Building capacity into the leasing role
The leasing role, whilst historically one of the most junior in the business, is actually one of the most important. Securing a good result for your investors in choice of tenant, terms of agreement and rental value is one of the trickiest roles we perform as the managing agent, and should not be underestimated. If it is underestimated, is usually results in a higher churn.
As part of any healthy growth strategy, losses should be evaluated in detail and the churn figures should always be reviewed for the business. Trends should be observed monthly, quarterly and annually in order to adapt and improve service, meeting the changing market of client expectations. I have always found that when difficult conversations are left with the junior leasing agent in a time when the client is most anxious to get a result, it can result in a higher churn rate for the business. However, when this position is specialised and focuses on the actual leasing of the property, dealing with prospective tenants and both private and group inspections, both the vacancy rate and churn can be reduced to a level that is changing the former industry norms of 15%.
It has never been clear to me why we pay our highly experienced members of the team, our property managers the highest wages, and then when we look for a new tenant (arguably the hardest part of the process in many tenancies) we leave this to the most inexperienced team member. This is a perfect opportunity to give quality advice about the results to be achieved through refurbishment, or renovation, information around refinancing and strategies around length of lease and vacancy rates in the market to prepare for the next 12 months.
By removing the administration tasks in the leasing role, capacity can be built in to specialise, and improve performance. I have found the best ways to do this is to split each part of the role into a task, and have the most appropriate team member handle the task, based on skillset rather than role. A good leasing agent, will generally be a future sales agent, with this in mind tasks like organising advertising, application processing, lease preparation, deposit taking, run sheet scheduling and the detail involved in these tasks, creates confusion and anxiety for the leasing agent. A role that focuses on showing prospective tenants properties and calling back interested parties, is one that will gain better results, build more confident leasing agents and in turn a more efficient business in the long run.