Who said that listing was a job for the sales side of a Real Estate agency? If you want to grow your Property Management department, you need to master the art of listing. Story by Fiona Blayney.
Across the country small to medium enterprises are working hard at achieving one of two objectives; maintaining current business figures or growing current figures. Real Estate businesses and their Property Management teams are no different.
In the business of Property Management, there is a catch when it comes to growth – you will lose clients every year. Typically, I found in recent years agencies have lost between 10 to 15 per cent naturally. So even if you just want to hold your current position – you need to secure new clients, or increase the income of current ones. In my programme “Growing Inside Out” we discuss the three ways that you can improve the bottom line of a Property Management department.
1. Increase fees
2. Increase properties managed
3. Decrease expenses
In a time where growth of numbers is abuzz, I thought it appropriate to share with you some insights into how you can turn your growth ideas into a reality. Here is the train stopping idea you have all been waiting for… The way to grow the number of properties under management – drum roll please… list and let more properties!
Today I am not going to provide you with the 101 ways to find new clients, nor am I going to give you a google map that will lead you on a treasure hunt to the secret hideout of these would-be clients. You can find these in my training programme Growing Inside Out, ask your friends on pmplace.com.au or potentially you already have a list yourself. My message is; don’t look for new clients if you are not converting the leads that you have. How can you increase your conversion? It’s what I call the “Star Presentation.”
You don’t have to have watched Master Chef to know that much of the result is in the preparation. Yet agents across the country have difficulty having quality conversations in the preparation of meeting a potential client to present to and list their home.
Pre list questionnaire
Every listing should begin with understanding the client, their needs, desires, current position, lead time, thoughts on price and the temperature of the lead. A good quality, well constructed questionnaire will ensure that when talking to a prospect you ask the right questions up front so you are well armed when you meet. I have posted a copy of ours online for you.
Research the property
Every potential client has an idea of where their property sits in the market place before they call you despite many stating,I don’t know its value – that’s why you’re here. Choose your questions wisely,Have you seen other properties in the area similar to yours for rent?,What bracket do you believe your property to fall in $400 to $450, $500 to $550? Prepare a range of comparables and potentially email them to the prospect with a pre meeting confirmation so they are educated and are already identifying a point of difference in your agency.
Identify the potential objections
In the pre list questioning gain an understanding of; What is important to the client when choosing an agent? Why did they call you? What would they like to ensure you discuss in the meeting?
Set the “personalised” listing presentation agenda
In creating the listing agenda, list the potential objections, client needs, features of an agent as well as other items generally discussed with the “type” of investor they are. Send this to the client in a confirmation email, requesting any additions they would like to make.
Close the deal before you meet
A client may be seeing other agents before you, however, you want to ensure they hold off on signing anything before you present. Build suspense to your meeting. This can be achieved through your meeting confirmation, your comparables, identifying information you will bring, suggestions you may want to make about the home, a pre marketing property presentation report, current trends, income maximisation marketing options, anything that will leave them waiting for you. Create suspense.
2. WALK THROUGH
Whilst the first impression of you is formed by the client in the first four seconds, a relationship is yet to form. By conducting the walk through of the property before you undertake your presentation you can ensure the following occurs:
* Rapport is established – find a common ground
* Confirm your comparables reflect the home
* Identify with the client what they believe the Unique Selling Point of the property is
* Re confirm your discussions during preparation phase
* Make detailed notes on the general features of the property, including availability, inclusions and lease period
3. THE PRESENTATION
Remember you have come to this listing armed with a range of tools, so be sure to use them. Keep away from your spiel, instead discuss with the client what they want to know, not what you want to tell them. Here are three easy points to keep you on track.
The client has already told you what they want out of an agent, what they want to cover off in the meeting, so make sure that you keep to this. Don’t talk at the client, proactively listen to their questions and comments, check in regularly with questions to ensure they understand.
A method of learning is visual; your listing presentation is a visual teaching aid – you are teaching the client about your service and how it can assist them. Ensure that your aids reflect your brand and convey the right message. The easiest layout is that of the story of listing, leasing, managing and exiting a tenancy.
Don’t tell me you are great, show me! I haven’t seen an agent yet who tells a client they provide poor service, don’t communicate and won’t find them a tenant at a great price. You must demonstrate through evidence your point of difference and how it will assist the client to set you apart.
4. THE CLOSE
Never attend a presentation without a managing agency agreement, nor leave without asking for the business – why bother going? You experience the same objections time and time again, (too expensive, too big, too small, want to ask husband/wife) typically if a client has an objection you have not sold the value of your offering and these common objections are simply smokescreens for a greater flaw. Throughout the presentation you are selling benefits to avoid objections. Practice overcoming each objection, drill down into the real reason and resolve it using this pattern; Ask for the business – Uncover objection – Thank – Understand – Question – Resolve – Close
Often a listing is a two part process, as such the follow up is imperative; it can be the deciding factor for a client. Follow up regularly – until they tell you to stop! Even if a client is to instruct another agent, with the right follow up, in the first 90 days they may receive more communication from you than they do the new agent – be top of the shopping list if things don’t go according to plan.