The Demand Solutions Blog

Why More Training Isn't Enough to Solve Your Multifamily Sales Problems

Posted by Joanne Chapman-Reps on Nov 17, 2016 4:00:00 PM

Why-training-won't-solve-sales-problems.jpgEveryone wants positive sales numbers, right? After all, when leasing/sales numbers are strong, it means the overall financial health of the organization should also be strong.

But what happens when those numbers aren’t as strong as you’d like them to be? How does leadership react? What steps are taken to improve results? In my experience, it is often tempting to reach for the ‘easy’ button…and believe “everything will improve if we just do more training!”

This request for additional training varies in focus; it might be a request or desire for training to help the leasing associates ‘close better’ or the training might take the form of a leasing ‘boot camp’ - an event meant to rally the leasing teams to improve overall results.

Whatever the focus, the reality is when sales numbers aren’t where they need to be, the discussed solution within many multifamily leadership meetings evolves toward training. These leaders believe that if the leasing associates could only ‘close’ better, then results will improve. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

Yes. Training is part of the overall sales/leasing equation. However, improving sales performance requires a lot more than just training the teams.

The journey a prospective resident goes through when they are looking for a new home involves many elements. And, as you can see from the graphic below, the last mile of the journey from lead to signed lease is certainly not a straight line; instead it is often a complex journey with many touchpoints. And while training is part of that journey, it is far from the only lever we can impact.

D2_The Last Mile_Diagram.png

 

With this ‘last mile’ in mind, the next time you encounter a decrease in sales and are tempted to offer training, take a moment to pause and consider what might be at the root of the sales performance issue.

1. Marketing

If you’re a regular reader of this blog then you know that we often talk about how the shopping process for apartments has drastically changed. The way a prospective resident looks for a new home is significantly different than it was even five years ago thanks to the Zero Moment of Truth. If you’re not addressing that change, then your leasing associates are at a disadvantage before they even have the first conversation. Areas you need to address:

  • How does your website look and feel? Can visitors learn enough about your community and the surrounding neighborhood from your site to add it to their short list? How are you responding to requests received through your website?
  • Call centers. Are you using one? Who is answering calls from your prospective residents? Does someone answer or is the customer required to leave a message?
  • Email remarketing. When a prospective resident provides their email address what are you doing with it?
  • Who are your marketing efforts targeting? Are they the right fit for your communities?

2. Sales

When someone officially becomes a lead, there’s a lot more that needs to happen before the lease will be signed.

3. Leasing Associates

What is your plan for:

  • Associate development?
  • Recruiting?
  • Onboarding?
  • Training?
  • Coaching?

As you can see there are a variety of possibilities to evaluate when you want to improve sales performance and although training is important, it is just one piece of the puzzle.

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Topics: multifamily sales