The ABC’s of Being Chicago Apartment Finders

October 4, 2010 | By Aaron Galvin
Reading Time: 2 Minutes

This past weekend I received emails from the leasing staff at two different properties with the same theme. The emails were addressing recent issues with the lack of professionalism amongst Chicago apartment finders. I know these are not the only two buildings currently facing these difficulties.

Unfortunately, in the leasing industry, there are those that bring a bad name to the profession. I’ve been in this business for six years and have seen it all. When I first started out, there wasn’t nearly as much competition as there is now. It seems a new locating company starts up every day. This means there are a lot of newbies entering into the profession who don’t always know the proper etiquette and protocol for working with a property’s leasing staff. They are not always to blame, there are plenty of seasoned locators who have gotten complacent as well.

The number one issue the properties we partner with face is the constantly changing pricing and availability of their units. This can cause inaccurate and misleading advertising from the outside locating companies, thus causing general confusion amongst consumers. Consumers will talk to several different locating companies about the same unit and each will have a different price point.

The reality is, the building sets the pricing. Whatever the property’s leasing staff has on file, is what is available. Outside brokers and Chicago apartment finders should regularly read the property hot sheets and communicate with the in-house leasing staff to obtain the most current pricing and availability. In turn, the property’s leasing staff should regularly send out hot sheets to keep the industry as up to date as possible.

Another hardship for a property’s leasing staff is that locating companies will not schedule an appointment with the property leasing staff and will just show up with their clients unannounced. This puts the leasing staff in a very bad position. If they don’t accommodate the locating company and their client, it could reflect poorly on the building. It’s always wise for a locating company to schedule an appointment with the property leasing staff. Providing detailed information on the client prior to the appointment is helpful as well as it will allow the in-house leasing staff to be fully prepared for the appointment with pricing and availability specific to the client’s needs.

In turn it is always helpful for the in-house leasing staff to answer phone and email showing requests by locating companies. This way there is no confusion and will limit the amount of locating traffic stopping by and trying to squeeze into the schedule.

And if a locator is not going to make the appointment they have scheduled – they should always call to cancel.

Dress professionally too! No one was ever at fault for dressing nicely.

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