As property managers, property offices or leasing agents, our main aim is to ensure that property investors have their properties rented in the shortest possible time, with the highest quality tenant available (at the highest possible rent!).
We are also tasked with ensuring all statutory requirements are met and both property investors and tenants are provided with a highly effective property letting service.
That said, every market is different and in a market where you are facing properties being vacant for two to four weeks (or longer) before being leased, this can be a stressful time for your investor, your team and you!
The following is part one of the process I take to lease properties, particularly problem leases. Following these steps means I can operate stress-free and can focus my attention on other important aspects of growing my business.
The golden rule: communicate
Communication is GOLD in this business. If you’re a poor communicator then, sorry, this job is not for you.
You need to start the process with effective communication. When a property is vacant and you are conducting inspections, it is important that you provide outgoing feedback to your client on the same day. We all have the best intentions; however, when we are busy, reports generally get pushed to the side. Present your feedback the same day, even while you’re inspecting the property if you can. Doing this will show your investor you are committed to finding the right tenant for their property.
By now you should know the best way your customer likes to be communicated with, whether it's SMS, email or phone call. If you haven’t yet established their preferred method for communication – ask now!
We all know we are most vulnerable to losing business when the property is vacant, which is when people start looking for better deals and better service. Ensure your investor knows you value their business and that you are always looking at ways to make the process easier for them.
Set a marketing plan
Prepare a detailed marketing plan for the property and detail the type of advertising you will undertake. Will the property be advertised in the newspaper? Which days on which weeks? Will the property have a floor plan and professional photos? Which websites will it be listed on?
Speak to your investor about these decisions. Use the opportunity to establish rapport with your client and show that you have a plan to finding a quality tenant for them in the shortest possible time.
For agencies that charge for advertising, this allows the investors to help select the type of marketing and exposure they want, within a price bracket they are willing to pay for. Another tip is to encourage a "For Lease" sign out the front of the property. After all, it is not only promoting the property is available for rent, it is also great exposure for the agency.
Next time we'll look at the other three steps for stress-free leasing: Inspections, Pricing and Insurance.
Mellissa Gibson first started in the real estate industry in 1998 and she has been with the L.J Hooker network since 2000. In 2010 she completed a certificate IV in Property Services and became a licensed real estate agent. Melissa has worked in all facets of the industry, starting at the age of 18 in an administration/sales division progressing to Property Investment Management to now the General Manager overseeing the whole office in particular the Property Management Team. Mellissa prides herself on being an active member of the community, taking a great interest in local charities, in fact in 2012 and 2013 Melissa was a Finalist for the Prestigious Real Estate Institute of NSW John Grieg OAM award for her community service, as well in 2013 The recipient of the Cessnock City Council Australia Day Award for community service in the Cessnock area signifying her devotion and commitment to the local community and giving back to the community in which her family lives and works. Mellissa was also a national finalist in the 2014 REB Awards for Property Manager of The Year Regional and BDM of the year, as well as a finalist in the LJ Hooker Awards for property investment manager of the year.