Investing in property is one of the best ways to grow and preserve wealth. However, the key to holding onto your properties is to manage them properly. A smart investor knows that in order to do that he/she must establish a solid team that includes brokers, real estate agents and most importantly, a property manager.
As a property manager, you’ll work closely with investors to manage different properties and ensure that they yield a profit while remaining sustainable over time. This is the key to building your property management portfolio and attracting even more clients to your business. Here are a few additional tips on how to increase your property management portfolio.
1. Start in your local area
The first step to building your portfolio is to work with landlords in your local area. Do some research on your locale to find out if there are any property investors, planned developments or HOAs that could use your help. This is particularly helpful if you’re new to the industry. If this is your first time conducting this research, starting in your area will make things much easier for you.
You’d be surprised at how much opportunity exists in your local area, as opposed to big cities like Toronto, New York, and Chicago. A lot of mid-sized towns and small are experiencing a population explosion and a significant growth in property prices. Keeping it local also means that you’ll benefit from lower operational costs.
2. Look for small properties
Look for clients who are still growing their investment portfolios. There are plenty of investors who’re just starting out with only a few apartments or triplexes and single-family units to their name. Start small with projects that are manageable and easy for you to work with.
Also, look for newly listed units or homes, and ask the owners if they’d be interested to rent them out instead. Most sellers haven’t considered renting out their property as an option. Those who have forego it because they don’t want to be bothered with the task of managing tenants. This is where you come in. Some local real estate agents may not like the idea, but it’s a great way to grow your business.
Search for listings titled “for rent by owner” in your area and cold-call the landlords. Most landlords don’t have the time (or inclination) to answer the phone or show multiple prospects around their property. Managing property is just not their forte. Cold-calling them could just be the final push they need to finally hire a property manager.
3. Build a brand
Inform people about your business. This could mean setting up an office in the center of town or putting out flyers to let people know that you’re a reputable business. Keep in mind that people want their assets to be in the hands of a responsible and effective manager who will properly represent their property while generating revenue.
You could also publish a monthly or quarterly newsletter with the latest local real estate market news and trends. Keep it short and share content that’ll add value to your clients.
Branding is essential to help you build trust with clients, especially in the beginning while you’re still cultivating a reputation for yourself.
4. Be consistent
While every property you manage is different, it’s important to maintain the same level of service quality throughout. The easiest way to do this is to establish systems that allow you to streamline and automate most of your operations.
Leverage technology to create a set of guidelines that allow you to anticipate trends and cater to your client’s individual needs. Whether you’re managing a condo complex or a massive planned development, it helps to put systems in place that’ll help to improve efficiencies in every part of the process, from rent collection to filling vacancies and financial planning.
The added benefit of establishing proper systems is that it becomes easier to communicate your offering when marketing your management company.
5. Talk to bigger competitors in your area
Successful business owners are always keen to share knowledge and even brag about how they built their success. Knowing this, ask someone with a large property management company out for coffee and pick their brain for strategies on how they grew their portfolio.
If someone has 200 properties that they manage in your area, they’re probably more than willing to mentor up-and-coming property managers. They’ll teach you industry knowledge and might even share the strategies they used to get to those 200 properties.
6. Keep your current clients happy
Before you start looking for greener pastures elsewhere, perform due diligence on your current clients. Perhaps there are a few areas that need your attention or a couple of jobs that you’ve been putting off. Now’s a great time to nip them in the bud before you fill your plate with additional projects.
With permission from your clients, spruce up the properties you have with a few repairs and freshen up common areas with minor updates. If you have new properties in your management portfolio, create a checklist of required improvements. This could include things like putting in new carpets, painting the walls, or installing new appliances.
The cleaner and more attractive your clients’ units are, the easier it is to rent them out or even sell them. This will, in turn, make your clients happy and improve your reputation so that it’s easier to acquire new clients. Keep in mind that word of mouth is still one of the most successful marketing tactics there are.
7. Add new types of properties
Have you reached a plateau with the same type of property? Perhaps it’s time to pivot to another category. For instance, if you’ve been focusing on residential properties from the beginning of your career, perhaps it’s time to upskill and look into commercial clients.
