Are you ready to make the most of new business opportunities in your property rentals business?
With most property rental agents being paid on some form of commission structure, and given the competition in the rental market, it makes absolute sense to make the very most of all enquiries from potential new landlords . . .
The truth of ‘natural attrition’
The reality of life is that you WILL lose business even if you do everything right and deliver the very best service . . . people’s lives change – landlords decide to sell, people pass on, owners decide to move back into their properties, so the reality of property rentals is . . .
Unless you continuously sign up new rentals your rent roll will shrink.
Put another way . . .
if you’re not going forwards, you’re going backwards
What’s luck got to do with it?
The truth of the matter is . . absolutely nothing!
Prepare for your opportunities
Ideally you want to blow the potential landlord’s socks off with that first ‘meeting’ – even if it’s by phone – and you definitely want to stand out from the rest as a professional.
So, how do you do that?
Like most things in life, it comes down to being prepared and practising for those opportunites . . .
#1 – Make sure to get their contact information
We all know about technology – it’s great when it works, but . . . . it does fail . . .
The very first thing you should do is make sure to get the caller’s contact number and name – just in case the line cuts out.
#2 – Check if you’re speaking to the property owner
Don’t be afraid to ask if you’re speaking to the property owner. It’s important to know.
In my career I’ve come across numerous instances where, for example, a tenant decides to do some research about current rental prices by pretending to be the property owner.
That doesn’t only waste your time, but if the property owner finds out that you have given the tenant’s a rental appraisal the whole situation can become rather messy – a situation that’s best avoided.
It also doesn’t have to for any nefarious reasons – it could be as simple as a landlord that is out of town or abroad and asked a friend or family member to make some enquiries for them, which is perfectly fine, but I’m sure you’d be happy knowing that.
#3 – Make sure you get information about the property
One of the questions you’re going to be asked is, ‘How much rent could i get?’, so you’re going to need this information to do some research.
Your goal by the end of this conversation should be to try to get an appointment to view the property and meet the landlord and before that you will want to do some research and you’ll need this information to do that.
You might also not do some types of rental properties, like furnished properties, so it’s best to make sure you get the necessary information upfront to make sure you don’t waste your, or the caller’s, time.
#4 – What’s the current rental situation
Is the property currently owner occupied? Is it currently rented? If so, is the owner looking after it themselves, or is there another agency involved? How much is it currently rental for?
The answers to these questions give you so much information . . . for example, whether the owner is going to be a first time landlord, or if they already have experience in renting out their property.
This information will help you prepare for your meeting with the landlord and give you an idea of their current knowledge and experience.
#5 – What service/s are they looking for?
Remember that landlords are not agents and often aren’t even aware that agencies offer a variety of services – in the public’s eyes we are often viewed as all being equal.
Asking some very specific questions at this point of the conversation not only opens up the conversation and helps you to learn more about the potential client, but is often the very first step for you to share information with the landlord and to help them understand what all is involved in rental management.
For example, if you just ask’ “Are you looking for a procurement or managed service?” you will probably get a straight forward answer, but if you, for example, rather ask the caller, “Would you like us to invoice the tenant for the water, refuse and sewerage and collect these costs for you?”, it’s quite possible that they didn’t even think of that and it now only allows you to explain to them what they will need to do, but it might also result in them considering a managed service rather than a procurement because you’ve brought the complexities of rental management to their attention.
Also, asking whether the caller would like you to ‘manage any arrears’ allows you to have the discussion with the potential landlord about possible arrears and exactly how it should be dealt with – and how you / your company deals with any such situations. Once again, this is often a facet of rental management that private landlords either don’t think about, or are not used to or dealing with – often this point alone could get you an ‘up-sell’ to a manged service.
#6 – Find out how to access the property
“What rental can I get?”, will definitely be one of the questions you’re going to be asked and before you can answer that you’re going to need to go and view the property, so you may as well get that information now.
The answer might also give you an idea if there are any issues or complexities involved – as soon as access arrangements become ‘complicated’ you should see some ‘red flags’.
#7 – Make a time to meet the owner and view the property
This has to be your goal of this conversation – you really don’t want to put the phone down until you have a time scheduled to view the property and, preferably, meet the owner.
The property rentals business, and real estate in general, is built on relationships and the ‘quick start guide’ to building a relationship includes a face-to-face meeting, if at all possible. It’s the only way to become ‘a person’ . This is not only true for the landlord in their choice of agent, but also for you to get an opportunity to meet the owner and also decide if they are someone you believe you can work with.
“People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”
I believe that following a methodology and being prepared so that you can make the most of the initial enquiry or phone call can make you stand out as a professional right from the get go as it will be clear to the landlord that you know what you’re talking about and the questions I’ve listed above give you a great opportunity to share your knowledge and experience with them.
A starting point
To help you and give you some ideas and a ‘script’ or ‘crib notes’ to work from, I’ve put together a ‘New Business Enquiry Form’ which you can download for free by simply clicking on the Add to Cart button below.
I hope and trust you found this information useful. Please feel free to post any questions you have below and please feel free to share this post if you know of anyone else that might also find it useful – or share on Facebook or Twitter by clicking on the share links below.