Superstar Leasing Agents

By on Mar 26, 2015 in People

Deena Howell’s granddaughter sells an uncanny amoushutterstock_162825002nt of Girl Scout cookies. “That’s because I taught her everything she knows about sales,” Howell smiles with a twinkle in her eye. “That’s why she’s so good at selling those cookies.”

For nearly a decade, Howell worked as a leasing agent before becoming a trainer with her company. The skills she learned in the field benefited her throughout her entire career and well into her retirement as a leader in her granddaughter’s troop. Through her own experiences and training others, Howell has discovered seven pointers that help decent leasing consultants become stellar.

Practice Empathy in Action Rather than selling from a script or promoting things that you like about the community, take the time to understand prospects’ needs and interests. Use those points to present the home that is right for them. “Make that unit seem like it was made for them rather than selling the first available unit. When you understand them, you understand what they need to hear and see.”

Learn Active Listening Listening and processing information is vital to effective communication, especially with investments like a home. “Listening is the single best way to learn what the prospect really wants and how to sell it to them,” says Howell. “Even repeat info back to them to clarify. They will appreciate that you’re trying to understand them and they’ll trust your insights later on.”

Sell Value, Not a Product “We don’t just sell a unit,” says Howell. “We sell a home, a lifestyle and possibilities.” The floor plan may encourage prospects to call but selling the lifestyle and the future possibilities will get them to sign the lease and renew later.

Keep Learning About the Community This is especially important if you commute to work. “Taking the same route each day will only show you certain areas of the neighborhood. Take the time to drive around, see what’s new,” says Howell. Your knowledge of the community and what it has to offer will be helpful when you’re trying to customize a sale. Updated knowledge also makes it easier to stay excited about your job.

Be Disciplined Howell shakes her head wearily, “Don’t get lazy, no matter if things are really bad or really good. Apathy kills your mojo. Always present your best smile. Always know your product and its changes. Always always follow-up.”

Reward Yourself for Goals Achieved Set your own goals and give yourself little rewards for meeting them. This is especially important if you’re in a work environment where you don’t think your efforts are being acknowledged. “It’s too easy to feel underappreciated and either kill yourself working too hard or lose motivation. If you set your goals and rewards, you can keep a healthy balance.”

Learn to Avoid “No” Once a prospect loses interest, it’s an uphill battle to win them back. The persistence needed to win back a client who has rejected a property could do more harm than good. “Don’t be annoying. No means no,” says Howell. “So a stellar leasing agent tries to avoid that no, that disconnect, in the first place. Listen. Always address their needs. End every encounter on a good note so they know they can return to your property—and to you—at any time in the future.”