Tips for growing property management company??

22 Replies

Looking for some tips on inexpensive marketing to grow and generate leads from landlords interested on property management.  Any input would be appreciated...

@Doug R.  I'm also interested in this as I just launched a property management company a couple months back. Were growing pretty steadily but always looking for more ways to grow the business.  I found this idea on another site and I'm planning on trying this,

"To find new clients, I use a very targeted direct mail campaign that has been very successful. I have a full color postcard created and printed through VistaPrint that lets the recipient know that I know they have their house on the market for sale. I ask if they would consider renting. I highlight some things that make my service unique in my marketplace and invite them to call or visit my website. I target all homes listed for sale within a 20 mile radius of Fort Lewis that are less than 10 years old and priced under $350K. I get more than enough to add 5-7 homes per month to my inventory.

I also use a service called Reach Local to do some targeted sponsored web ads so that anyone within a specific geographic area doing a google search for Property Management will see my link as a sponsored link at the top or right side of the page. It has worked fairly well and I can set limits on how much I want to spend."

Hopefully some vets out there in the Property management world can share some ideas as well. 

A few ideas:

First - do a good job!  Good PM's are a rare breed, and very valuable.  If you can stay on top of things and take care of your landlords and your tenants, you are almost certain to grow. 

If you want to speed up the process, offer your current landlords an incentive to refer other landlords.  Something like "2 months of PM fee waived for each new signed landlord referred by your current landlord.

Some other ideas include: managing and responding to reviews (this is a big one for me), incentives for new landlords (such as no leasing fee for the first property), attending RE investing meetings, reaching out to real estate agents and offering them services (free rent estimates, kick-backs on clients not ready to buy yet - if  legal) and so on.

But again, I really feel that if you're doing well, you will grow organically.  If you focus on growth rather than your core business, it's likely to all fall down around you.

Happy hunting! 

@Doug R.  

The best way to grow your property management business? Do a great job at a fair price. @Jeremiah B.   is absolutely right, good PMs are hard to come by and very valuable to investors. Focus on your core business and don't let anything get in the way of that.

As far as marketing, perhaps the best low-cost strategy is to learn as much as you can about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies and manage your own online presence. If you can figure out how to rank highly for Google searches like "property management xxxxx" where xxxxx = your city, you will be off to a good start. Offering quality, valuable content on your website will help you get there. Online reviews (esp Google and Yelp) are important. We have grown by 50% in the last 2 years, a big part of that has been our online strategy. Cost - only your time.

You can request a copy of the county assessor's database. You can use the data contained in the database to find absentee property owners and send them a personalized letter offering your services. Total cost per letter for us is about $1.00 including postage.

Put a wrap on your car. We had an owner with 9 properties walk up to one of our employees in a parking lot. More branding than marketing, but you want your name to be known around town. This cost us about $1500:

Hope that gets you started. There are some great blog articles on owning, operating, and marketing a property management company available at LandlordSource (disclosure: satisfied customer, wrote a blog post for them, no financial relationship).

Best of luck in your business.

Everybody's advice is spot on.  One more thing that I'd like to add is to go to investor meet-ups & REIAs in your area.  You will meet and be able to develop relationships with investors in your area.

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Here are some solid helpful tips (completely promotion free):

