As a property manager we wear many hats - debt collector, private investigator, counsellor, lawyer, accountant, negotiator, mediator and the list goes on. I cannot think of another career that is as diversified as a property manager. Another important hat that we need to embrace and wear is similar to a doctor, which is one of my secret success strategies for winning new business.
If I was to telephone or visited your agency today and enquired on your services... What would you say? How would you respond to "What do you do for your management fee?", "Why should I choose you?" or "What do you do differently?" To successfully win new business it is important that you can answer these questions to set yourself apart from your competitors.
It is not a simple focus of talking about your services such as sourcing a quality tenant, collecting the rent, organising maintenance and accounting to them at the end of the month. Yes, this is what we do, but the landlord wants to hear about the benefits to them. In my coaching sessions I call it the sausage and the sizzle concept. The sausage is the service that you deliver and the sizzle is the outcome that the landlord wants to achieve - wealth creation, maximise income, optimise capital growth and put more money in their back pocket.
When we take an enquiry from a prospective landlord or conduct a listing presentation we can often fall into the trap of over-talking; telling them what we do, instead of listening.
I personally believe that the best way to win the business is firstly, be prompt in following up the enquiry. During my career in property management there were countless times where I would call a prospective landlord back almost immediately for them to say, "I cannot believe you have returned my call as I have left messages with three agents and no response". The second tip is to be professional (know what to say), be yourself and connect with the landlord. And lastly, and most importantly, take on the role or put on your doctor'' hat.
We are not going to the landlord to present (tell them all about our services) and close; we are going to consult, prescribe and then close.
I once heard a story of a lady who wanted to buy a television. She walked into the retail shop and a young, newly employed and enthusiastic salesperson approached her. "How can I help you today?" She responded that she was looking to buy a television. He quickly took her to a television and start to explain the features. It is a 110-inch screen, has 3D, a modern silver colour, a bargain at $1999 and on and on he talked about the features. Once he had taken a breath to stop talking the lady responded, "But this is not what I am looking for. I want a white TV, it is out of my budget, I have eye problems and wouldn''t use the 3D aspect and 110-inch is way too big for our room size."
When trying to win the business it is important to understand the needs and wants of the landlord. The first five minutes should be about building a relationship connection and not talking business at all.
Then you need to take the time to ''consult'' with them and find out their needs.
Just a ''few'' scripts that I have found to be very successful as a lead in to a presentation:
- Do you mind if I ask you a few quick questions?
- Why did you call our agency?
- What are you looking for in a property manager?
- Do you have any concerns about renting out your property?
- Have you spoken with other agents?
- Ultimately, what is the most important thing about appointing someone to care for your property?
Once you know the needs and concerns of the landlord you can ''prescribe'' by focusing on the areas of your service that will satisfy their needs and give them peace of mind.
More often than not winning the business is about listening rather than talking.
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Author: Debbie Palmer