Why property managers need prospecting skills
As much as all property managers would love to simply sit back, relax, and rely on the power of word of mouth to grow their rent roll, getting a leg-up on the competition requires something more.
Actively seeking out new clients may seem daunting or stressful, but it is a vital part of keeping an ever-growing rent roll.
Prospecting also gets easier the more you do it - not only because you'll become more practiced, but because you'll be more comfortable and confident when presenting what you and your business have to offer, and because you'll overcome your fear of rejection.
Being told 'no' is not the end of the world, and besides, if you contact a dozen people who all say no, your net position is the same as if you hadn't called anybody. As the saying goes, you miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
Fortunately, it's unlikely that the dozen people you reach out to will all say no - especially after you become an experienced prospector.
Understand that prospecting is a numbers game, and no matter how good you are at it, there will always be those who turn down your service, and coming to terms with that is key.
We've previously provided some practical ways to increase your rent roll, but regardless of how you approach prospecting, here are some general tips to help ensure success.
Make prospecting a habit
It's important that you incorporate your prospecting into your routine. Whether that is daily, weekly, monthly, or perhaps even yearly is entirely up to you and what you find works best.
Prospecting may feel like a chore, or as if it isn't a part of your typical property management repertoire, and that's going to make it difficult to find to discipline to consistently do it. Instead, making prospecting a part of the scheduled programming will bring it more in line with your day-to-day duties, and make you less likely to forget about it.
Quality over quantity
There's little use having a database 10,000 people strong if not a single one is likely to do business with you. Focus instead on building a database of high quality prospects.
The goal is to have a list of potential clients with whom you have established some kind of relationship. Those you meet organically or in-person are much higher quality than those you've cold-called.
To that end, sitting down at your desk, calling a hundred people, and firing off the same rehearsed spiel about selling homes is not likely to result in a quality database.
Don't write a script
Speaking of spiels, avoid them at all costs. It's always obvious when somebody is reading off of a script or reciting a speech from memory, and it doesn't come across as genuine.
A script may be comforting or act like a safety net when you first start contacting potential clients in your database, but learning to cope without one will make you a better prospector - and a more confident agent in general.
If you understand your business - and you should - you don't need to write down what you need to say. Have faith in your knowledge and your experience and your conversations will be much more natural.
The other reason not to have a script is that not all clients should be approached the same way. A landlord with half a dozen properties has probably dealt with a lot of property managers; they don't need to be sold on the benefits of professional property management. Somebody who has just purchased their first investment property at the age of 27, however, is likely to have much less of an understanding of the role of a property manager.
Having a script won't give you the versatility to appropriately liaise with all the contacts in your database.
Don't get complacent
With practice, discipline, and the right approach, your prospecting is all but guaranteed to increase your rent roll, but that doesn't mean the job is done.
If you stop prospecting because your rent roll is big enough (if such a thing is possible), you're only harming your long-term prospects. At some stage, most investors will either sell or move into the investment property you're managing. If you haven't been keeping up with prospecting, you may get caught out by a shrinking rent roll, and have to restart the entire process.
Consistent prospecting efforts reduce fluctuations, helping you avoid peaks and troughs throughout the financial year.
Not only is it a benefit to your business, but by actively engaging in prospective practices year-round, you'll be keeping your skills sharp for when you really need to rely on them.
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