There is a time in every property owner or investors career where they stop and ask themselves “what’s next?” or “how do I take my properties to the next level?” To transform your business into the property management powerhouse that you envision, try these 5 ways to grow your property management company.
1. Build a Team of Property Management Superstars
Whether you are an owner/operator or an investor, the equation is simple: well-run properties = happy residents = NOI growth. Great property managers not only manage leases and coordinate maintenance, but they also provide excellent customer service which can lead to better reviews and a stellar property reputation. Simply put, when things are running smoothly at the property level, more time is freed up to strategize for growth.
If you’ve already got a great staff, explore ways to increase their efficiency through training, development, or technology. Or perhaps, leverage your cross-trained employees who can take on the tasks typically associated with multiple employees to reduce overhead and run your business more efficiently. Ultimately, by investing in quality resources for your team and hiring or training efficient and resident-friendly property managers, you’ll achieve a strong NOI for your property.
2. Research the Competition
Whether you need to catch up or sprint ahead of the competition, knowing how other property management companies are positioning themselves for growth is key to your growth. To start, sign up for their newsletters, follow them on social media, and analyze their website speed and content. Try even contacting your competitors’ leasing agents to experience their sales process firsthand.
3. Extend Your Property’s Marketing Reach
If you want to fill your vacancies faster, consider increasing your marketing efforts. You want to expose your open units to as much of the renter market as possible. Social media is a great place to start. After all, it is today’s word of mouth. Post relevant information about your communities, share original content and engage with residents and prospects.
Here are more ideas to try:
- Make a listing or update it on popular internet listing websites like Manta, Google, and Yelp.
- Revamp your website with fresh content and SEO-optimized keywords
- Launch a blog
- Experiment with other social platforms
- Sponsor a community event
- Advertise in local or national media
All these efforts help increase your visibility. The goal is to be top of mind for current residents and prospects.
4. Leverage Your Existing Residents
It’s a mistake to think that the only way to achieve growth is through new resident acquisition. Really, your best bet is focusing on the residents you already have. There are two ways to look at this.
The first we’ve already touched on. Keeping vacancy rates low is critical to NOI. To accomplish this, you’ll have to discover what amenities and services will retain great renters. Some property management companies make the costly mistake of assuming which upgrades their residents want to see. However, the most successful property management companies ask their current residents what they value most.
Send an email blast with a survey. Create your own focus group by inviting residents to participate in an afternoon discussion. Ask for feedback on your social channels. Basically, gather responses from as many residents as you can in formats that illicit active and thoughtful participation.
Bottom line is that it’s easier and more cost-effective to get people who are already renting from you to renew their lease than to find new renters. So, focus on tactics to get your residents to sign another lease.
A second approach is to leverage your current residents’ influence. Assuming that your residents are spreading the word about your beautiful apartment community and great customer service is not going to do much to get your more renters. You have to actively seek referrals. During a resident’s lease or even before the lease is up, ask your renters if they know anyone else who would be interested in your apartment community. Even go as far as to build a referral program that incentivizes new leases from referrals. In this scenario, everybody wins.
5. Invest in PropTech
At the minimum, you should offer online payment options for residents. To scale from there, look into solutions that give you edge over your competitors and make it easy for people to do business with you. For example, virtual reality tours allow prospects to get a feel for your community at a time and place most convenient for them.
While there are endless technology solutions out there, the challenge is identifying which is right for growing your property management company. Depending on your renters, your asset type, and your market, different technologies will fit those different needs. You’ll also want to make sure you have the right property management software that automates repetitive tasks and provides investment so that you can focus on strategy and development.
A Recipe for Growth
Try at least any 1 of these 5 methods and to see growth in your property management company. But remember, growth doesn’t have to be overly complicated. A successful company’s first step to generating growth is to understand where it should come from and being intentional in those efforts. From there, anything is possible.