When it comes to growing your rent roll there’s now ‘one size fits all’ blueprint for success.
In part one of this two-part series, I covered why it’s essential to know your cost of acquisition and to measure what works.
And what works for one business may not work for another.
I have seen lots of different initiatives be successful, and many more be somewhere between average and a really expensive failure.
But there are definitely three common themes across all the successful, high-volume rent roll growth programs that I have been a part of:
- Search optimisation and content marketing
Search optimisation as a professional skillset is always rapidly evolving because the habits of consumers, and the technology they use to search for things, is always changing.
In the early days, you could just concentrate on optimisation for key stroke searches.
Now there’s voice search, image search, video search and even ChatGPT optimisation to consider to ensure you can be found by people searching for the services you offer.
The basic aim is to know the search term/s that your target market will commonly use when trying to find a property manager and ensuring that you are in the top organic results for that search.
With that taken care of, ideally you want to drive your target market to your website, where there’s a suitable offer or enticement requiring them to voluntarily give you their contact details.
There’s a whole range of things you can do in this regard, but free market reports, top 10 tips to optimise your investment, and the like come in very handy.
The more unique the better, so, get creative with what you can offer, but keep it cost effective and easy to produce, but with a high perceived value to the prospective customer.
- Net Promoter Score program
Having a properly implemented client surveying tool provides value in a range of ways from process optimisation, to training needs analysis, social reputation enhancement and discreet complaint management.
However the primary aim of NPS is to harness the power of client advocacy to generate leads organically.
Often businesses try this, but leave a lot on the table by not surveying their tenants.
In most businesses tenants constitute almost two-thirds of your customer base, and are also usually the most vocal portion of it.
Even if a tenant never wants to buy a property to rent out themselves, there’s every chance they can still introduce you to someone who does need a property manager.
But only if you look after them well!
Overlooking tenants as referrers is a really big missed opportunity.
NPS surveying will help you identify who to turn to for referrals.
You also gain valuable insight into who is not happy with you.
This gives the chance to intervene early before the situation deteriorates into a lost management.
I tallied lead sources from the largest year of organic growth I’d been a part of, and referred business formed a whopping 43 per cent of the leads that turned into new managements.
A word of warning: surveying well is a commitment that requires ongoing time and management, and surveying badly can do more damage than not surveying at all.
If you intend deploying this really powerful tool in your business, make sure you spend the time up front to properly develop both the implementation and ongoing management plan, and make sure your surveying program works really efficiently in tandem with your property management software.
- Strategic high volume referral relationships
Referrers come in all shapes and sizes, but a common component of large-scale growth efforts is to dedicate someone to chasing these opportunities down and nurturing them on an ongoing basis.
Even when I was a BDM myself, I remember having one referrer, in particular, who consistently sent me between four and 10 leads every month – and that was great for my performance metrics.
It’s also worth pointing out that sometimes referrers don’t actually want any financial return out of a good referral relationship, some folks just want their client to get a good deal, and, be really well looked after.
And of course, sometimes they do want some sort of financial return for sending business your way.
The viability of that can be assessed accordingly if you know what your cost of acquisition is.
It’s important to ensure any disclosure obligations are complied with, wherever the referrer needs to be letting their client know that they receive a financial benefit for recommending your services.
This is a heavily contested space, and it’s incredibly rare to find an ‘orphan’ referrer, who currently has no one to send their leads to.
Where I think people often go wrong with this, is adopting an ‘all or nothing’ approach to the relationship.
Trying to go in and give all the compelling reasons why that person should basically ditch their existing relationship and start sending all of their leads to you is unlikely to be successful.
You are completely unknown at that point, and asking someone to give up the security of their known relationships carries a lot of risk for them.
So, start slowly! Just ask for one.
Position yourself as a ready, willing and able alternative, if their primary person is too busy, or on leave, or unable to service an opportunity at any point in time, then, ask them to please give you a go.
We have covered a lot of ground in this article at a really high level.
We all know that the devil is in the detail, and implementation is everything.
I love talking about growth and all things property management, so if you would like to know more detail about anything covered here, please feel very welcome to reach out to me directly to discuss further. I’d love to chat!