Everyday Property Managers/Leasing Agents are engaged in a continuous balancing act.
On one side, they need to manage tenants' rights carefully, and on the other, they need to control the expectations of landlords — all while keeping both parties happy.
The best property managers can delicately navigate both sides with empathy, responsibility, and finesse. This means guiding the respective parties to mutually beneficial outcomes leaving both feeling respected and rewarded.
These high-achievers have specific qualities that collectively contribute to their success, professional growth, and reputation as the go-to leasing consultant in a particular area.
So, what makes a property manager successful?
Responsiveness goes to the heart of being a successful property manager — the ability to act on requests and to reach a positive outcome in the shortest possible time.
"If you can't do the little things right, you'll never be able to do the big things right" - Admiral William McRaven.
Responsiveness is basic, right? Well, that is not always the case.
Often life can feel like a never-ending to-do list. Tenant issues here, landlord demands there, and they always seem to interrupt you at the most inconvenient of times.
There is always something more critical to do, a deal closer to be finished or a client who is a higher priority.
But remember – every client matters, and every client sees themselves as your most important. Being unresponsive and lax in your approach conveys the unspoken message, "You are not that important to me."
If you are conveying that vibe, well, you can say goodbye to those word of mouth referrals. When it comes to managing your relationships, it's your actions that count.
Responsiveness is a habit.
- Do you have a plan for each day?
- Do you have systems in place to manage your book?
If you lack a process form one! Try scheduling in certain hours of the day to handle your client requests. Your response doesn't need to solve the issues straight away; it can be as simple as keeping the client in the loop; this way, they know you care and are on the case.
A little attention to client needs will go a long way!
#2 Maximise Opportunities
Every successful property manager is continually seeking an advantage over its competitors. One proven method is to surround yourself with exceptional service providers and who are aligned with your purpose of creating outstanding client experiences.
That could mean engaging the best plumber, carpenter, or general handy-man in the area and or following up repairs or housework with a courtesy call to ask if they are happy with the service.
For example, ensuring your tenants have a great first impression. Moving in is one of the most stressful experiences a person can have. MyConnect helps to make it smooth and straightforward for your tenants.
Australian-based experts help your tenants with one call to find the best utility providers for their needs.
One call = Reduced stress for your tenants = Exceptional customer experience.
On average, MyConnect can connect your clients in just 12 minutes, compared to other services that take over an hour.
By saving your tenants time and dramatically reducing their stress, you have positively contributed immediately to a positive experience. You also benefit from putting your clients first – learn more here.
If a tenant feels you have their best interest at heart from day one and that you have also saved them money, that customer will be happy and more likely to recommend you to their friends and family in the future.
#3 Consider Each Tenant a Future Landlord
Most people at some stage have been a tenant. Most tenants have had a bad experience with a property manager at some stage in their rental history. When those tenants end up being landlords, how many of those tenants will engage that property manager? Zero.
Often property managers miss essential opportunities that are standing right in front of them.
By treating your tenants as future landlords, you change the paradigm of how you look at that relationship, that e-mail or complaint you have to choose how to respond to now has a whole new meaning - they could be a future client, and they need your help in gaining a resolution.
Remember, your tenants in the share house may turn into buyers or investors and in turn, providing you have done an excellent job that may mean one more client on your rent roll.
This reframing of outlook places you in a pure service mindset and conveys that you are the individual they can trust to get things done.
Think of all the ways you can elevate this type of service; some simple examples are sharing relevant content with them i.e. if they are potentially looking to buy a home for the first time share a guide on buying a home such as the one by Lotmix.com.au or if they are looking to buy an investment property you may invite them to a seminar about property investment.
By going above and beyond, you are showing that you are also the type they would want working for them.
Transparency in dealing with a client can be the foundation of a healthy and profitable working relationship.
Be honest with your prospects; finding a home is not easy; it's complicated and challenging to navigate at times; things don't always go to plan 100% of the time.
Being transparent on the journey ahead will ensure that if something goes awry, they are somewhat prepared for that.
#5 A Resilient Attitude
In the face of unexpected challenges, setbacks, and frustrations, it's easy to forget that you can only control your actions. Everything else is beyond your control.
Adopting and mastering your outlook and mindset will allow you to face adversity with a high level of resilience.
A mindset built on a positive attitude can be constructed and maintained by structuring how you approach each day. Having a regular structure to your day can provide a sense of control even if things are feeling like they are crumbling around you.
This structure will also guide you to approach each client with a fresh mindset. Work out a daily structure that works best for you and stick to it! It will start to pay off in more ways than you can imagine.
Nobody likes to feel as though they have been disrespected. This is especially so for someone responsible for managing where they live or their investment property.
If you are being disingenuous, condescending, or humoring a client, it will readily be recognised, and it will not be appreciated. On the flip-side, they will feel safe with a property manager who approaches them with a great deal of empathy and assists them in navigating difficult situations.
Ensure you take the time to appreciate what each tenant or landlord needs from you, use your knowledge and tools to provide an exceptional outcome. This may require you to persuade them from seeing the right path forward, which will involve some additional effort on your behalf, but demonstrating you have the client's best interest at heart will pay dividends.
#7 Problem Solving
A property manager's core responsibility is providing a home for someone looking to rent a place to live – someone who will be confronted with a bewildering amount of choices to make, each with long-term consequences for the next few years. Layout, dimension, amenities, location, cost, and conditions all need to be balanced with the unique needs of the renter and the potential properties on offer.
Your expertise in discerning between the must-haves and want-to-haves of a particular residence is invaluable at this stage. You have the knowledge to anticipate the needs of a renter and foresee any potential problems in the future.
Do they have pets? Will the property they are interested in allow for them? Does the renter have children? If not, do they have plans to start a family and will need to consider schools in the area? Are they comfortable with paperwork, or do they need help understanding the contracts they are signing? Is there anything, large or small, you can do to help them be sure they are making the right choice?
Being solution-oriented helps you match the perfect home to the ideal client, which makes for a happy and profitable relationship for the landlord, renter – and you.
# 8 Optimism
Leasing property is an economic necessity for many clients, but it brings with it many positives. A good property manager needs to be able to convince people of the benefits of leasing.
To lease a property can be an aspirational act – help your client appreciate the lifestyle and community potential of their new home. Being able to convince a tenant to rent a property is only part of your job. You're also selling an image of the life they want to make for themselves.
A client may well be more comfortable paying a higher rent, and more likely to stick to a lease long-term if they can see themselves living a happier and fuller life in a new home.
By putting yourself in their shoes and allow yourself to share in the excitement of moving into a new home. Project an image of competence, professionalism, and reliability, and talk up the lifestyle benefits befitting the community the client would like to live in. Your optimism will be contagious and make for a more rewarding leasing experience.
THE GOLDEN RULE – LISTEN
All of the above tips are valuable, but they all boil down to one basic tenet; listen to your client. Potential renters that come across as "difficult" are that way for a reason – they are likely to have had a bad experience renting in the past or are worried about being ripped off.
They need to trust you like their professional property manager. Find out what that reason is, what they need, and provide it to them. Basic empathy and respect go a long way in the leasing game and make for happier renters, fruitful relationships with landlords, and a healthy commission for you.