A unique selling point (USP) is crucial if you want to succeed as a landlord. Clearly defining your USP is the best way to set your property management business apart from the competition and give potential tenants compelling reasons to choose your business over others.
There are many ways you can differentiate your business from the rest. It could be the type of buildings you own, experience, quality of service, or some other unique aspect of your landlord business. There may be an aspect of property management where you excel or use the latest mobile apps to appeal to tenants. Some landlords build their reputation around providing the best customer experience.
What is a unique selling point?
A unique selling point is the factor that distinguishes a business from its competitors. The USP conveys to consumers a benefit that only your property management business can provide. Your unique selling point focuses on your strengths and delivers what tenants want.
The term USP also stands for unique selling proposition. Some businesses refer to a USP as their unique value proposition. In essence, it’s all the same thing—defining what you offer that no one else can or does.
More on landlording from BiggerPockets
Advantages of defining a USP
If you are a successful rental property owner or aspiring to be, you are probably doing the same thing as everyone else. You shoot high-quality photos and videos, advertise on high-traffic websites, use the latest rental apps, arrange virtual tours, and maintain rental units. If you neglect these aspects of being a good landlord, your business will suffer.
But if you are doing the same thing as every other landlord, what sets you apart? Why should a potential tenant choose your rental unit over one on the next block? Of course, you could drop the rent amount or offer discounts. But that can impact your bottom line.
Having a unique selling proposition doesn’t mean you have to come up with radical ideas. It requires figuring out what you excel at and clearly expressing it. The result should make your rental business irresistible to your target audience.
Here are a few examples of unique selling points for landlords.
- “We offer all our tenants flexible rent payments.”
- “All our rental units are pet-friendly.”
- “Using tech at every step.”
- “All our rental units are fitted with smart home devices.”
- “Our property managers respond within 30 minutes to maintenance requests.”
A compelling USP should stay clear of tired cliches such as, “we provide the best customer service,” “you can trust us to deliver,” or “we keep all our tenants happy.” These bland and overused phrases are prerequisites of a good landlord, not a unique selling point.
Find financial freedom through rentals
If you’re considering using rental properties to build wealth, this book is a must-read. With nearly 400 pages of in-depth advice for building wealth through rental properties, The Book on Rental Property Investing imparts the practical and exciting strategies that investors use to build cash flow and wealth.
How to define your key selling points
To define a compelling unique selling proposition, you must answer this question: “What makes my business different from the competition?”
Here are the essential questions for developing a unique selling point for your rental business.
1. Who is your target audience?
First, know your target market. Here it helps to be as specific as possible. Obviously, it’s vital to stick to a property marketing strategy in line with the Fair Housing Act. But think about what your tenants are looking for. What are their pressing concerns when it comes to renting? What do they expect from landlords? What are tenants’ biggest grievances about landlords, and can you fill the gap?
2. What problem do you solve?
It’s not enough to be unique if your target audience doesn’t care about it. Once you identify what your tenants are looking for, you can set out to solve the problem.
For example, suppose you want to attract millennials to your rental units. In that case, you could ensure that you offer a fully digital rental service. This means using a property management app, electronic documents, and virtual tours. Or you could fit all your rental units with smart devices and super-fast broadband.
3. What are the differentiators?
The next step is to set yourself apart from the competition in the rental market. It should be possible to find one or two things that you do better than other landlords. This gives your property management business incredible value in the eyes of potential tenants.
The goal should be to think from the tenant’s perspective. Ask yourself this question: “If the tenant has a choice of two identical properties for the same rent, why should they choose me?”
4. How can you eliminate risk?
One of the most important aspects of a unique selling point is making a pledge. That promise or guarantee should be part of the proposition. And it is vital to include it because you take the risk out of their choice.
For example, say you set yourself apart as a landlord who excels in keeping rental units maintained to an exceptionally high standard. In that case, you could guarantee a time limit on how long repairs take. Or you could pledge that all kitchen appliances are replaced every X years.
This way, you address two issues. First, you provide a solution to common tenant complaints—repairs take forever, or appliances frequently break down. Second, you guarantee that by choosing your company, the tenant never has to face this problem again.
5. Can you live up to your promises?
When you have defined your unique selling point, make sure you communicate it clearly in your marketing strategy. But more importantly, you must fulfill the guarantees you make. In other words—talk the talk and walk the walk.
It’s also a good idea to keep your unique selling point fresh. In time, your excellent service will form part of a solid landlord reputation. Competitors may start offering the same type of service you offer. It’s vital to concentrate on developing a new USP to keep you one step ahead in a competitive rental market.
Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.