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Tips of the Trade – Leasing

In 2013, the ApartMentor will include a “Tips of the Trade” section, each issue with a different focus. It will include questions posed to our contributors and their answers. Thank you to this issue’s contributors: Alisha Zingalie, Cosgrove Hill; JoAnn Ashmore, Artisan at Brightleaf and Rebecca Puglia, The Apartments at Weston Lakeside.

What advice would you give to an individual who is just beginning his/her career in the industry as a Leasing Professional? JoAnn responded,“You’ve got to own it before you can sell it. It’s so important to know your community and the surrounding neighborhood inside and out. A potential renter wants to know a great place to eat that’s nearby. Make a few suggestions of your favorite places. When someone asks you how many stairs they have to walk up to get to a second floor apartment, be ready with an answer!” Alisha explains “Always remember this is not just your job but it is your resident’s home. It is their sanctuary and their place to relax. To understand that will help you do your job better, as a leasing professional wears many hats.”

Please share a piece of advice that you received early on in your career, that stuck with you and has been a great “tip of the trade.” Rebecca stated “Treat all of your residents as if they were living at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. This is great information because it helps at renewal time and really we should be giving our residents the best service possible just because they are our residents.” JoAnn added “On your feet, out your seat. Anytime someone walks through your door, stand up to meet and greet them with a sincere smile and a firm (not bone crunching!) handshake. Invite them to sit down at your desk. Try to create some rapport with your prospects before you jump into floor plans and pricing. You only get one chance to make a first impression.”

Is there a “best practice” that you would like to share with the readers? Rebecca explained, “Yes, when a prospect enters your club house greet them and make them feel as if you are really glad they are visiting your community. Make their visit totally about them and what their needs are when leasing at your community.”Alisha added, “Show your appreciation for those around you! People respond well when they know you like your job, feel you are surrounded by a reliable staff and when you appreciate your current residents.”

How has being a member of the Triangle Apartment Association helped you in your professional development? What would you suggest to other Leasing Professionals regarding TAA? JoAnn stated “TAA has provided me a wealth of networking opportunities. I have direct access to some of the brightest minds in our industry! I would suggest other Leasing Professionals join a TAA committee that they are passionate about. Get involved and stay involved. TAA hosts numerous education classes and events throughout the year; attend them to meet new people and gain new insight on how you can advance your career. Be sure to LIKE the TAA Facebook page to stay “in the know” for all things involving our ever-growing industry.”

the ApartMentor May/June 15

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