We’ve made it to the end of 2018, and on this year’s final episode of The Property Management Show, we’re setting you up to take full advantage of the opportunities available in 2019. Think about the journey we’ve traveled over the last few years.

  • In 2017, we focused property managers on the idea of sales and marketing and how it can impact and grow a property management business.
  • In 2018, we told you it’s time to think bigger. We started talking about revenue per customer and profitability.

What’s next for 2019?

You’re about to find out.

Today, we are joined by Jordan Muela, who is going to help Alex interview our guest, Joey Coleman. Joey holds the title of Chief Experience Composer. He’s also written an incredible book called Never Lose a Customer Again.

Introducing Joey Coleman

Joey has an eclectic background. He’s a recovering criminal defense lawyer, he’s worked in the intelligence community with the Secret Service, the CIA and the White House. He ran an ad agency for 15 years and he taught at a post-graduate level. The single thing that connects all these pursuits is that he’s a student of the human condition. He has sought to understand why humans do the things that they do, and he’s uncovered how we can persuade them to do the things we want them to do.

Currently, he’s helping companies keep their customers. He works as a consultant, workshop leader, and a keynote speaker. He encourages business owners to talk about what happens after the sale. A lot of companies focus on marketing and sales. They fill that funnel and they work hard to get owners and keep tenants, but they don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what happens after the sale.

How can you create an experience that keeps your customer coming back year after year?

That thinking process led to Joey’s First 100 Days methodology.

You should also know that Joey will deliver the keynote at the 2019 PM Grow Summit in April.

The Importance of Self-Assessment

One of the things that you’ll notice about Joey’s book is that at the end of every chapter, there’s a period to assess. You may breeze through the reading and quickly absorb the content, but you’ll need to stop and focus on some thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter.

Here’s a self-assessment question that’s particularly appealing:

Do prospects receive a detailed and accurate preview of what the experience will be like after becoming a customer?

Stop and think about that.

This book of Joey’s is not short, and it’s meant to give you a unique perspective for approaching your customer experience. The questions allow you to process the chapter. Those speed bumps will intentionally slow you down and get you to think about how you’re applying what’s discussed to your own business.

The book shouldn’t only be something you read; it should be something you use.   

Customer Retention and the First 100 Days

Why do 20–70 percent of most customers stop doing business with a company within 100 days?

Retention is an issue for every business. Mentally, your customer will make the decision to check in or out of your relationship in those first 100 days. That’s the most important part of lifecycle. If you want someone to stay with you, how they feel on day 101 is more important than any other day in the process.

The customer journey includes eight phases. First, there’s the assessment phase. Your prospect is considering whether or not to do business with you. This is the marketing and sales part of the journey. It’s where you should be able to give your customers-to-be a preview of what it will be like to work with you. What will it feel like? Do you keep your word? Are you timely and organized?

The Emotional State of Your Prospect

As property managers, we tend to be tactical instead of emotional.

So, you may not be paying attention to tracking, identifying and working with the emotional state of your prospect.

Step into the shoes of the property owner you’re trying to reach. That owner spent a lot of money on this property. You’re suggesting that they give up some of the income they could earn by hiring you to perform services they believe they can perform themselves. They probably don’t think you could ever care for that property as well as they can.

Are you considering that emotional state when you deliver a sales pitch? Or, are you focused on the minutia of convincing them they’ll never have to answer a maintenance call or chase down late rent?

Shift your approach and start thinking emotionally. The owner is probably a little uncertain. They’re worried they’ll make the wrong choice. They’re anxious that you’ll put the wrong tenant into the property, and they dread the headaches and the expense of bouncing back from your bad decisions. They fear disaster.

How can you reach them on an emotional rather than a tactical level?

You can invite them to a property you already manage. Show the results of working with your company. Assure them that you want to visit their property and understand its nuances and needs. But, if they can see what your standard of excellence actually looks like, and they can see that you aren’t just talking about efficiency and effectiveness, you’ll have incredible results.

This shows your potential customer what it’s like to work with you. You’ll get the attention of those great owners who you’d love to have as clients. 

You can hand over brochures and direct prospects to websites and get on a call to tell them how great you are at solving their problems. But, there’s nothing exciting or emotional about those tactical things.

They want to have an emotional experience. 

