As vacancies tighten around the country, some apartment executives see an interesting problem: Their leasing superstars are running out of units to rent. “One of our struggles is that if our best sales folks have done their jobs well, they’ll run out of things to sell at the property,” says Lesley Darling, vice president of training for Home Properties, a REIT based in Rochester, N.Y.
That’s a concern echoed by other companies. “Part of the challenge with hiring top-notch salespeople is that you have a finite supply of inventory,” says Erin Ditto, senior vice president and director of the multifamily division at Bell Partners, an apartment owner and manager based in Greensboro, N.C.
Highlands Ranch, Colo.–based REIT UDR thinks the best way to handle this supply shortage issue is to centralize your leasing superstars into a single office and let them sell multiple properties. It’s not a new concept. Atlanta-based REIT Post Properties has had one leasing office for all of its Uptown Dallas properties since the mid-1990s.
“One of the benefits of that more centralized sales focus is that it is a stepping stone for your superstar leasing consultant,” Darling says. “They’re not limited by the availability at one community. They have all of the availability in the entire region. You’re really stepping more toward that professional, focused salesperson.”