Back in March of this year, property firms had to move quickly to create and adapt to new strategies and policies as a result of Covid-19. And, while we aren’t anywhere near “normal” just yet, property management professionals are cautiously optimistic about the future of their business. Here are some proven tactics to help grow your property management business and increase profits throughout the year, even as we emerge out of the pandemic.
Even though the CBRE reported that “turnover—the percentage of total rented units not renewed each year—fell from 47.5% in 2019 to 42.1% in April, the lowest level in over 20 years,” we know the reality is that once things start to reopen, and there is more stability, tenants will once again start to move out. The economic impact of Covid-19, and the subsequent one-two punch of rising unemployment levels and decreasing consumer spending, means that many tenants may consider either downsizing and reducing their spend on rent.
Now, more than ever, is the time to start checking in with renters. It’s also the time to ensure seamless resident experiences and stellar customer service. Happy residents stay; it’s as simple as that. If a quality tenant is considering moving due to finances, it’s better to either see if you can make an arrangement if it looks like their situation may rebound, or interest them to a less expensive unit elsewhere in your portfolio. Remember, whenever you can lower your turnover you are also lowering the time and money you spend on cleaning, painting, fixing up and showing empty units.
Your amenities may have changed a little, with rooftop decks and pools being reimagined to make it easier for residents to socially distance. If you have a perks program, it might now include discounted grocery delivery. Technology that allows tenants to pay their rent online, or, a communication portal that enables a resident to request a repair without having to drop by the office or pick up a phone helps cement tenant satisfaction. Across your operations, this emphasis on customer safety and service combined with seamless experiences will be key to avoiding unexpected turnover and getting lease renewals signed.
Leverage Online Marketing
Even with your best efforts, tenants will move out. Marketing for new business is a vital part of every business, and property management is no exception. Leverage automation technology to upload and update property photos, unit information and availability all in one place with a few simple clicks. Ensure that your website looks great and is accessible on desktop and mobile. Work on your SEO to boost your brand presence and increase visibility. This helps attract not only renters but owners/investors who are seeking out a professional property management firm to handle their properties.
And, it doesn’t stop there. You must also nurture your social media presence on networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. And, your social media presence cannot be a half-hearted effort. When tenants and property owners are researching, they often turn to social media to see not only what you are posted but what people post about you. A friendly, responsive presence on social media can go a long way in driving traffic to your website and online property inquiries.
Attract New Owners and Investors
Think about your target audience of owners and investors. What content bait do you need to reel them in as a lead? Often owners want to know they are following best practices, so a best practices guide that includes check lists are often dangled as an enticement for a name and email. Think about creating PDF guides like “Best Practices for Marketing Your Rental Property” or “The Ultimate Checklist for Tenant Background Checks.”
Quality content is win-win. Owners who download your content can use it to try to improve their operations, and you get a marketing qualified lead. If they don’t have the interest or bandwidth to properly manage their own properties, you’ll also be the one they see as a professional. Creating these types of detailed, expert reports and guides helps to position your firm as the authority on managing properties.
Ask for Referrals
To help keep your property units rented by quality tenants, offer your best tenants a referral fee. Birds of a feather flock together, and renters want to have their friends and family in their community. These types of referrals can drive down vacancies and increase waiting lists, saving you money, and also ensuring a higher quality renter.
As well, property investors and landlords talk to each other at networking events and in online forums. You can sweeten the pot by offering a free month or two of property management services for a referral that turns into a one-year property management contract.
Ensure Your Processes are Scalable
While every property is different, your processes should be consistent and scalable. It’s absolutely critical to sustain a high level of service quality across your property portfolio. The easiest way to do this is to create systems that allow you to centralize, automate and optimize as much of your operations as possible.
Leverage technology to achieve more efficient and replicable processes. Look to reduce any type of manual work, which only slows you down and often results in errors and rework. Whether you’re managing individual properties, a HOA’s complex or a large purpose-built development, having systems in place that’ll support improving efficiencies in every part of the leasing cycle —from move-in to move-out and beyond — is essential to growth. The added advantage of establishing proper systems is that it becomes easier to clearly demonstrate that you have a proven methodology for successfully managing properties.
How Property Vista Helps
Property Vista’s suite of seamless cloud-based solutions allows property management companies to deliver exceptional customer service while maximizing efficiencies to reduce cost and allow you to scale and grow your company. Why not give Property Vista a try? Check out our pricing.