Build an Unstoppable Leasing Team
The successful Leasing Manager

Manager - One who accomplishes business activities by leading the efforts of others.
Leasing Manager - One who accomplishes leasing-related activities by leading the efforts of others.
Successful Leasing Manager - one who accomplishes all of the above in a way that makes you wonder how you ever got along without one!

The successful leasing manager isn't really a magician, but you're not entirely convinced. How else could he or she generate such commitment and enthusiasm among your leasing professionals? Maybe you need a leasing manager. Maybe you have one already, but one that could use a little of the magic that we're talking about. In either case, you want a successful one who brings out the best in your team of leasing professionals. Look for these qualities in the leader that you choose for your team - and you're looking at success!

Leadership - The successful leasing manager is committed to the team, and knows that the community's goals will only be met if the personal needs and goals of the team are met. Whatever the team member's problem may be, the successful leader is committed to solving it. A trouble-free team member will perform better, longer, and with a higher degree of concentration.

Responsibility - The team leader is judged by his/her results, and is directly responsible for those of the team as a whole. The successful leasing manager expects responsibility, and wouldn't have it any other way.

Commitment - Without commitment, there is hesitancy and ineffective- ness. The team leader must be committed to the goals of the team and the community. One of his/her most difficult tasks is to inspire commitment in the team. The successful leasing manager teaches by example, taking risks, and always accepting the consequences of his/her actions.

Organization - Without organized leadership, your team will be lost, unproductive, and unfocused. The successful leasing manager recognizes that disorganization places unneeded pressure on everyone involved and organizes his own efforts to better organize those of the team.

Persistence - The successful leasing manager has a "can-do" attitude. He/she recognizes the importance of determination in achieving a goal and promotes a team spirit of persistence. The team doesn't just work, but feels compelled to achieve.

Enthusiasm - It's contagious, and according to Dale Carnegie, it's the key to success in life. The successful leasing manager works in a cloud of intensity, ever striving to out-perform previous levels of accomplishment. It's an attitude that the team can't help but catch!

Tolerance - We all learn from our "mistakes." The successful leasing manager helps his team evaluate their performance, is open to their ideas and suggestions, and offers advice without criticism.

Flexibility - Different situations call for different actions. The successful manager is never afraid to change an old paradigm or take a new approach.

Communication - A survey once concluded that one-third of all leasing professionals are dissatisfied with their leasing managers. Lack of communication is usually at fault. The successful leasing manager knows how to offer a point of view as well as accept one.

Inspiration - The successful leasing manager is a solution-oriented, positive thinker. He/she inspires solutions and leads the team in developing them. Poor performance and negative attitudes are handled directly and openly. An effective team leader rewards excellence and encourages change.

Optimism - The successful leasing manager sees potential and brings out the best in a leasing consultant.

Ambition - Training never ends for a leasing manager. The successful manager is always improving his/her leasing skills and shares his/her knowledge with the rest of the team.

Before you decide to hire a leasing manager or improve the performance of one, you should begin by knowing why a leasing manager is important to the success of your team. The leasing manager is concerned with a wide range of management activities, from planning and implementing marketing plans, to budgeting and goal setting toward the community's monthly bottom line. The leasing manager's specific duties and responsi- bilities are key to not only setting your goals but achieving them as well.

These responsibilities include:

  • Goal Setting - The team exists to work toward a common end - contributing to the bottom line of the community. It is the leasing manager's responsibility to set realistic goals and to lead the team toward achieving those goals.

  • Oversight of the leasing team - The best team of leasing professionals will include a wide range of personalities. It is the leasing manager's responsibility to get and keep them working together. This sometimes means being a coach, parent, teacher, or cheerleader - or maybe all at once! When the leasing manager cares about the success of the team, the team knows it immediately. Extra attention, special favors, and recognition, when handed out in just the right amounts, will make the whole team strive to be top producers. The job isn't all smiles, hugs and certificates of recognition. It also means defending the integrity of the team. The right person will not hesitate to replace a leasing professional who has been properly trained, but still has a poor closing ratio. All personal likes and dislikes aside, the job means employing only the very best.

  • Monitoring progress - The leasing manager is responsible for keeping the team aware of their goals at all times and monitoring their progress in achieving these goals. Weekly and /or daily meetings are helpful, as are visual goal charts that can help the team see their own progress.

  • Training - The team leader has to maintain a "never stop learning" attitude, including constant improvement of his/her own skills. As the team grows, their need for education grows as well. A good leasing manager doesn't just stick to the same old stuff, but exposes the team to new information, techniques, and training programs as they become available. The key to meeting the community's goals is to constantly improve the team's training procedures to offer every opportunity to learn and grow. The easiest way to keep training the team is to work with them closely on a daily basis, making on-the- spot corrections and comments - always highlighting the positive.

  • Motivation - Motivation isn't just one of the leasing manager's many duties. Motivation is part of the successful leader's state of mind, and it permeates every aspect of the job. The team's goal is to increase new leases and renewals. Attaining this goal comes from focusing on productivity. Productivity comes form focusing on success. There are numerous ways to motivate the leasing team, including:
    * Setting a positive example
    * Rewarding excellence - "Catch a team member doing something right!" and giving credit where credit is due
    * Encouraging open communication and feedback - sometimes the team has to be allowed to evaluate the team leader.
    * Providing new challenges - give the team new opportunities to grow personally and professionally.

    When motivation is at a low point, it's the leasing manager's responsibility to create new excitement, reinforce strengths, and work on weaknesses. If a team member isn't leasing, it's the leader's responsibility to personally find out why, and then work on a solution. This sometimes means agreeing upon a course of action to improve the situation or the team member's leasing techniques.

    If your leasing manager needs a productivity boost, take the time to evaluate their characteristics and performance. If you're hiring one, remember to hire quality - hiring mistakes are costly! Above all, remember that keeping those leases coming in requires high intensity. The right person employs the formula for success: keep it challenging, offer special incentives, give your team autonomy, create team spirit, establish clear goals, measure performance fairly, remember that everyone's opinion counts, tie compensation into performance and create an environment that encourages the common goal - more new leases and renewals!

    Tami Siewruk is the President of The Sales & Marketing Magic Companies, Inc. She is a widely sought after speaker, and Producer of The Annual Multifamily Brainstorming Sessions. Call 813-784-9469 for a free sample issue of Tami's information-packed newsletter, Sales & Marketing Magic for Apartment Managers.

    Tami Siewruk is the President of The Sales & Marketing Magic Companies, Inc. She is a widely sought after speaker, and Producer of The Annual Multifamily Brainstorming Sessions. Call 813-784-9469 for a free sample issue of Tami's information-packed newsletter, Sales & Marketing Magic for Apartment Managers.

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