There's a reason why some leasing agents are more successful than others. Those who win are those who carve their own niches while also recognizing the patterns that can make for best practices in leasing, and also define healthy client relationships.
C.A.R. members Greg Pekarsky, Vesta Preferred, and Vincent Cabansag, Kass Management, led a session on "Successful Patterns in Leasing" for the C.A.R. member outreach event held in Skokie on June 6.
Patterns that make for success, they said, include:
- Knowing your community inside and out, and working in your community. "You know the public transit routes, the local festivals and other benefits of the neighborhood that renters want to know," Vince said.
- Build positive relationships with vendors in your community. Not only will doing so make you more informed, but vendors can also be a source of additional listings.
- Advertise your listings often and in many places -- including on the bulletin boards of coffee shops and other local businesses you frequent.
- Respect your own time. Learn to say "no" to potential clients who have no urgency about renting. Look for people who want to get the job done and sign within one or two outings.
- Once you identify clients, put yourself in their shoes. Do they have pets? Love vintage? Live for night life? Try to envision their perfect home and then draw on your in-depth neighborhood knowledge to find it. "The key to excellent client service is responsiveness," Greg said.
- Work effectively. Schedule a daily routine that allows for prospect mining, follow-ups with current and potential renters, and other essential desk work, yet leaves the bulk of your afternoon free for showing listings. Manage your day -- don't let it manage you!
Supplementing this and other wisdom from Vince and Greg, Taft West, of the Community Investment Corporation, offered insight into the art of property management and smart tenant selection.
At the core of a well-run building, Taft explained, is a set of no-nonsense rules that are applied uniformly to all tenants. Start with a good application form that the tenant fills out completely, and that includes a small fee for a credit check and requirement of photo i.d.
In addition, know and observe established landlord-tenant laws at the federal, state, county and municipal level. Maintain the curb appeal of your property, as well -- and conduct quarterly or other regularly scheduled unit inspections to keep tabs on cleanliness and the state of the tenant community.
Taft, who's had years of successful experience as a property manager, also urged REALTORS not to show units until they're move-in ready, and use a checklist if you're not used to remembering all the details to share with new tenants.
Click here to access the event's PowerPoint presentations.