Technology is moving us forward as an industry.
These are pretty exciting times, but it can also be easy to lose the personal touch when you add so much automation.
So, how can you use technology to connect with your clients better?
Here are three ways you can harness technology to wow your clients and grow your rent roll at the same time.
Instagram direct messages
According to Sprout Social, Instagram now has one billion active monthly users.
Chances are, your landlords, tenants and potential landlords, are on Instagram.
This means you should be too.
Instagram has a feature that Facebook doesn’t, and it’s one that you should be using in 2020 – Direct Messages (DMs).
Currently, Instagram allows you to Direct Message almost anyone, which means when you get a new follower, you can send them a DM to say hello.
DMs are a powerful way to have one-on-one conversations with the people in your community.
So reach out, start those conversations, ask questions and stay in touch with your followers.
Don’t forget the value of an audio DM, but remember, once you let go of that microphone button, the message is sent.
No second chances.
I predict that, eventually, you won’t be able to Direct Message your followers (like Facebook).
But until then, DM away my friend!
Personal video messages
Video, especially personalised video, is one of the most powerful ways for you to connect with your clients and potential clients.
It’s the next best thing to being in front of them.
My three favourite times to send video messages to landlord clients are:
1. When you’re finishing a routine inspection, and you’re locking up the house
Take 60 seconds to pull out your smartphone and send a quick video.
Tell your landlord that you’ve finished the inspection and give a quick update on how the tenant is looking after the house.
This is also an ideal time to let the landlord know when they can expect to see the inspection report.
This type of video is one that your landlord will show their friends.
Their landlord friends.
So take a moment to impress your landlords with these videos.
2. When you’re locking up after an open home
Landlords are at their most stressed when their investment property is sitting vacant.
So, take a moment to record a quick video as you’re locking up after an open home to update the landlord on how the open home went.
Sure, you’ll probably send them a report too, but adding a video to this process offers the landlord extra reassurance that you’re on the job and prioritising them (especially if you film the video while you’re still in their property).
3.When you get a new landlord lead
In an ideal world, when you get a new landlord lead, you’d pick up the phone and speak with them immediately.
Sometimes you hit voicemail, and this is the perfect opportunity to send a video message to say hi and make a connection that feels more personal than a voicemail message alone.
Remember, if this landlord is contacting a few agents in your area, there’s a good chance you’ll be the only one sending them a personal video.
Some quick tips for sending videos like these:
• If you’re sending video messages via email, use a video message software platform, like Bonjoro or BombBomb. Software platforms like these allow you to send a video message without it appearing as a large attachment on your email.
• Look at your phone’s camera, not at your screen – you want your client to feel as though you’re looking them in the eye when they receive the video.
• Keep it short and sweet – videos of about 60 seconds for a message like this is ideal.
Personalise your automation
When it comes to software and automation, you have so much choice these days.
From leasing to maintenance, to lease renewals, to routine inspections and even new business management, there’s a piece of software for everything.
The cool thing is, when you bring in a new piece of software, they have templated emails and SMS ready to go for you.
But here’s where it’s easy to lose your personal touch.
Those templates don’t sound like you.
They sound like the brilliant person who wrote them.
So, when your office implements a new piece of software, you must set aside time to read each of the message templates and customise them to sound like you.
In doing this, you’ll make them clickable and readable for your clients.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say you’ve got some trust accounting software that automatically reminds your tenants if their rent is late.
Chances are, that software has an email template for when a tenant is one day in arrears.
You want that email to achieve two things:
1. You want the tenant to open the email.
2. You want the tenant to either pay their rent immediately or let you know what’s happening, so you can communicate this to the owner.
The first thing to personalise is the subject line.
Currently, the subject line probably reads something like: Rent Arrears 1 day: 23 Smith Street, Pretend Suburb.
But that subject line isn’t interesting enough to get your tenants to read the email.
So, why not try a subject line like: Something weird happened, Bob. Are you okay?
Now, which of those emails is Bob likely to open?
Time to tackle the personalisation of the body of the email.
Rather than being super professional and informing your tenant that they’re a day in arrears and threatening your next actions, let’s remember the goal.
To get the tenant to either pay the rent or contact you to let you know what’s going on. How about an email like this?
Just checked the banking this morning and it doesn’t look like your rent hit our account like it usually does.
So, I wanted to check in and see if you’re okay?
Can you see how a short, sweet, conversational email like this is more likely to get a response from your tenant?
Plus, if the tenant is only one day in arrears, we want to communicate with them effectively to increase our chances of getting them back on track.
The benefit to this is that you’ll be able to keep your landlords in the loop in a way that your competitors simply won’t.
If you’ve got tenants ignoring your emails, you’re going to have a hard time preserving your relationship with the landlord.
So, keep your tenants talking to you, and you’ll keep your landlord happy.
The truth is, technology can make your job so much easier.
And if you use some of these three suggestions, you’ll be able to harness technology and also build strong connections with your clients and potential clients.