Nafira Harris is a leasing consultant and founder of Freeman PMC who began her journey at a community in Gainesville, Florida. As a Leasing Specialist there she soon found she had a knack for being personable in a way that resonated with professionals in the industry. Nafira has the unique ability to switch up how she approaches situations based on the work presented to her and founded her company after seeing an opportunity to address areas she found were lacking in the property management industry. Read below to hear her top four tips and tricks for leasing successfully in the current day and age.
"Not every community where I’m brought on is underperforming. Oftentimes there is just a lack of marketing or a missing piece that the community needs to implement to improve their performance. Some of the most common needs include:
“Being able to work with a team is important and helps you gain respect that leads to action and change. What makes me good at what I do is knowing how to work with people in different ways based on who they are and what the community needs. It also makes work for all more enjoyable. I also find that being personable leads to less objections when it comes to the changes I’m trying to make.”
“A lot of properties that I visit have a good company reputation but sometimes an in-house problem with management. This can include anything from communities being really lax with their office team to a lack of eagerness to do something different. Often they are so used to doing something a certain way that they don’t realize if you try something different or go another route that you can end up where you need to be. It’s not always about occupancy. Sometimes changing up the norm means hosting a new event or handling a resident problem in a unique way.
People also get too comfortable. They end up just working to get paid instead of working to do anything different or make a difference. This affects the way communities go about tasks like resident event planning. It also leads to management having trouble keeping the community fun, lively, and personable.”
“Sometimes communities have been around for five years but they’re using the same photos from when they were first built. This leads prospects to think ‘wait a minute’ when they see two very different portrayals of the community online compared to in person.
With virtual touring, people want something personable. This includes being able to explore the features that are important to them and understanding things like what the style of carpet or countertops are in any given unit. LeaseMagnets is changing the game with virtual tours. Everyone else does it so generically and traditionally, and I think that what you guys are doing is setting the tone of ‘ok, I actually feel comfortable with the tour that I have taken. It's an actual virtual tour that you would do if you were in person at the property’”
"The pandemic definitely changed the way people think of their budgets when it comes to apartments. A lot of apartments add on crazy amounts of dollars for the features that you can get in a home for half the price. This makes the specials that communities offer and what they include in their rental rates especially important. Keeping these competitive is essential.
Additionally, with the time prospects are spending on the computer these days, it's becoming easier for them to track down and compare the offers between various apartments in the same neighborhood.”
L3 Campus. I have to give them props. They are based out of New York but I worked with them on a community down in Gainesville. They were very adamant about getting things done and resolved no matter what the issue was. Maybe it was because they were a smaller group, but they got a hold of who they needed to in order to get the answers to anything and everything that came up.
Core Spaces also does a phenomenal job of keeping up with their brand image. They are able to get things done in a certain way where they market the heck out of their communities and they're so up to date on everything. No matter what issues they face, they always stay leased up. I think from an outside perspective, Core Spaces is ‘on top of their ish’ when it comes to making sure their behind the scenes does not affect their residents or leasing. Their brand the Hub is taking over the industry for student housing. They create a sense of FOMO and that's amazing.
*pre-leasemagnets stats from real websites
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