It’s worth noting that managing mixed properties is more complex than managing one property type. The best way to simplify the process is to use convenient property management software. Property management software makes it easier to manage different types of properties thanks to a wide variety of well-thought-out features and organization tools.
8. Leverage online marketing
It should go without saying that running a business without a website nowadays is a type of corporate suicide that should be avoided at all costs. A website is like an online storefront that allows you to communicate your offering to anyone and everyone. Most importantly, it gives you online visibility and a leg-up on competitors without websites.
The key to success here is to update your website regularly through blog posts and engaging design. Make sure your website looks modern and is easy to use.
But, it doesn’t end there. You must also cultivate a presence on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Keep in mind that almost 70% of the world’s population is online and this percentage continues to grow by the year. Having a presence on social media is a great way to drive traffic to your email or phone lines.
Be sure to post regularly on social media to increase engagement and establish authority as a go-to resource on real estate in your area.
Lastly, use the power of SEO to take advantage of niche keywords that’ll boost your website’s search engine rankings. For instance, if you’re a property manager based in Fort Lauderdale, use area-specific keywords like “property manager in Ft. Lauderdale” to improve your chances of showing up on the first search engine results page.
Networking is still one of the best ways to promote your business, no matter what industry you’re in. Thanks to the internet, a vast majority of networking opportunities are online and you don’t have to attend in-person seminars and events all the time.
You can use social media networks to meet potential clients and other professionals in your industry. Join relevant property management groups on social networks like Meet up, Facebook and LinkedIn. The best way to stand out when networking on social media is to provide value. You can do this by posting articles on LinkedIn or live videos and short written posts on Facebook. Stick to the theme of property management to show off your knowledge and expertise.
It won’t hurt to join the real estate investment club in your area so you can participate in networking events and increase visibility. If you’re going to join a local networking group, make sure it comes with a yearly or seasonal premium. Paid networking groups typically attract quality connections and offer better returns.
10. Get clear on your long-term goals
A challenge that most property managers face is managing growth. Do you have a plan for when your business starts to blow up? It helps to use scalable property management software that allows you to comfortably expand. Look for quality communication, organization and record-keeping features that’ll help you stay on top of all your tasks as your company grows.
11. Offer added value
Show prospects that you have measures in place to protect their investment if they sign up with your management company. This could include helping them to build a reliable fund for maintenance and repairs or assisting with acquiring favorable service rates.
It also helps to strike a relationship with an insurance provider that allows you to offer specialized premium discounts for your clients.
12. Get your business on Google Maps
Your business should be on Google Maps so that it’s easier for people looking for property managers in your area to find you. The best way to get your business on Google Maps is to create a Google My Business account.
If your company isn’t listed on Google Maps when you search for it, go to the “Add your business” option and enter your physical address and phone number. Next, select a category that represents the industry you’re in. That way, Google can send you an address card to create a customized Google my business page.
Now, if you don’t see your business on Google maps but have an existing google my business page, go straight to the “Add your business” option and follow the steps outlined above. Google will automatically merge your old and new Google pages.
Lastly, you need to optimize your Google my business page by asking your current customers to review your page. If you happen to get negative reviews, don’t delete them. Just respond quickly and solve the issues mentioned. It’s also important to update your google my business page regularly to keep it relevant and maintain a high search engine ranking.
13. Consider referrals
Create a referral program for your existing clients that would encourage them to send new customers your way. For instance, you could offer to waive property management fees for one or two months when a referral turns into a one-year contract.
14. Set tangible goals
While it might be difficult to control the number of people that sign up with you, it shouldn’t be that hard to determine sales activity. One way to do this is to set tangible and trackable goals. For example, you could create a monthly checklist of activity goals that include:
- Attending four networking events or investment clubs (one per week)
- Making 300 phone calls to prospective clients, including home sellers and investors
- Set two appointments with property investors that you haven’t signed yet to discuss the possibility of managing their portfolios
Setting goals will motivate you to take action and set the wheels in motion to take your business in the direction that you want it to go in.
Most of the large management companies you see today started out as small operators like you. Many of them went through numerous trials before reaching a stage of manageable scalability and you will too.
Leverage technology to show prospects that you run a tight ship with effective tools and strategies that’ll help to maximize their investment. Be sure to apply some of the tips offered in this article as well to help your company reach the level of growth that you envision.