Centralized Leasing: Stop Forcing Prospects to Do Business How We Want

Centralized Leasing

Tricap Residential’s “Have it Your Way” with Centralized Leasing Sales Philosophy

Tricap Residential Group utilizes a unique approach to sales with centralized leasing, allowing its sales team to specialize in sales and build on those strengths.  Suzanne Hopson, President of Operations, and Jessica Eberbach, VP of People and Culture, sat down with Edge2Learn’s Pam Pederson to answer questions about this innovative ‘have it your way’ sales philosophy.

What is the background story of Tricap Residential Group’s leasing approach? 

Tricap has lifted much of the burden of resident engagement and accounts receivable and accounts payable off the onsite sales team’s plate to allow them to thrive in sales.  While this streamlining began in the pre-pandemic time, it has continued in our post-Covid world.  Their sales team is now working completely remotely.  This allows their sales team to meet customers in the fastest, easiest way possible and allows customers to benefit from a ‘have it your way’ sales process.

How has this change led to a better experience for prospective and current residents?

Experience has shown that most prospects find the communities online.  Most traffic is driven from internet sources. It is a much more satisfying experience for the prospect to be able to complete the entire sales experience virtually as well.  Enhanced features in the virtual sales presentation that make it almost as complete as an in-person presentation build a trusting relationship with the customer.  Customers appreciate the ‘have it your way’ sales philosophy and that sales agents can focus solely on their experience rather than being bogged down with other responsibilities.

What has been your messaging as you promote your operations strategy at national multifamily conferences and outlets?

Curiosity is high among people in the multifamily industry regarding how these strategies have been implemented and the success level.  People have lots of questions!  A few people are skeptical due to how different this model is from what they may currently be using.  Sharing ideas is beneficial for those asking questions and those answering them.

How do you encourage participation to generate new and innovative ideas using your Centralized Leasing module?

Tricap gathers weekly feedback from poll surveys on many different topics, such as benefits, policies, processes, and even core values.  Tricap Residential is an EOS (entrepreneurial operating system) based company, and that structure utilizes specific teams of employees, meeting to streamline and continuously improve their performance.  The sharing of ideas within and across teams is very much encouraged.  Great ideas are celebrated and rewarded.  Commitment to continuous improvement is part of Tricap Residential’s culture.  People feel free to share ideas and feedback.

What advancement advice can you pass on to our up-and-coming multifamily leaders?

Be open to change!  There has been enormous change during and since the pandemic, but change always happens and will continue to happen.  Companies can’t keep doing things the same way, especially when their customers have other expectations.  What is it going to hurt if you try something new?  Change may not work perfectly at first, but the experience of trying is valuable.  You won’t be able to grow personally or professionally if you aren’t open to change.

The transition to remote work for Tricap’s sales team brought many challenges.  Not everyone thrives in a remote work environment.  Remote work requires extra attention to maintain engagement.  Despite the challenges, it has been very worthwhile to equip the remote experience for success. 

How could you support this model in a small community?

Tricap has communities from as small as 32 to over 500 units.  This centralized leasing sales model works very well with communities of vastly different sizes.  Smaller communities are thriving with the centralized sales model because it allows specialized sales experts to work with customers rather than a single employee who is overwhelmed by other responsibilities. 

Are sales agents showing homes in person, or is the leasing process fully virtual, or is it a combination?

Tricap is fully remote in its sales process.  There are no in-person tours taking place currently.  They use a technology called Tour24 for on-demand property tours. Their specialized virtual tours have been very successful.   

Does this remote strategy also work for maintenance, or is that still handled in the onsite offices?

Tricap Residential is dabbling in “Maintenance AI” to see if they can successfully apply the same offsite strategies as they have done with centralized leasing.  Some preliminary work orders are now being handled remotely, especially issues that can be quickly resolved with just a phone call or video call with a resident.  Presently most maintenance team members still work onsite, but the remote model is a goal they want to pursue. 

How are you screening and entering leases in a virtual, remote environment?

Tricap utilizes Entrata, which makes the entire process seamless.  The application process, income verification, and credit check through signing the lease are done electronically and flow smoothly.  Entrata also enables identity verification if a prospect later wishes to take a self-guided, in-person tour. 

Are you still building traditional clubhouses with office space for onsite team members, and if not, where are your onsite teams working?

Tricap still uses amenity spaces, including offices for some onsite or hybrid (onsite/remote) employees.  Public areas are now called “Community Hubs” and include workspaces for residents who work from home, as well as community team members.  In communities without clubhouses, technology such as remote access and video screens allows interaction between residents, prospects, and staff. 

How did centralization affect your staffing model onsite?  Was it initially a reduction in staff?

Despite initial concerns, accountability and clearly defining roles and responsibilities were key to implementing this strategy.  Tricap uses the “Cultural Index” technology to refine hiring practices and job descriptions.  Matching the skills and strengths of their people to their roles and responsibilities is the key to success.  Let people do the most of what they are best at! 

How is your leasing or property management team structured using both in-person and remote positions with centralized leasing?

Sales positions are fully remote.  Sales team members can be anywhere in the country, which opens up many opportunities for hiring and increases the pool of candidates.  Engagement managers are generally within the market of their community, even if they work remotely. 

Many thanks to Tricap Residential for their insights into their fully remote sales philosophy that allows flexibility not only to their teams but also to the customers in the ever-changing multifamily landscape. When prospects and employees have a voice and can ‘have it your way,’ sales become a win-win proposition. 

Suzanne Hopson

Suzanne Hopson, President of Operations
Tricap Residential Grop

Jessica Eberbach, VP of People and Culture

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