Property managers need to find four different ways of doing business to cater to four different types of client.
That’s the opinion of Zac Snelling, a business performance executive for property management at Ray White.
Mr Snelling told RPM that a Ray White survey of more than 5,000 landlords identified four types of client: at risk, private, silent majority and outsourcers.
These clients are often at risk of moving onto another property manager because they won't accept many mistakes, according to Mr Snelling.
He said that at-risk clients are detail-oriented, and often put a lot of time and effort into researching the competition before picking their final property manager.
“They can sometimes appear to be micromanaging, however, this only stems from their attention to detail and frustration when we may not understand their requirements fully,” he said.
“These clients place a lot of importance on transparency, attention to detail and very high levels of service and communication.”
Mr Snelling said that property managers should also be wary of private clients, who are in a minority, and can often be developers or large-scale landlords with many properties.
“They know the industry and they know what they're doing; however, they’re simply too busy to manage the level of properties they currently have,” he said.
“Often these clients can place more importance in the quality of the service that's being provided and the value-add proposition you can provide, as opposed to necessarily what percentage management fee you are charging.”
The most common type of client is the silent majority, according to Mr Snelling.
“These landlords make up the majority of the market and can typically have a positive attitude towards property managers, often preferring a low-contact relationship and a 'quality over quantity' approach when it comes to communication,” he said.
“These types of landlords are looking for experience in a property manager. Trust in your abilities and [have] a proactive approach and functional service, where you do what you say you're going to do.”
Mr Snelling said that outsourcers aren't so interested in being informed of the day-to-day management of the property.
Rather, their preference is to receive a reliable and hassle-free service.
“Often these landlords can have less of an emotional connection to their investment property and see it more as a tool for wealth creation,” he said.
“They do want accessibility to their property manager, however they don't necessarily want to be bombarded with updates.”