(This article is an 8-minute read)
THREE THINGS YOU’LL GET FROM THIS ARTICLE
1. How to find new landlords to grow your rent roll
2. The two types of content to attract them to your agency
3. How to close those prospects
There are two ways to grow your rent roll: one costs you time, and the other costs you money. If you’re in a hurry to grow, then acquiring someone else’s roll is the best way. But if you’re not in a rush, growing your rent roll organically is a much better way of creating what will be your agency’s greatest asset.
The trick is finding a way to grow the roll in a sustained way that doesn’t suck up too many resources. There is no magic software fix for this. You can adjust your fees and screw a better margin from suppliers, but you’ll just be fiddling around the edges. Growing your roll requires human resources.
Your property manager already has enough on their plate without having to find more landlords. Your sales staff care about in selling—not so much what happens afterwards.
You can try to attract landlords by offering to cover rent-free periods or dodgy tenants, but that’s stressful for you and a drain on your cashflow.
There is another way. It involves attracting investors to you, and helping them make the most of their investment.
It’s easy to find advice on where to look for landlords. It’s a bit trickier to find advice on who to look for. Of course, your sales staff can point you to investors when they walk through the door.
If you’re going to be a bit smarter about it, you could contact all your existing landlords, and ask them if they had other properties not listed with you. Or you could contact your tenants. There are plenty of rent-vestors out there who may be willing to switch over to your agency if they find dealing with you a pleasant experience.
Those strategies are fine, although there is an element of risk in concentrating too much of your income in too few hands. Imagine, for example, you uncovered a landlord who had ten other properties. And you managed to talk them into shifting all of them to you. That’s a big chunk of income to gain—but a big chunk to lose if they decide to move on.
Once you’ve exhausted those options, take another look at your rent roll and ask yourself; what do my landlords look like? Is it mainly mums and dads with one extra investment property? Are they serious property investors? Do the landlords who own five properties have more in common with the rent-vestors or the single-investment folk? Which type of landlord gets you the best return-per-property?
By asking these questions, you start to build a profile of the type of landlord you want to target. There may be some demographic similarities between groups. But it will be more interesting for you to look for common problems.
Your ability to solve those problems is what will help attract new investors to you.
The only reason your business exists at all is because you solve problems for people. Their problem might be needing a place to live, or needing to move house, or needing to spread their investments. I can guarantee you one thing: those problems existed long before they ever came to you.
Landlords have problems. They might not know they have problems yet, but they will. They’re worried about tenants skipping on their rent. They’re worried about interest rates. About regulatory changes that will cost them money. About tax.
A lot of these problems, you have the answer to. They just don’t know that, because they don’t know you yet.
You can use your knowledge to produce content about those problems. There are two types of content you can produce: valuable content that is specific to your area, and free blog content that talks about those problems.
The second a potential client realises they have a problem, they are NOT going to call you. They are going to Google it. That’s what people do nowadays. When they do their Google search, you want them to find smart, high-quality content from you which addresses that problem. The content doesn’t even need to solve it—just to tell your audience where the solution may lie.
Once you’ve produced the blog content, sling a few bucks to Facebook or Google to promote it. You can set up some target audiences in both of those apps based on the research you’ve already done into your existing rent roll.
Of course, you already know the solution to the problems your potential clients are searching for. But if you go barging in saying, “Here’s the solution, buy it from me!”, you’ll come across as too pushy. No-one likes being hit up for a sale when they first walk into the shop. You have to earn their trust. People want to know that you understand their problems, and might be able to help.
So when you have definite answers, create some more content on your website, and gate it. Make people fill out a basic form, maybe giving you their first name and email address, to get it.
If you keep an eye on who is downloading this gated content, you will soon get a good idea of who is in the market, and where they are in your sales funnel.
There is marketing automation software you can get that will help you track whether these people are interacting with other content on your site. It’s great and interesting stuff, but you probably don’t need to know that level of detail to achieve your aims. At this point, all you need to know is their name, their email address, and the fact that they have a problem you can solve.
When you’ve built a bit of audience of people who have gone to your site and downloaded your gated content, you can start to think about contacting them.
A simple email saying, “Hi, I noticed you’ve downloaded our ebook/whitepaper/infographic on this topic, and I was wondering if there was anything I can help you with?”
Your email doesn’t have to go in for the hard sell. It just have to offer help. The leads you are sending it to are far more qualified than normal, because you know they are trying to solve a problem. And they know you already, because they’ve interacted with your content.
Not every one of them will result in a new addition to your rent roll. But a far greater percentage will become clients than you’ll get through any other method.