That’s often all the time property managers have when it comes to closing the deal and securing a new rental listing, says Josh Phegan.
You know the scenario: you accidentally hit ‘answer’ on your mobile phone and the booming voice on the other end of the phone says urgently, “I need a property manager. I’m considering you – what do you charge?” Or, they turn up unannounced at the office, wanting to bring across their investment properties after a disastrous experience with one of your competitors.
The only challenge is they’re walking the street, agent-to-agent interviewing everyone and somehow you’re supposed to stand out, and quickly, while you have a million items on your daily ‘to do’ list racing through your brain.
I’m sure these scenarios aren’t uncommon. In fact, they are, often or not, becoming more commonplace for a property manager.
So how do property managers prepare for this, and how do they have a template ready for when these impromptu listing presentations pop up? The answer is simple. Think like a sales person and have a step-by-step listing presentation and deal closing questions ready to go.
Granted, property management and sales are different. However, the key principle of what they do is the same –selling their services, selling themselves as the best person to manage their properties, selling their skills and capabilities to look after their clients and their investment interests.
I often hear, ‘But I’m not in sales; why would I need to work on listing presentations?’ to which I always reply, ‘But you sell your services every day, and if you don’t learn the ins and outs of how it’s done, then how will you ever achieve growth?’
The difference between those that do ‘OK’ and those that do phenomenally well is that the most successful have learned the little-known secrets that gun salespeople have been using for years.
I could talk about listing presentations for the rest of the magazine, so what I’ll focus on within this article is learning the right sales questions to ask in order to identify the client’s needs and the key features and benefits you need to sell.
Selling is not About Having All The Answers; on the Contrary, It’s Actually About Having All the Questions.
Great questions are what open people up, and learning how to master six key words will rapidly change your career.
Who, what, why, when, where and how.
These six key words can take you anywhere from zero to hero in business growth. While they look simple, it’s actually a skill that needs a little practice.
With the assistance of these six key words, you will be able to determine the client’s concerns and how you can address them. For example, you could ask a potential new landlord about their process of selecting a new property manager. The questions could be:
- Who are you considering?
- Why did you call me?
- What are you looking for in a property manager?
- How will you actually be selecting or choosing the manager that you work with?
By using those six key words again, now around selecting a property manager, you know exactly what it is that the client’s actually looking for and what they need from you as their property manager.
Once the property manager knows the answers to the client’s concerns and needs in a manager, he or she can link them to the key features and benefits that the management team can offer, to ensure that the client’s greatest fears are alleviated.
It Will Show You What You Need to Talk About to Reassure Them You are the Right Choice for Them.
And, most importantly, it will show you what you need to talk about to reassure them you are the right choice for them. For example, if the landlord says, “I’m looking around for a new property manager because my last manager wasn’t on top of rental collection”, the property manager can explain about the company’s automated system which tracks all rental payments and instantly sends out notices within 12 hours of a due date.
What concerns one landlord won’t necessarily concern another. Each client will have individual concerns, which won’t be met by a blanket speech about the manager’s services.
Need identification happens at every single step in the listing presentation process. The more you identify the needs, the more you can actually come to sell the solutions or the features and benefits, by linking them together so that the customer can actually ‘get’ that you get them. That’s ultimately what a great salesperson does. They identify the need so well that the customer ends up going, ‘Wow, you get me better than I get me.’ And that’s one of the most important key skills.
The more questions that you ask around the who, what, why, when, where, and how, the more likely it is that then you’ll be able to close.
Need identification is 90 per cent of the sales process. You get this right, and then you’ll never, ever have to worry again about pitching something that doesn’t meet your client’s needs. When you take these questions and map them against what it is that you do really well in your business, combined with the client’s greatest fears, you have a winning formula for success.
Real Estate Speaker Trainer and Coach for high performance real estate agents at Josh Phegan.