Top 5 Safety Tips for Leasing Consultants
Working as a leasing consultant in multifamily is a fun and rewarding career, but we all know that the job entails working alone in closed off areas with strangers. With this in mind, it is common sense to have a basic playbook for how to lease more safely at your apartment community. Here are our top 5 basic steps:
- Get Photo or Video before Touring – Conventional wisdom in multifamily is that getting a photo ID prior to touring is a foolproof way to prevent crime on-site. The problem is, I.D.s can be faked, names falsified, and pictures are often outdated and small. Our advice? Make sure your prospect is captured on video, especially their face. It is important that they know their image has been captured, as the certainty of being caught is the single best deterrent you can have in place.
- Walk Behind, not in Front – An easy mistake leasing agents make is to guide their prospect into the apartment unit. It’s a natural way to show your prospect around, but it also opens you up to being attacked from behind. Our advice? Walk behind your prospect and direct them where to walk. This improves your safety and as an added bonus, it gives your prospect and opportunity to see their (potential) new home for the first time rather than the back of your head!
- Flip that lock! – A simple mistake many agents make is to let the door close behind them while touring. Why does it matter? If something goes wrong and you need to flee that apartment unit, you will be slowed down by turning the doorknob. Our advice? Flip the deadbolt after you walk into the unit while the door is still open. This prevents the door from catching and makes a hasty exit much easier.
- Use a safety tool – All the preparation in the word is for naught if you are dealing with someone that is disturbed enough to throw caution to the wind and commit a crime. While you are on a tour or walking the property, make sure you carry some sort of personal safety tool. Some people like pepper spray, but there are pitfalls that can backfire. Our advice? Use a PERS (Personal Emergency Response System) like Apartment Guardian’s, which is designed specifically for on-site employees in multifamily.
- Trust your Gut – Following Fair Housing is important for both your company and for larger social/ethical reasons. Now that we got that out of the way, your safety is the most important thing and no job is worth being hurt for. If something feels wrong and you really don’t feel safe, ask for your prospect to schedule a date and time for their tour. You can then arrange for a colleague to stay on stand-by and create a safer setting for the tour. Also, if your gut was right, your prospect likely won’t return once their blood cools.