It’s no secret that with each passing year, the business world becomes more and more competitive. And the world of property management is no exception to this trend. No doubt you are already feeling the squeeze from a number of competitors who undercut you to get the business. You may even lay awake at night brainstorming ways to compete and still remain profitable.
The solution is simple. Rise above the low-ballers and demonstrate that what your team brings to the table more than justifies your higher price tag. Here are 6 creative ways to do that.
Find your point of difference
Maybe you have award-winning customer service, a stellar digital marketing team, a platform to offer state-of-the-art community portals, or special deals arranged with vendors that residents can benefit from. Find the strongest attribute that makes you stand above your competition, and do everything in your power to make sure everyone knows about it.
Build a solid infrastructure
Surround yourself with talented individuals who understand and support your business goals, and nurture their development by being an inspiring leader. Then make sure you have a comprehensive property management software in place that automates processes in all areas of your business, allowing you to do more with less staff as well as enhancing the quality and accuracy of the tasks performed. This will not only save money, but it will free your staff to do the work that really matters – better serving customers.
Keep residents satisfied
High tenant turnover not only costs money, but can harm the reputation and desirability of a community, making vacancies even harder to fill. Being highly responsive to maintenance requests and other concerns is a key factor in retaining current clients while attracting new ones. Having centralized real-time access to customer data will allow frontline staff to respond quicker and more effectively to requests. Take it a step further by developing a customer service strategy that predicts the needs of your residents, rather than reacting to them. Use the historical data that is readily available through your property management software to see which maintenance issues arise most often, and develop a preventative maintenance plan or invest in property upgrades to solve an ongoing problem.
Your audience, from Millennials to Baby Boomers is constantly connected through mobile, email and social media – and you should connect with them here too. Start by making sure your website is mobile-optimized. Use email blasts, text messages and “VoiceShots” to quickly get important messages out to the community. Provide e-banking services such as online payments not only for your customers’ convenience, but to reduce your administration costs and help maintain a consistent cash flow. Resident portals also provide the opportunity to take online convenience to the next level by offering concierge services that can be requested and tracked online.
Go above and beyond
In addition to the above best practices, strive to think outside of the box and offer your communities services and benefits that your competitors haven’t even thought of. Provide online access to services such as house-keeping and pet-sitting through a community portal. Negotiate deals with local businesses and put together packages for entertainment and services at a reduced rate. If you can surprise and delight your audience, they will talk about it, and that in turn will enhance the reputation and value of the property.
Follow the strategies outlined above, and don’t be shy to brag about what you offer. Develop a plan for how you will effectively communicate the scope of services that your property management company provides to condominium BODs and other real estate investors. Make it clear that you will enhance the value of their community and protect their investment. Get creative and support verbal communications with a professional video or SlideShare presentation. This will further demonstrate the level of professionalism and sophistication that you provide.
The smart business people (the ones you want to work with) will recognize the value of what you are offering and will simply dismiss the low-ballers.
Get your free copy of The Property Manager’s Guide to Proactive Management — And make the time necessary to anticipate and plan for an extraordinary future.