Renters to Buyers 101: A YPN Breakfast Recap | Chicago Association of REALTORS®

On Wednesday, May 25, 2022, we hosted our monthly YPN breakfast “Renters to Buyers 101!” at our home base, Manny’s Deli. We were so excited to get together in person, connect with our peers and devour advice from local industry experts. You can stay up-to-date on upcoming YPN events by following the YPN Facebook page!



Our guest speakers Alyssa Simental, DreamSpots Leasing, and Stephanie Spenner, COMPASS, shared their journeys in the leasing market, including advice on how to build lifelong clients by developing strong follow-up systems and break into new markets like luxury real estate.

Help Renters Feel Confident & Informed

Resourcefulness, patience and transparency with your clients are important qualities when helping renters become prospective buyers.

“I’ve found that people are afraid of what they don’t know,” Alyssa said. She refers her clients to trusted lenders to get loan estimates with the exact numbers that outline potential mortgage payments and other costs. Seeing these hypotheticals helps her renters feel more confident and capable of taking the next step.

Alyssa also pitches the transition of renting to buying as “generational wealth” and “an investment,” and using these words is an effective and positive mindset shift for a process that is otherwise extremely intimidating.

Whether a renter is completely prepared to begin the purchase process, on the fence, or not even thinking about it, Stephanie sends her clients an email with a Homeowner’s Guide video and PDF to outline the process. Most importantly, she doesn’t pressure them to watch it or do anything else. By simply providing helpful, digestible starting information, she guides them into making the decision on their own.

Where Can You Build Relationships (Which Bring Opportunities)?

Building relationships with your clients, landlords and property owners is essential to building a lead pipeline that will last. You can find renters, buyers, sellers, landlords and more to represent and diversify your income.

As Alyssa stated, “People like to do business with people they like.” Therefore, she fosters relationships through having a positive attitude, high-energy and great customer service.

Despite being an independent contractor, she reassures her buyer clients with compassion. “We’re going through this experience together; it isn’t just another job.” Sometimes, showing a little vulnerability can bring an old client back or a referral!

Be the best agent you can be, and understand that your client isn’t just the renter but also the property management company.

Stephanie expressed the importance of being communicative and respectful of everyone’s time. “If you and your client are running late to a showing, you need to call, email or text the property manager to let them know.”

Additionally, show property managers and developers that they are your favorite to represent! Stephanie tags the property managers and developers when she posts their listings on social media so they can see her passion for showcasing them in the best way. They will continue to send business to you if you show them how hard you’re working.

Identify a Follow-up Process Compatible with Your Business Style

Create a sustainable follow-up process, because it will allow you to be equally intentional and consistent for every client.

For Alyssa, it’s knowing how to take a hint. If she has reached out to her clients a couple of times (emails, texts calls, anything) and doesn’t receive a response, she takes that as they aren’t interested. However, if they are responsive, she stays engaged in conversation whether it be through social media, email or text. No matter what, she keeps in touch.

Stephanie’s motto is “never give up until they give you a flat out no.” She follows the 33-touch model with lead cultivation. One of those touches is a calendar reminder for her client’s move-out date. Even if the person is comfortable in their current location, she stated, “I’ll still send them a place that’s better to get them hooked.”

Both Alyssa and Stephanie found a system to ensure everyone they work with receives a similar, positive experience. More importantly, when the transaction is done, be it a lease signing or a purchase, they don’t treat that milestone as the end of their relationship. It could simply be the start of a new beginning.