Five Top Leasing Agents Skills for an Automated World

Of all roles in multifamily operations, few have changed more radically in the last year than that of the leasing agent. The COVID-19 crisis has forced change on leasing behaviors and processes, but as we have described on this blog, most of these changes were already underway before the pandemic. Self-touring was gathering pace, and companies like Avalon Bay were already pioneering the use of artificial intelligence (AI) leasing and declaring that they have cracked the “1 for 100” staffing model.
The COVID crisis hasn’t changed the destination; it’s just turbo-charged the pace at which we are getting there. It’s important to consider what this rapid change means for leasing agents and how their role adapts to this rapidly-changing environment.  
A leasing associate’s job has always been unique, with its focus on sales in a service-oriented environment. But since every interaction with a potential prospect or resident is, by definition, unique, agents must also be highly adaptable. Most aspects of what makes for a good leasing agent haven’t changed (after all, sales is still sales). But the emphasis of some skills and some key processes are changing.  
What’s Changed
Leasing agents still must be easy to get along with, have attention to detail, be good at administrative work and always be ready for a prospect to walk through the door or phone in. However, prospect behaviors have changed. Many have already scheduled their tours (whether through a call center or an AI bot), some have self-toured, and most are advanced in their decision ……