Empathy and Emotion: The Winners in 2019

The American culture is one in which people are afraid to be vulnerable. Americans are taught that it’s weak. It starts happening when we are children and then it’s reinforced through schools and even in the workplace. How many times do you hear that “it’s not personal, it’s business.”

This construct results in humans who are desperate for connection. Everyone feels isolated after looking at electronic boxes every day. So, human interaction can catch you off guard. Distance feels safe. Emails and text messages provide a safe time and space barrier.

The winners in the next decade have high Emotional Intelligence (EQ). They will lead from a place of empathy. To have whatever you want, you need to be an expert in empathy. You need a high emotional quotient that allows you to empathize with owners and with tenants.

What are they feeling? What are their emotions? What’s working, and what isn’t?

This is a lot of work. But, investing in emotional intelligence pays off more than an investment in book intelligence. So lean in and get comfortable with it. To succeed in the future, you need to make this investment.

Property Management’s Problem is Its Opportunity

You’ve heard this stat before. Only about 30 or 35 percent of properties are professionally managed. The vast majority of investment real estate is self-managed.

There needs to be a great migration of those properties into the competent hands of empathetic property managers.

The 70 percent of owners who are managing on their own have a lot of emotion. They are probably anxious about how much it would cost. They might not think the property manager would understand the investment. Buying a first rental property is a big leap. It’s a huge shift, and those owners don’t want to make the wrong move. So, they manage on their own without any training or education.

Tony Robbins says that people don’t change until the pain of not changing is greater than the pain of changing. Change causes pain, but you have to shift if you want to find the catalyst necessary to make the changes that matter. 

Defining Professionalism in Property Management

There are some unique dynamics of working in a market with a wide variance of quality. The main challenge for professional property managers is that there really isn’t a consistent definition of what professional means.

Many people call themselves professional property managers, and they’re anything but professional. They’re not very good at the managing part, either. Many people have experience with unprofessional property managers. Everyone has had an experience renting a property that was “professionally managed,” and it was a nightmare. So, the outstanding property managers who are truly professional are meeting potential clients who come with baggage and preconceived notions. This is infuriating. Your customers don’t come to your door as blank slates. All of their bad experiences are there with them, and they’re expecting you to add to those bad experiences. 

Those potential customers are skeptical. They doubt what you say. And then, they run into property managers who affirm those beliefs. They come off as slick or not listening. Or, they launch a pre-canned sales pitch.

This doesn’t work.

Initial Engagement and the Depth of Discovery

You know by now that a discovery process is important. If you fail at discovery during the sales process, it’s probably because you’re doing a few things wrong.

  • You’re approaching it with a script. The person you’re talking to will know it’s a script because it feels like a script. They’re falling into a template, and they can sense it.
  • You’re checking off boxes as you talk and listen. Maybe you’re asking a question but not really listening to the answer. You simply move to the next question.

This is not professionalism. This is not attention to detail.

Be better at empathy.

Stop talking and start listening.

When it comes to discovery, you should have a plan of topics to cover. But, don’t have a script or a checklist. 

This Is the Future

Now you know how 2019 is going to work. If you build out the best customer experience and you have empathy, you will help the property management industry realize what it’s capable of achieving.

Marcus Sheridan moved the whole industry after his keynote at PM Grow Summit in 2017. Joey is now going to move us forward even further, and you don’t want to miss his keynote at PM Grow Summit 2019.

PM Grow is for the people who want to provide great service. If you offer low quality services and you’re okay with getting something over on your clients now and then, and you’re focused on slathering sales and marketing on top of a low quality operation – WE ARE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO HELP YOU.

The clients of our clients win when people raise the bar and increase the quality of their service. We want to raise outcomes for the whole industry.

You can buy Joey’s book anywhere books are sold. Consider getting the print copy so you have instant access to all those great self-assessment questions in written form. You can actually answer them right there in the book.

Visit joeycoleman.com, where you can watch videos and gain some insight on enhancing customer experience.

Finally? Put this into practice. If you have a positive customer experience somewhere, tell them and thank them. It’s easy to call out negative customer experiences, but go ahead and start shouting about the positive experiences. 

Happy New Year to our listeners – it’s a privilege to provide The Property Management Show, and a joy to learn with you.