Property owners must deliver a positive experience for leasing agents, or risk losing them. A.I. offers a bold solution.
It's no secret: leasing agent turnover is one of the multifamily housing industry's biggest challenges. According to the National Apartment Association, in 2019, the national turnover rate sat only slightly higher at 36.4%.
Leasing agents have a difficult job. They serve as intermediaries between properties and prospects and handle inquiries, paperwork, and customer service requests throughout the process. Unlike real estate agents, the job doesn't end when the contract ink dries. Leasing agents often work at the residential property they service and become a point of contact for residents long-term.
What was once a problem has escalated to a crisis during the "The Great Resignation." As more people vacate their roles, it has become apparent that leasing agent turnover isn't just a staffing issue; it's a financial and structural one. Each time an employee leaves, property owners must cycle through the recruitment process, spending money and shifting company culture. Fewer agents also mean fewer opportunities to close deals.
Here, we explore why leasing agent turnover continues to climb, its effects on business, and how A.I. technology is helping property owners keep their agents satisfied in their roles.
Why are agents leaving in record numbers?
Turnover is not unique to real estate. All industries experience exits, and the number includes people who leave by choice and those who don't. But, it only takes a few clicks through real estate forums to see why leasing agent turnover is so high.
The word that appears most often in conversations about leasing agent turnover is "burnout." Burnout has happened more quickly during the pandemic. Leasing agents have taken on the responsibilities of sick and exiting colleagues. They have also helped manage tenant relationships in nontraditional ways, including directing tenant frustrations about property restrictions, processing maintenance requests, and sorting through record numbers of inquiries all the while dealing with the stress of the pandemic.
How much does leasing agent turnover cost?
According to Gallup, U.S. businesses lose $1 trillion each year due to voluntary turnover. In a report from The Edward Lowe Foundation, nearly half of all companies estimate that turnover costs more than $10,000 per employee. The price includes headhunter fees, advertising, paid training sessions, temporary staff, administrative expenses, and more. High turnover also affects team morale and tenant relationships.
How can automation keep leasing agents happy and engaged?
The easiest way to prevent leasing agent turnover is to invest in tools that make your agents' lives easier. MeetElise's AI-backed software was built with leasing agents in mind and offers a suite of tools that handles everything from lead qualification to tour scheduling and keeps them focused on the tasks that move the business forward.
MeetElise helps to reduce workloads from the very first interaction to the very last. The conversational A.I. is intelligent enough to process complex customer inquiries and is available day or night in various languages. Users enjoy their conversations with Elise so much that the technology is often mistaken for an actual human. That personalized touch ensures that by the time agents interact with prospects, they feel fully taken care of and excited about the possibility of living on your property. Meet Elise's around-the-clock capabilities also help give team members peace of mind that leads are in good hands long after they sign off for the day.
Finally, MeetElise helps eliminate the mountains of paperwork and email that overwhelm agents and cause bottlenecks. The platform keeps track of lead statuses, automatically stores relevant information, generates reports, and seamlessly integrates virtual tour scheduling. Leasing agents will feel better organized and know that the information they need to succeed in their roles is at their fingertips.