rate with rent increases? Is it even possible?
Of course it is and here in derives another simple answer … relationship building is key. Always remember that ultimately if a resident is happy, comfortable and feels appreciated, $25 will never be a deal breaker, but on the opposing end, if they aren’t happy, comfortable nor feel appreciated, you could sneeze and lose them so the $25 rent increase wouldn’t have made a difference any way.
Thank you Leasing Angles for talking to us
- On September 27, 2015