I remember being asked how a property management business can generate new leads and build its rent roll.
It’s a difficult question to address thoroughly and I’ve compiled a list of things we encourage our BDMs to carry out.
We have rental signboards with photos and icons of the property. Our signboards are unique in our marketplace so they stand out, especially when they dominate the streets and have "leased" on them.
Once our properties are leased, as the BDM, I am responsible for putting up leased stickers and letterbox drop, the unit block and those surrounding, with leased cards.
We also send letters when we lease a property – to other investors in the building or street – and generally we mention things like how quickly we found a tenant for the property.
We have tenant packs – brochures and special offers from the local RSL, hairdressing salons and cafés – that all our new tenants receive when they move into a property. We have established rapport with local businesses and include offers and marketing material in the packs. In turn, they send us referrals.
Christmas and Easter Raffle
We run an annual Easter raffle for both our landlords and tenants. Every tenant and landlord is entered in the draw. This builds rapport and allows us to interact with them on a less formal basis. Again, this is great for referrals which we often get without asking. We also do an Easter colouring competition for the local school.
We sponsor a number of local schools and sporting teams. Where possible, we try to attend big school events and sporting activities to get involved with the kids and parents, instead of just handing over a cheque and never being seen.
We send monthly newsletters to our landlords. We also send the newsletters to people who express an interest in being on our mailing list. We have seen good results from this, especially from people who have multiple properties and deal with several agencies that don’t have information-based articles to help inform them of the changing market. We find that inquiries spike as soon as the newsletter goes out. Former clients also receive the newsletters so they know they are not forgotten just because we no longer manage their property.
Monthly Property Management Videos
We do professional video market updates which are promoted on social media and sent with our monthly newsletter. The video is posted on our company's Facebook page and shared by our team members' personal FB accounts.
We have held three investor night events in recent years – they can be something of a hit-and-miss. We have learnt that when the topic is interesting, people will come. The event with the highest level of attendance, 300 people, took place in 2010 when legislation changed. It was great for our rental department and we continue to get good leads from clients who attended that event. We have also had motivational speakers who proved to be popular. But basically, meeting our landlords in an informal setting with some food and drink is great for rapport building and getting referrals.
This may not work for everyone, but we have seen some really good results for generating new business without using the added value of our sales team.