Setting Expectations During the Sales Process as a Property Manager
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Property management companies—like so many other businesses—rely on a steady stream of clients coming in to compensate for those who may leave their portfolio behind over time or choose to move where they consider pastures to be greener.
Your sales strategies can bring in a lot of business rapidly. Still, the secret to long-term success as a property management company isn't to shovel in property owners as quickly as you can only to lose them a few months to a year later.
The team behind your sales has the important role (and challenge) of setting the right expectations early on so that rental property owners understand both what makes your company a great partner and helps them understand what you can and cannot do for them.
Here are some strategies for making that expectation-setting element of the sales process as effective as possible from the perspective of a property management consultant.
Streamline Your Sales Training
One of the first steps to set expectations is making sure that all sales team members are trained in a way that matches the overall goals and vision of your property management company. After all, if they are selling something you fundamentally don't provide, you're bound to have disappointed or confused clients.
- A great starting point for developing your sales strategy is to ask your property management team what kinds of misconceptions they run into with clients.
- Are clients sometimes surprised about a process or an offering, a way of handling tenant needs, or a response time? Anything that clients notice and comment upon is good fodder for a streamlined and concise sales training program.
- The team members behind your sales end up being the first line of contact for onboarding clients, and they should be able to knowledgeably say how the policies and procedures play out in the day-to-day operations of your business.
Push for the Sale—but Not at the Cost of Honesty
By now, you've probably started to notice the ways that your company stands out from the crowd of other property managers in the area you serve. Unfortunately, you may have experienced the frustration of losing sales to the competition that doesn't mind stretching the truth in order to reel in a new client. This can make you feel tempted to inflate your offerings just to compete.
- Not only is this a terrible long-term strategy, but it is also a bad approach to teach your sales team; they need to be able to sell what you have to offer without lying.
- Making your services seem different than what they are is an easy but ineffective strategy since property owners can always take their business elsewhere (and leave a bad review after the fact).
- Aim to understand what really makes you different as a property management company, and shine by comparison through your prompt and effective services.
- Even if it feels like other property managers are willing to bend the truth, being the one property manager with a sterling reputation for honest sales representatives will help you win out in the end.
Client Retention Means Delivering on Your Promises
As a property management consultant, we see that there's some confusion between inflating your services and making promises based on what you have to offer.
You can make big promises during the sales process: after all, it's a competitive world—and you want to get those clients on board. However, the key is that you have to actually deliver what you say you'll do. If your sales team lands a major client with hundreds of doors, they should communicate any special elements of that contract to the rest of the company so that every expectation is met over time.
It's key to make sure that, if you promise tiered levels of service, those clients get what you promised and don't end up feeling they were overcharged compared to other clients (property owners do talk to each other).
At first, landing clients is expensive in terms of your sales team's time. However, if you get a core base of satisfied clients who feel they've received star treatment, you spend less and less time trying to get those new clients. If anything, your sales team becomes the place where property owners call asking specifically for what you have to offer!
Deliver on any promises you make—large and small—and you'll be surprised how much your reputation begins to precede you.
Create Feedback Systems Between Your Departments
Making sure those promises are understood and then kept to your new clients requires good communication. After all, your sales team cannot promise specific services if the rest of your property management company doesn't know about it!
Whether your employees work best with an instant messaging system, a video call, or in-person meetings, make sure that you're carefully tracking what sales team members talked about with each client, so that you'll know about any special emphasis or unusual needs. If you don't handle this kind of touch personally, make sure such conversations are getting passed along to whoever does.
Your company will look much more professional when these messages are passed along seamlessly without losing track of who was interested in what part of your property management services.
If you already deliver on your promises—but you still find yourself losing clients—it could be some other part of your process that's dropping the ball. A property management consultant can help you identify gaps and flaws across the entirety of your company to bring your efficiency up to speed.
Get in touch with us for a personal consultation with one of the best property management coaches in the industry! A one-on-one analysis with Deb Newell can quickly identify where your sales team is falling short—or if your issues exist within your sales process at all.