One of the greatest ways to gain experience and skills is to get a part-time job while in college. Obviously, not everyone is able to because of classes, other responsibilities, etc., but if your schedule allows it, I highly recommend it. Much of my success in the workforce, especially while on Co-op, has been from working in leasing offices.
In my four years at Drexel, I’ve worked in three different leasing offices: The Summit at University City, Evo Cira Centre South, and now The Link University City. While they’re all different and have their own quirks, they’re all pretty much the same. I’ve managed to establish a very similar schedule with each apartment. So, if you’re interested in becoming a leasing consultant, keep on reading!
First, there’s the “Getting Ready” part of the leasing consultant routine. Since they’re all offices, the dress code is usually business casual. My go-to is always a black pair of jeans, a nice top (usually a sweater), and a pair of boots. If I’m having one of the days, I’ll throw on a company t-shirt, jeans, and a pair of Reeboks.
There’s also the commute part of the routine. At Summit and Link, I lived in the buildings, so my commute was a trip down the elevator. Normally, it was great to be able to leave for work in five minutes, but on other occasions, it was dreadful to be in the same building all day. Now, when I worked at Evo, it was a twenty-minute walk… in the winter… sometimes while it was snowing. While it was nice to get out (especially with online classes), it meant I had to rush to get ready, pray I had time to get coffee, and occasionally bring an extra pair of work-appropriate boots – heels and snow are not a good mix.
The thing about being a leasing consultant is that you’re primarily working in sales. The first few hours of my shift is always calling people, like prospective residents (meaning people who might want to sign a lease). It’s an endless stream of phone calls that either go straight to voicemail, get hung up on after saying “hi”, or spend a good fifteen minutes explaining the building and hopefully getting someone to come in for a tour. While I’m working, it’s always in the back of mind of how to best sell the building. Part of the motivation is the commission you get after each lease is signed!
Of course, it’s not just phone calls. During the busy season, you’ll get people coming into the leasing office to get a tour, look at floor plans, and ask general questions about the leasing process. Touring was never my favorite part of the job, especially at Summit and Evo where the buildings are so big. It always felt like one big sales presentation with a lot of walking and a lot of filling in awkward silences. Don’t even get me started on the Summit elevator rides from the second floor to the twenty-fourth.
The one nice thing, though, is that you get to meet a lot of people. I’ve been able to connect with prospective residents on school, majors, Co-op, and of course, complaining about Drexel. Even outside of completing the job, it’s always nice to talk to different people every day.
The last component of the daily routine is assisting the current residents. I’d say 80% of residents who come into the office are asking to pick up their packages. 15% of residents are stopping by with either a maintenance concern, payment inquiry, or upset about something, and the other 5% are stopping by the resident events we have every so often – our last Halloween event was a breakfast bar in the leasing office.
There are always going to be pros and cons of a job. Some days it feels like the cons heavily outweigh the pros, and I contemplate whether the job is really worth it. Other days, it does seem worth it – the pay, the rent discount (excluding Evo *cough cough*), my coworkers – they’re all probably why I keep doing it. Not to mention that it’s a great topic for a Co-op interview.
Hopefully, this article taught you something new and was a good introduction to the life of a part-time leasing consultant!