COVID, are you as sick of talking about it as much as I am? I actually had Covid-19 on my holidays, the actual real thing, the dreaded virus itself. And, I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t a walk in the park, I was sick, really sick. To be honest, I’d hate to have not been vaccinated and experienced that level of sickness, but of course, each to their own and this is not the platform for that debate! That said, people in my family and friendship circle who also contracted Covid during the festive season experienced varying degrees of illness. Some had mild headaches, others fevers, some with aches and pains, very minor ailments in the grand scheme of things. But I digress again, you see this topic is a never-ending rabbit hole! Let’s move on from this topic that is now causing me more pain than the virus itself…
New year, new goals and generally speaking rent roll and business growth is usually top of mind for everyone this time of year as soon as they settle back into their work life. So, how is your lead generation and rent roll growth going currently? Well, dare I say it, but Covid might just be causing some mild headaches or major pain in the rent roll growth stakes as well.
Why are your leads drying up you might be questioning? Let’s take a deeper dive and look into why lead generation and growth might be on the downturn.
1. Changing Market Conditions – Low Vacancy Rates
Ok, well Covid is playing a part in this, and let me tell you why. BC, or Before Covid, rental circumstances were very, very different. For starters, vacancy rates in many markets were so much higher. What does this mean for the rental market? Well for starters there’s generally an oversupply of rental properties compared to the number of tenants wanting to rent them, so tenants can afford to be picky, which generally speaking leads to a reduction in the asking rental price. What it also means is that a lot of properties sit vacant without a tenant and income for a lot longer, which means a lot of landlords are sitting disgruntled losing valuable income. But it does create the perfect storm for prospecting new managements. If property managers aren’t doing their job, communicating during high vacancy periods, landlords will be looking for any excuse to jump ship.
2. Changing Behaviours
With so few rentals available, tenants who generally move around every 6 to 12 months, will more than likely stay put. They get scared off. Either there isn’t anything available they like in their preferred area or nothing in their price range. Again due to the low vacancy period tenants behaviours have changed and many tenants are staying long-term in properties. Again, when properties are vacant, they are prime targets for prospecting. Likewise, your landlords are probably not disgruntled right now either, so there is no major need to leave their current agency. They have a tenant, they are probably paying above market rent currently, and hopefully the property manager has more time with the low vacancy to improve customer experience and communication. All these changes in behaviour may be why your former lead generation activities are no longer working.
3. Not Pivoting
The real estate industry has been through a lot. Wars, the great depression, one financial crisis after the other, natural disasters and now Covid-19. And yet, many brands big and small have stood the test of time, why? They have learnt to pivot. Sometimes you don’t even need something major to happen to force you to pivot in your business. It might be something as simple as consumer behaviour changes, technology, or software advances. What worked as little as last quarter might no longer be generating leads today. You need to learn to pivot and adopt that new technology, implement that new software or try a completely new lead generation strategy. There is no shame in admitting something is no longer working or needs tweaking or changing completely. Lead channels dry up all the time, find new ones. Think outside the square and don’t be afraid to try new things.
4. The Wrong Mindset
We’ve all heard about manifesting, setting intentions and mindset. If you haven’t then get listening. I’m going to let you in on a little secret, they’re not complete BS. Believe you can grow your rent roll and you will, set the intention to be the most successful agency in your area and so you will, and most importantly adopt the right mindset to support your journey. Grow and learn from your failures and setbacks and the sky is literally the limit. With the right mindset, there is no ceiling on your potential. Let’s not forget the all important ingredients, hard work and strategy also come into play.
5. Your Fear is Controlling you
Let go of your fear, it holds you back from so much. Fear of success, fear of failure, fear of looking stupid, incompetent or a fraud. Accept that everyone feels the same way in certain situations. You’re not alone, fear is a normal emotion, but how are you going to overcome it is what really counts. Accept you are going to receive a lot of no’s on your way to a yes, accept that you are going to have to do things outside your comfort zone to achieve your lead generation and rent roll growth goals. Ask yourself, will it kill me? Will I move my goals forward? Will I be ok? If your fear is holding you back from winning new business, chances are your competitors are out there securing all those new management leads you’re too scared to chase. Think about that!
6. You have No Point of Difference
This is one of my favourite conversations and I continually harp on about the importance of a point of difference. But chances are your leads have dried up, because you aren’t standing out, you aren’t offering anything different to your competitors. Why would a landlord change if you are offering exactly the same as the agency they are currently with? Work on your point of difference, marketing and promote your point of difference and watch the leads rolling back in.
7. Is it your fees?
When was the last time you conduct market research? Are you in touch with your current marketplace? Are your fees too high or worse yet too low? Low fees can also be just as damaging to rent roll growth as high fees. Why? Because often low fees are associated with budget service. It might be time to conduct a secret shopper or call some connections and uncover what is going on with fees in your core area.
8. Do you have the wrong team?
Now I’m not one to throw anyone under the bus … heck I’m a coach and trainer! But, is it time to address your team situation. Are they experienced enough, do they understand the business, do they have enough training? Savvy landlords can quickly sniff out a rookie and it’s like a lamb to the slaughter. Does your team understand property management, BDM, and your company mission, vision and values? There’s a reason business owners make the best BDM’s, they know the business inside out and are passionate about it, this resonates with potential clients. Your team needs to be equipped with the same expertise and enthusiasm, easier said than done, believe me I know.
9. Onboarding and Servicing
If you are winning the new business but it’s not converting or you are losing managements as quickly as you are bringing them in, there’s a greater issue at play. It’s time to address your onboarding procedure and your servicing. How are you communicating with your new and existing landlords, are they educated on your systems and procedures, are they streamlined and working well for your team and business? Without the right systems behind the scene, all the new businesses in the world will be a waste of time. Is your system working with your sales team, are the referrals flowing between departments? Take a look at your lead and customer journey in detail, decide would you be happy with that if you were the client?
10. You are not doing the Work
It is very easy to point the finger and complain about the lack of leads, but are you actually doing the work to get them? Do you have your goals in place, your action plan set, time booked in your calendar, and are you actually doing the work. You know the pesky cold calls, door knocks, email follow-ups, Facebook ads, sales funnels, content marketing, social media posting, generating referral business, and the myriad of other tasks that result in successful lead generation? This is probably the biggest hurdle we all have to overcome when our leads dry up. Doing the work is actually harder than you think, believe me, I’ve been there and hidden away behind my piles of paperwork and excuses. Business development is often the work we put off, but honestly it should be prioritised as the most important task in your days, weeks and months, if you are actually serious about growing your business.
Lead generation goes in ebbs and flows and it is important you are across them. Quarterly reviews are a good way to track your lead generation and give you great insight into your current marketplace. Double down on what is working well to generate new leads and back off on any that are losing you money or taking up too much valuable time for little reward. Most importantly, adopt that growth mindset and be open to pivoting, learning from failure, and trying new things.
If you would like to jump start your lead generation and rent roll growth please join my upcoming Workshop – 7 Proven Ways to Grow your Rent Roll (even while you are sleeping or on holiday)!
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