The Demand Solutions Blog

Three Top Multifamily Training Priorities for 2019

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Apr 25, 2019 12:33:57 PM

As we researched 20 for '20 - our white paper on the outlook for multifamily based on 20 interviews with senior executives - we were struck by the intense competition for talent in the industry. Low unemployment rates and record industry growth have conspired to make both recruitment and retention extremely challenging.

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Topics: Multifamily Trends, Technology, Sales Coaching, Customer Experience

Ten Questions You Should be Asking Yourself about Leasing

Posted by Dom Beveridge on Feb 6, 2019 12:16:48 PM

Recently it's been my privilege to interview 20 senior multifamily executives to get their viewpoints and understand their priorities for the next few years. (The interviews were part of our research for a new white paper that we'll be publishing soon - you can pre-register for your copy here.) Through the interviews, one thing was crystal clear: most companies see sales as a top training priority for 2019.

Readers of this blog will not be surprised by this finding - we have long been calling for a revolution in multifamily sales. Multifamily leaders seem to agree, and there are good reasons for that: after a decade of growth in multifamily, the sales muscles have perhaps not received the most rigorous of workouts lately. It makes sense to strengthen them before markets start to soften - whenever that is.

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Topics: leasing associates, Leasing Performance, Sales Coaching

Why The Challenger Sale Matters to Multifamily Leasing

Posted by Dom Beveridge on Jan 16, 2019 10:00:00 AM

If you're anything like me, then this is the time of year when your nightstand groans with books that friends and family kindly sent you over the holidays. You feel grateful and daunted at the workload entailed in reading those books in equal measure! You reach for recommendations and reviews and other data points to decide which text gets to the top of the pile.

Every now and then a business book comes along that everyone in your field seems to talk about and recommend. One such book from a few years ago was The Challenger Sale - a text that was so revolutionary when first published in 2011 that it has become a framework for sales strategy, talent management, and training in sales-driven companies ever since. While the book centers on research carried out in B2B sales organizations, its findings are highly relevant to multifamily leasing. Here I will explain why that is.

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Topics: multifamily sales, Sales Coaching

Is Your Sales Process Creating a "Buyer-Beware" Environment?

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Oct 25, 2018 4:40:37 PM

Fall is upon us. As usual for multifamily operators, Halloween preparations and pumpkin spice treats provide the backdrop to the main event - next year’s budget. As we grind through the seemingly endless iterations of revenue and cost numbers and reconciliation between properties and central teams, at some point the light will appear at the end of the tunnel. At that point, we will get to turn our attention not merely to the goals, but how we will achieve them.

We will bring 2018 to a close with a decade of growth behind us. We will enter 2019 facing what is now an annual question "is this going to be the year when things slow down?"  Of course, nobody knows the answer to that question, but there are good reasons to take our preparations for next year as an opportunity to revisit sales. A decade when demand has outstripped supply more often than not has delivered spectacular returns but in many cases, less-than-spectacular sales performance.

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Topics: property management, Leasing Performance, Sales Coaching

7 Tips to Help Leasing Associates Make Sales Faster (And Delight Residents)

Posted by Donald Davidoff on May 9, 2018 2:00:00 PM

Over the last 20 years, the multifamily industry has gotten better at managing the core elements of their business. Companies are smarter regarding where they're building or buying their properties, and how they're operating them. The use of pricing and revenue management systems has become the norm, not the exception. Utilizing sophisticated property management systems, online marketing tools and so forth--again, the norm. That means we're operating more efficiently than we ever have before.

With all of these improvements, there is still one area that has been (and often still is) overlooked: sales. As the demands of customers continue to evolve and liquid expectations impact their expectations, experience and buying journey, smart operators know this needs to change. At these companies, sales acumen has begun to “earn its seat at the table” as a key driver to operational performance.

It's important to note that selling today isn't like what selling used to be. Daniel Pink, noted author of the book To Sell is Human shared, "Most of what we know about sales comes from a world of information asymmetry. Sellers had far, far more information than buyers did." That was certainly true in multifamily. Sellers could manipulate buyers and force them to play the game that salespeople wanted to play. That is no longer true.   

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Topics: Revenue Management, pricing and revenue management, Leasing Performance, Sales Coaching

The 3 Points that Make a Leasing Sales Process Great

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Mar 2, 2018 3:30:00 PM

Selling is a lot like hitting a baseball. If you watch any Major League team play, you’ll quickly see two things: first, you’ll see some highly talented athletes on the field, and second you’ll see a wide variety of approaches, batting stances and swings from batters.

While a batting stance is as unique as the player employing it, if you study hitting, you’ll discover that despite the variety, effective batting swings have quite a lot in common. In hitting, there are three key points with the swing (where the hands are at the “load” position, where they are when the hands enter the “swing zone” and where they are at the point of contact) common across all good swings that enable a hitter to maximize the probability of making strong contact with the baseball and getting a hit.

Leasing is similar in this way. Leasing associates all have different styles and personalities. Additionally, the communities and buildings they’re leasing are quite different, and prospective residents bring their own unique personalities. The result is that every leasing opportunity is a unique experience.

Yet, in our study of top leasing associates and great leasing sales processes, we’ve identified that, like hitting a baseball, the great ones have three key elements that separate them from all others and maximize the likelihood of a positive outcome.

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Topics: Leasing Performance, Sales Coaching

How to Know it's Time to Improve Your Leasing and Sales Process

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Feb 20, 2018 2:00:00 PM

Over the years we’ve reviewed quite a few multifamily sales processes and training programs. The number one thing they’ve all had in common is (to put it nicely) they’re old. They’re built for a time that no longer exists. The impact of this is twofold:

  • It puts a drag on leasing performance and pricing while increasing lead generation costs.
  • It creates a negative customer experience, harming word-of-mouth and Net Promoter Score (NPS).

With leasing season just around the corner, now is a great time to give your leasing/sales process a check up. If you’re wondering whether yours needs improvement, here are five signs that the time to improve your leasing and sales process has come:

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Topics: Leasing Performance, Sales Coaching

5 Steps for a Coaching Culture & Why it’s a Must for Sales Teams

Posted by Donald Davidoff on May 11, 2017 2:00:00 PM

The following is taken from our viewpoint document, The Keys to Effective Multifamily Sales Performance. You may download it here.

Too many multifamily operators have a culture of supervision and compliance rather than one of coaching. There is certainly a time and a place for compliance; however developing adults’ skills requires a supportive environment, where leasing associates are allowed to experience failure and be coached towards success. Here are five easy tips to start creating a coaching culture:

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Topics: multifamily sales, Sales Coaching