We know our multifamily leasing teams are typically the first point of contact for a prospective resident, and are the face of our community. And, it's important that we spend time coaching them to be their best. Here are five easy tips:
1. Create achievable goals. Leasing teams enjoy goals. They are, after all, sales people and are motivated to meet their target. However, all too often we set goals that are unachievable and thus do nothing more than de-motivate the entire team. It is important to set goals that are achievable, and don't forget to revisit the goals regularly to review progress.
2. Instead of telling teams about their performance...Ask. Taking the time to ask a leasing associate about their last phone call(s) or tour(s) seems like an obvious thing to do for leaders; but in reality we often find it much easier to jump in with suggestions such as "I heard you say x to Mr. Jones but in the future why don't you say y instead." We do this with the best of intentions and are trying to help. However, instead of jumping in to 'fix' the problem, ask the leasing associate about what they think went well (or didn’t go well), and then pause to listen to their response. You will learn valuable information about how the leaser believed they performed, and they will learn more by reflecting on their own successes and failures rather than being “lectured.” As a bonus, often they will surprise you with ideas and opportunities for the future that you may not have thought of on your own.
3. First explain 'the why.' Take time to pause and explain the big picture to team members. Sometimes we assume that our associates understand why we’re doing something, but remember that you are aware of information (via email, conference calls, etc.) that they may not be aware of. Take time to talk with the team and explain the big picture, and how their role fits in. They will learn more about the company and will gain a greater appreciation for the task at hand.
4. Develop skills. Sales coaching often focuses on immediate sales effectiveness but remember that change does not happen overnight. Make time in your schedule for role plays, practice (especially through 'what if' discussions) and scenario analysis with team members to improve their skills. Success takes effort and development over the long term.
5. Provide frequent reinforcement. Zig Ziglar said "People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing. That's why we recommend it daily". Coaches provide frequent feedback to motivate teams by reinforcing those things they are doing well, and providing this kind of feedback means that teams will continue to perform the desired behavior.
Spend some time coaching your multlifamily leasing team. It will be a win-win for everyone.