Monthly Newsletter: Newsletters should be standard practise. My advice is to send them out monthly to keep production levels high and the communication lines open. You don’t want to oversaturate your clients with weekly newsletters, however, don’t leaving it for more than a month is too long. Send the newsletters out with the end of month ledgers for owners and do the same for tenants. Make sure the newsletters have vacant rental properties as well as some properties for sale, after all, your property owners are investors too and you never know when they might want to add to their portfolio!
Survey: Feedback is integral to success. Surveys are a good way to get honest feedback about your services and identify ways in which you can improve. Phone surveys are a lot more powerful. If you are not the person in the business who’s directly managing that client, they might be more open to reveal their more honest opinion. Email surveying is a lot less aggressive and can be less time consuming for the PM or BDM. A lot of people prefer to respond this way for the same reasons. When constructing an email survey, be sure to let the reader know how long the survey will take and keep the questions short and succinct. I think it is always good practise to include an incentive, such as a voucher, to those who participate.
Giving Back: Be sure to find ways to surprise and delight your property owners. Your property owners are very valuable to the business, so small gestures like Christmas cards, a scratchie or even hampers for top-end clients can have a profound effect on the relationship.
Focus: Running focus groups around service can be highly beneficial to enhance business processes. Ask them about the EOM process, the layout of the statements and communication processes etc. Select 10-15 couples and be sure to give them something for participating such as a book, bottle of wine or a voucher.
Investor evenings: These are a great way to create value by providing free, relevant information regarding buying or investing. Partner up with a professional service that is a good fit, such as a financial planner, and host a free investor evening for the local community. It’s a fabulous way to network and give to the community.
Market review: Give your owners a free comparative market analysis (CMA) every 12 months. This is a great value-add and it opens the lines of communication to your owners. It’s also a great way to position yourself as an authoritative educator on all things property.
Celebrate milestones: This is a great way to connect with clients and businesses over wine and snacks. It’s also a great way to physically get them in to your office.
Curb side inspections: These are so easy to do and owners absolutely love them. If you’re in the neighbourhood, simply take a photo on your tablet or smartphone and send your owner a quick text or give them a call to let them know you were in the area and decided to do a drive-by. The inspection mightn’t be for another couple of months, but they’ll love the fact that you’re keeping an eye on the place.
Tenant of the month: Reward a good tenant for the month with a voucher, flowers, a book or some wine etc. Small gestures go a long way!
Tradie BBQ: Host an in-office barbecue for your tradies as they are a great source of referrals! Plus, it’s nice to show them you value their efficient work.
Give incentives to clients in business:
- Landlords get three months’ free management for every one client secured. If they refer four a year, that’s free management!
- Tenants would get a voucher (such as a Myer voucher) for referring one secured investor. If they purchase an investment, they would get three months free management.
- Tradesmen who refer one secured client would get a gift voucher, such as a Dan Murphy voucher or Myer voucher.
- With developers you might have a set rate per property that is a referral incentive.
Video update: Record a video market update outlining the results that have been achieved. This is a good way to self-promote while educating your clients too.
Prospecting: Talk with past buyers and sellers to see if they are looking at buying more property or if you can provide advice on a property they may be looking at.
Competition: Running competitions in the business can be a good social outlet and a bit of fun. Connect with tenants. If they have kids, do colouring-in competitions, and even create a certificate that you leave in the kids’ bedroom after a routine inspection that might congratulate them on passing for having a clean bedroom.
Leave something: After an inspection, it’s ideal to leave something behind at the property, such as a card or even a jar of jellybeans or lollies that’s labelled with your business information.
Book: A book is a great gift to send out to landlords to say thank you for your business. You can send these along with the new agreement. I often use the book The Ultimate Gift as it has a positive message for everyday people of all walks of life.
Tenant entry pack: Before your tenant moves in, leave behind a tenant essentials pack with things such as toilet rolls, teabags, vouchers (local businesses) coffee cups etc. in a cleaning bucket. These are the handy things you look for when you’ve just moved in and everything is still in boxes.