  • Prospect FRBO's Leads (for rent by owner). Cold call them. This will sharpen your sales skills naturally, which will improve everything. If a property has been vacant for 2-3 weeks, the owner should be pretty open to some help ;-) - a month? that's about a year of management fees anyhow!
  • Make sure your property management website is focused on just property management, and your homepage primarily focused on new owners/clients and is built to convert owners to clients (you could be leaking half your leads & deals here). 
  • Word of mouth is easy to close... Make sure you are a rockstar at sales - doubling your close rate on cold leads can be a nice multiplier on leads. Usually cold leads only get a 10% or lower close rate. Word of Mouth 70% or higher. Both of those could be improved with some sales clout. 
  • Fees - You need money to reinvest to grow... make sure you have a solid fee structure in place & outsource to keep costs low - it's not about doors, it's about revenue. Just a slight increase in fees and a slight decrease in costs can mean double the profit. 
  • Research foreclosure auction prospecting for property management - There is a PM in Seattle that went from 0-300 doors in 3 years just doing that.
  • Research Realtor Referral Prospecting - this almost never works, but when it does it is great. There is a gal in Atlanta that lives completely off these - she teaches continuing education credit courses on leasing to agents & pairs up with the top agents in her market netting 10-30 deals a month.
  • Some people buy leads, or pay for marketing (ppc/adwords, content marketing, SEO, - I would avoid this until you have 200-400 doors & even then I'd be very cautious (avoid anything with lengthy contracts).
  • Online reviews trump marketing - create a proactive process to get consistent reviews online from your tenants & owners - the leads you get from review sites will take half the time to close and your close rate will be more like word of mouth. Be wary of review services that waste the bulk of the reviews by capturing them into their tool instead of them going to the review sites people are on (people rarely review twice). Every review site you have high rankings on can become a lead bucket! 

Good luck!

Good Stuff Here!  Was wondering if anyone has had any experience growing Property Management from the BP Website and Forums?  I have a small Investment company with Sales, PM, and Construction.  Most of my current Property Management Contracts have come from Investors looking to do more investing.  Thanks

Thank you all for the great tips on ways to grow your property management business. I would like to add one more:

- I take every opportunity to introduce my services and business to every landlord reference provided in the tenant applications.  I do the same with all references; however, with every application includes on average at least two landlord references.  One of these may be an owner landlord that is tired of dealing with their tenants.  

Again, thank you for the excellent information.  I will send any out of state referrals your way!!!

Looking for a direct mail marketing company which has proven material to help us grow our property management business in Los Angeles. 

Originally posted by @Rob L. :

@Doug R.  I'm also interested in this as I just launched a property management company a couple months back. Were growing pretty steadily but always looking for more ways to grow the business.  I found this idea on another site and I'm planning on trying this,

"To find new clients, I use a very targeted direct mail campaign that has been very successful. I have a full color postcard created and printed through VistaPrint that lets the recipient know that I know they have their house on the market for sale. I ask if they would consider renting. I highlight some things that make my service unique in my marketplace and invite them to call or visit my website. I target all homes listed for sale within a 20 mile radius of Fort Lewis that are less than 10 years old and priced under $350K. I get more than enough to add 5-7 homes per month to my inventory.

I also use a service called Reach Local to do some targeted sponsored web ads so that anyone within a specific geographic area doing a google search for Property Management will see my link as a sponsored link at the top or right side of the page. It has worked fairly well and I can set limits on how much I want to spend."

Hopefully some vets out there in the Property management world can share some ideas as well. 

@Rob L.

Curious if you are still doing the postcards? How many are you sending per month? Do you only send to active listings that have been on the market passed 30 days?

What program on Reach Local are you using? I see they have different packages.

@Dawn Brenengen

What strategies were you using from Rob? Postcards to active listings?

How do you know when you need to hire other people and what is the first hire you make? I always felt if I had too much I would cut my load by 50% and hire someone to manage the other 50% at a certain rate but kind of hard to make that a full time position for someone unless you have 100s of doors. 

@Mario Montoya  Yes, I was sending postcards to people who had active sales listings.  This was during the recession, so I was sending them to people who had their home on the market for more than 60 days (maybe it was 30).  I don't send those cards anymore because everything sells in the first few days now

@Peter T. I would say accounting would take a big load off  your shoulders and they can do it part time remotely from  home.

Originally posted by @Mario Montoya :

@Peter T. I would say accounting would take a big load off  your shoulders and they can do it part time remotely from  home.

 What would be the cost for something like that? A fixed dollar amount per week for them to get the work done at their discretion? 

15/hour is what we paid ours. Depending on how many properties you have it should t take them too much time. 

Does anyone have samples of postcards you send to owners that have had their property listed for awhile?  I am able to compile an owner list for my target areas easily.  So I am very interested in giving this strategy a try.

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