A great opportunity exists during quiet times to review, rate, reinvent and reinvigorate those things that make you the best. You don’t need a big budget, extensive training and a significant make-over to become the best in your area of expertise. What you need is right at your finger-tips, in your locality, in your office, and can be obtained from your colleagues, and found within yourself.
All of us get worn out, a bit tired and complacent with what we do, so now is a great time to change your psychology and recapture the sparks!
We aren’t all the best, seriously, there are always others that win more awards, have better profile, more clients, better profits and greater happiness. Removing the illusion that you are as good as your competitors and allowing the possibility that others are doing things better than you are, is a great place to start your review.
- Identify attributes of personality, service and operations you consider necessary to be the best.
- Look around your sphere of business to find where you see the best behaviour or results being achieved. Look for these in your office, network and competitors – this could well be a case of finding a suite of key points from multiple places. (Value the process of understanding what your competitors’ strengths are as this will allow you to confidently respond to your next potential client when they think your competitor is offering a better deal).
- Combine these to make a list of what you think is necessary to ‘be better’ than the best that you see currently.
Now that you have identified what you think is needed to have the best practice or suite of offerings, identify where you stand relative to each of those key attributes and objectively rate where and how you, your operations or service offering falls short. This gives you a clear and quantified starting place from which to improve.
- For each attribute, work out what the ‘gap’ factor is and quantify what is required to not only close the gap, but more importantly raise the standard and achieve better results.
- This is a great chance to review what is and should be your best daily routine. With a great routine, you will most likely touch every part of your business regularly or be fully aware of the whole process.
- Obtain some client feedback, particularly from those clients you lost to another agency (or they managed it themself) and ask for feedback to assess why you lose business.
- Use the quiet period to review what technology and tools you have, compared to what is available in the marketplace eg How does your website content and offering rate against your local competition – look at this from the perspective of a prospective landlord; what property management software offerings are new, what other services are available.
Becoming the best will be a much easier task if you have good contemporary tools to use. Ask for a demo or get more information for updates of your existing tools as well as new services available.
You can’t do it all at once – once you understand what it is that you have to do, document a plan of objectives that will rank the priority of each attribute, who will be responsible and whose help you need, what resources, systems or training you need to allocate, what checks you can put in place and document a follow up plan to assess how you are going.
Some of these results will be obvious and immediate but others will take time and will require you to establish realistic timeframes that you can work toward. Becoming the best because you burnt yourself out going hard for a period of time won’t guarantee you stay on top, so work your plan to achieve a sustainable practice of maintaining your status as one of the best in your field. This might take a bit longer than the fast and hard burn, but the stronger foundations you establish should last longer.
To be the best, you would have to be a property manager who is a joy to work with, can take pride and show responsibility, dedication and fairness in the face of every challenge you face, demonstrating patience, excellent people skills, give total respect for the people that live in and own the properties you manage, have the ability to prioritise and complete tasks in a timely manner, build the business, increase profits, network, get home on time, pat the dog, feed the kids and love your partner, let alone find time for yourself!
It’s guaranteed however, that all of us get worn out, a bit tired and complacent with what we do, so now is a great time to change your psychology and recapture the sparks! Great personality is important when dealing with clients and the public, and managing people as well as property is a huge responsibility. So, just how ‘great’ is your personality? How genuine is your smile? How empathetic are you when dealing with people, how positive are your dealings?
Buyers love to buy from people who are confident of their product, happy and make them feel good, so it’s important to regain a positive energy again. Quiet times are great to review what your thoughts and feelings are about your role as a property manager and what knowledge you have in conducting your professional routine.
Allocate time to write down all aspects you do daily, weekly and monthly and how you feel and think about each item. Be honest, and this will reveal the areas where you can be even more positive, and will give you a snapshot of how you come across to your clients, co-workers and potential customers. Whatever these areas of improvement are, assess how you think you need to change your behaviour or improve your knowledge. Seek out role models, role play with your colleagues in responding to questions and situations, and ask others for feedback, training and advice on the best way to improve. Use the quiet time to become prepared, professional and confident in what you have to offer.
Most importantly, feel good about what you do again. Be thankful and grateful for what you do, and believe in yourself as being capable of being the best. Property managers are appreciated, tenants appreciate you, your landlords may not always show it but they are grateful for all the hard work you do and no matter what happens to the economy people still need a place to live and someone to care for property. Be thankful for modern technology and property management software that helps you do what you do and perform business activities better, and here’s one for a change – be thankful for making a decent living – it might not be as much as some of the sales team, but bet your bottom dollar there are a lot of sales people wishing they had your job and steady pay cheque right now!
Now that you’ve got back the winning psychology and the energy, and you know the targets you need to achieve, the easiest, quickest and lowest cost way of getting started is to ‘self promote’ yourself again. You can’t wait for business to walk in or make a phone call. You need to get up, get your running shoes on and go out to get the business.
You’ve heard the old cliché of ‘speak to the local agent because they know everyone and everything that is going on in the area’. So the real question is how many people do you really know in your suburb or area of expertise, or better still, how many people are going to refer you when they are asked “who should I speak to about a rental property?-(whether to rent it or manage it).
Quiet periods are perfect to get out and network. There are many people in your neighbourhood that come in contact with people who need to rent or have their property managed, including your trades and service providers, local shop owners, finance and other professionals in the area, school teachers, business associations, storage providers, car/truck rental companies and the list goes on. All of these people could refer business to you if they knew you, or knew you better.
Making an effort to reconnect with or establish new relationships with owners and staff in these businesses, will generate you more leads, increase your profile and reputation, helping you become perceived and known as the best in your area. Understanding their business and how you could help them will quickly be reciprocated in willingness by them to refer business on to you.
Make a list of people and make a plan to actively speak with or meet them – making sure you’ve created enough awareness and impression so that it’s you they refer when the occasion arises.
By defining what actually is necessary for you to achieve or provide to be the best at what you do is crucial, as there is no point being flat out working toward what is only second best. See what you want, improve your offering, know your stuff, meet more people, be positive and give it time to materialise.
Mark Woschnak is the CEO of rent.com.au and has directed its rapid growth as one of Australia’s leading industry portals. With an accomplished management career across the property and media services sectors, Mark has a Bachelor of Commerce and Finance, is an Associate of the Australian Property Institute and holds a number of industry specific qualifications in finance and Real Estate.