Property managers spend a lot of time marketing — but they spend most of that time marketing their existing properties to potential tenants.
Quite often, marketing their services to property owners is a bit less mission-critical, so it gets overlooked. This short series on property manager marketing is intended to help property managers out there formulate a plan for getting more property owners as clients.
There are four steps to marketing to property owners:
- Establish a profile of your idea client
- Establish what the stages of your relationships with your clients are, and what your goals should be for each stage.
- Create marketing materials appropriate to each stage.
- Use those materials along with relationship-building techniques to progress your clients along the stages you’ve defined.
Your Perfect Client
In general, your perfect client as a property management company is a real estate investor that is more than happy to give you a cut of the profits if it means s/he doesn’t have to actually deal with his or her property.
Related: Tenant Screening: The Ultimate Guide
If we want to get really particular, we want an understanding, hands-off, tech-savvy owner who is prone to posting positive reviews of your business online and referring his property-investor friends to you as well.
But that’s in the generic — for a more business-specific profile, start with your existing client base. The Pareto Principle tells us that in general, 20% of your clients are responsible for 80% of your problems, and 20% of your clients are responsible for 80% of your profits.
(These numbers will vary, naturally — the point is that you rarely get X% of your [whatever] from X% of your clients.) By finding the 20% of your clients that are responsible for 80% of your profits and not also responsible for 80% of your problems, you’ve got some excellent real-world examples of what your ideal client looks like. Your goal is to find more of them.
- What kinds of structures do they invest in?
- Where are those buildings?
- How many such properties do they control?
- What is their demographic makeup (i.e. age, gender, income quintile, etc.)?
- Why did they want a property manager in the first place?
- Why did they choose our company over our competitors?
- What feedback have they given us?
- What do they expect from us in the future?
As you fill out these (and any other relevant) questions for each of your best clients, you’ll start to see patterns — often unexpected ones — that will reveal the attributes of your ‘ideal’ client.
Of course, simply knowing what your perfect client looks like doesn’t mean that your other clients will (or should) go away — but it means that you can identify better clients earlier on in the relationship and put extra effort into obtaining those customers for yourself. As your base of excellent clients develops, your bottom line will naturally improve while your headache-per-client ratio drops off: a win-win.
Next time, we’ll talk about the stages of your relationship with your ideal client, and how to set goals for each stage.
How do you find the perfect client?
Be sure to leave your comments below!