A great book that everyone in the property management business should read is called Youtility for Real Estate. It embraces the concept of helping people instead of selling to people, and it explains how that concept can grow your business. This is something we’ve always believed in at Fourandhalf.
Giving out free information instead of “selling” to people is the cornerstone of content marketing, which has been very successful for us and our clients. To do it right, you have to know how and what your prospective clients are searching for. Today, we discuss the three step process owners are likely to follow that ends with them choosing to use a property management company.
The First Step: DIY
When owners first get a rental unit, they often imagine that being a landlord is easy, and they try to manage the property on their own. Until something goes wrong, they most likely won’t be open to any advertisements or sales calls from you. You don’t want to cross the line to where you become a nuisance to these owners. If you do, they are likely to form a negative opinion of you, and they won’t want to do business with you in the future, even if they need you – they’ll go to your competitors.
The Second Step: Questions and Answers
The next part of the process is when the do-it-yourself owner realizes that taking care of a rental property is much harder than they expected. These owners will be looking for answers to specific problems, such as late rent and maintenance issues. At this point, helpful videos and blogs that answer their questions will be far more valuable than a sales pitch.
Firstly, a sales pitch won’t be found. At this point, owners are looking for solutions, not your job title.
The terms they are searching for are probably not the keywords you are targeting in your advertisements, so you won’t show up. Secondly, owners are probably not ready to hire a property manager; however, a person that was helpful and answered their questions will be the first person that they think of when they decide to move forward to…
The Third Step: Professional Help
Finally, there will be that proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back. Something will happen and they will be ready to hire a professional property manager. They will likely hire the first company they find, which you would think is going to be the property manager who is on top of Google search listings.
However, if they have already been exposed to you through your informational videos, answering their questions, they’re likely to skip the search step and go straight to calling you. This is something that we have seen happen with almost every one of our clients that uses content marketing. The incoming calls go from, “what are your fees” to “I saw your blog on…”
Embrace the idea that helping people with their problems will grow your property management business. Just because you tell them how to manage your property, doesn’t mean they’re going to want to do it. Some problems require a professional. For example, you can provide a video that explains how to conduct an eviction, or write a blog about how to handle maintenance calls at 2am, but giving them that information doesn’t make them want to go down to the courthouse or answer phones in the middle of the night. However, providing this information will foster goodwill in property owners, and you will be on their minds when they are finally ready to hire a property management company.
In today’s business climate, helping people is far more effective than selling to people. You can sell your services to a client today and have that client for the short term. Or, you can help a client today and have that client for life.
Youtility for Real Estate: https://www.amazon.com/Youtility-Real-Estate-Professionals-Portfolio-ebook/dp/B00MNNAOPS
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