Growth, growth, growth, it is all I’m hearing right now! How can I improve my property management company? How can I win new managements? How can I promote myself as a property management business? The market has definitely tightened and growth has really slowed down. Primarily this is due to the low vacancy, and when there is a low vacancy rate, our landlords are for the most part are pretty happy. That’s not to say there isn’t opportunities to win new business and grow your rent roll, heck no. It just means you have to work a little harder, smarter and with way more consistency than if the vacancy rate was higher.
Now is the perfect time to reflect on where you are at in either your career or business and decide if growth is the right path forward for you. Often we find ourselves longing for growth, but when it actually happens, we get a rude awakening and realise we aren’t actually ready for it. So, I’d like to share seven key decisions to help you decide if you are actually ready for the desired growth and what to do about it you aren’t.
DECISION 1 – Are you ready to be a BDM or ready for Growth?
It sounds easy enough right, let’s grow a rent roll, let’s build our property management business. But there are some important questions to consider:
1. What is your Why? Have you asked yourself the all-important WHY? Why are you doing this? Is it for financial freedom, cash flow, ego, set your family up with an asset for retirement. Without a good enough why, you may find yourself floundering in want, but never actually making it to growth.
2. How are you going to grow? Are you going to buy a rent roll, organic growth, or active growth which includes hiring people like a BDM or paying for lead generation to grow your rent roll.
3. When will you be ready for Growth? Have you looked at your business and strategically worked out the exact point at which you will be ready for growth. Are there a few milestones, hurdles, or boxes you need to tick first before considering growing?
4. What do you need to set up for growth? This is another important question. We can all talk about growing our rent roll until the cows come home, but if your business isn’t set up for growth, just like I did, you will lose as many managements as you bring in.
5. Do you have the skillset for Growth? Are you a BDM or will you need to hire one? Consider who you hire carefully. Generally speaking, the business owners make the best BDM’s because of the vested interest in the business, but there is a growing group of highly skilled and successful BDM’s flooding the industry. Without the right team working on winning you new business, good, long-term sustained growth will almost be impossible.
DECISION 2 – What is your plan?
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Goals, targets, or KPI’s where do you start? Go too high and you set yourself up for failure… go too low and well business growth is going to be pointless…
KPI’s & Target – let’s start with them first. Key Performance Indicators & Targets
– like 50 phone calls a week; 20 letters; 2 appraisals or listing presentations; 5 industry connections. While they are great at keeping you accountable, honestly they are in all senses and purposes designed to set you up for failure and keep you from achieving your goals. You are never going to achieve all of them every single week … generally speaking, it is impossible and what happens? Well, you get disheartened when you don’t achieve them, and you more often than not give up all together. That said it might be how you work best and this may be your goal-setting option.
Goals – why do you need a goal? Setting goals helps trigger new behaviors, helps guide your focus and helps you sustain that momentum in life. Without a goal when the going gets tough, you’ll give up easily, you’ll become distracted, and it will take you longer to get back to your dollar producing tasks.
Once you have your goals sorted you then need to work on the rest of your plan. How will you initially attract new leads, secondly win the new business and finally grow your rent roll. There are myriad ways of doing this, but the most common ways are: prospecting, marketing and advertising.
DECISION 3 – Who are you?
Who are you as a person, who is your business? What do you stand for, what do you want people to know, believe about your business? Whether you are starting a business, working in the business or the business owner, take a moment to understand WHO YOU ARE… it is important to the overall big picture, and essential when it comes to attracting, winning and securing new business.
To work out ‘who you are’ you need to know:
1. What are your Core Values – These are personal values that guide you when making important decisions and doing work.
2. What is your mission – When you first had the inkling, or the seed sprouted to start your business what or how did you initially envisage the business? Your mission describes the overall purpose of the business.
3. What is your vision- The vision statement is different to the mission, in that it pertains to where the business hopes it will be going in the future if they can fulfill their mission.
4. What is your point of difference – In my opinion, working out how to be different is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Different is a way to make people take notice and to stand out from all the noise, because most businesses survive in a sea of sameness which ultimately keeps profits low and the business stuck.
DECISION 4 – What is your market?
Traveling too far away from your core area to find new managements, can cost you valuable time and money instead of focusing on areas closer to home. The only reason you would venture out of your core area is for higher rental price and better quality of managements in my opinion.
So, consider this when it comes to your market or core area:
How far from your office are you willing to travel for a rental?
Your marketing efforts should go into properties in your core area.
Write down the area, suburbs you want to be securing new business in.
You can simply do a quick google maps search and pinpoint your suburbs.
What you need to know about your local market:
• Percentage of rentals compared to owner/occupiers
• Vacancy rates
• Quality of properties
• Rental yield
• Average days on market
• What development is happening in the area
DECISION 5 – Who is your customer/clients?
So, why do you need to know your ideal client? Well, this allows you to advertise, market and prospect to them in the right places. There’s no point in advertising to people on Facebook if they mainly hang out on Instagram or vice versa. It also allows you to speak their language and you have a better chance of attracting them with your branding and messaging.
What you need to know about your ideal clients:
1. What are their demographics?
Age, gender, marital status and employment for example.
2. Where are they?
Where do they live – are they local, interstate, overseas)? What social platforms do they use – Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, Linkedin or Youtube? Where would you find them locally Chamber of commerce, sports clubs, schools? Where would you find them elsewhere wealth creation groups, buyers agents?
3. What do they like to do?
Interests – what sporting teams do they follow, which newspapers or magazines are they likely to read, what tv shows do they watch
Hobbies – old cars, antiques, gardening
4.What do they dislike?
Maybe it’s politics or a particular party, this is a tough question, you might need to find someone and ask them some questions to help identify these issues.
5. What are their current struggles/pain points?
Personally and professionally – are they time poor, stressed, overwhelmed, uneducated about property management?
DECISION 6 – What tools do you need?
When we talk about tools, I’m referring to the collateral you need to support you when you are looking to win new business. When you have that initial enquiry or lead how will you respond. Now you might already have your tools set up, but when was the last time you reviewed them and updated them? Could they use an overhaul, maybe they are a bit outdated? Having your tools set up helps you avoid wasting time, you can secure new business immediately and it makes you look professional.
The tools you need ready to go:
Investor welcome pack
Templates / Checklists
DECISION 7 – What are your fees?
This is probably the most important decision to have in place before you embark on a growth journey. Your fees are an important element because at the end of the day this is how you will be making money and providing an income for the business and a lifestyle for yourself. So, what fees are you going to charge?
What you need to consider when it comes to fees:
1. What are your competitors charging? You don’t want to be too low and be considered a budget agency, and of course, you don’t want to be too high that you will scare everyone in the market off. It has to be a balance between what the market is doing and what value you offer.
2. What is fair for the services you are offering?
What value do you offer?
Are you able to achieve the best possible rental return?
Can you avoid long vacancy?
Can you select quality tenants?
What will it cost the business to manage the property financially?
3. What BONUS services can you include in the fees?
Paying Water/Council Rates
Annual Sales/Rental Reviews
Can your fees be your point of difference – can you do something different to the rest of your competitors? Think outside the square and consider your ideal client when deciding fees.
Understanding these key decisions will help not only determine if you are ready for growth but will help set you up to actively go out and pursue that growth. The last thing you want to be doing is spending valuable time and money chasing growth, and then as the new managements come in you realise your team is not educated or set up for growth. What happens then? Well they become overwhelmed and stressed, they can’t service your existing clients well and you end up losing as many managements as you bring in.
If you’d like to work out your ideal client, you can download my FREE worksheet here.
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