That’s often all the time property managers have when it comes to closing the deal and securing a new rental listing.
You know the scenario, you unthinkingly hit answer on your mobile phone and the booming voice on the other end of the phone urgently says, “I need a property manager, I’m considering you, what do you charge?”
Or they turn up unannounced at the office, wanting to bring across their investment properties after a disastrous experience with one of your competitors.
The only challenge is they’re walking the street, agent-to-agent, interviewing everyone and somehow you’re supposed to stand out and demonstrate your experience on the spot, whilst a hundred urgent tasks on your to do list jostle for attention.
I know this scenario is not uncommon. In fact, it is more like an average day for a property manager.
So how can property managers prepare for this and even have a template listing presentation ready for those times when these impromptu listing opportunities pop up?
The answer is simple. Think like a sales person – and have a step-by-step listing presentation with deal closing questions ready to go.
Granted, property management is different to sales. However, the key principle of what you do is the same – selling your services, selling yourself as the most professional person to manage a client’s properties, with the right skills and capabilities to look after landlords, tenants and all the regulatory work as well.
I often hear, “but I’m not in sales, why would I need to work on listing presentations?”
I always reply, “but you sell your services every day and if you don’t learn the ins and outs of how it works, then how will you ever achieve growth?”
The difference between those property managers that just do ok and those that do phenomenally well is that they’ve learnt the secrets that gun salespeople have been using for years.
I could talk about listing presentations for the rest of the year, so I’ll focus within this article on learning the right sales questions to ask to identify the client’s needs and the key features and benefits you need to sell.
Selling is not about having all the answers, conversely it’s actually about having all of the questions.
Great questions are able to open people up. Learning how to master six key words will rapidly change your career – who, what, why, when, where and how. These six key words can take you from zero to hero in business growth. They may seem simple but using them effectively is actually a skill that needs a little practice.
With the assistance of consistently asking these six key words you will be able to quickly determine a prospective client’s concerns and how you can address them.
For example, you could ask a potential new landlord about their process of selecting a new property manager. The questions could be – so who are you considering? Why did you call me? What are you looking for in a property manager? How will you actually be selecting or choosing the manager that you work with?
By using those six key words again about selecting a property manager, you can know exactly what the client is actually looking for and what they need from you as their property manager.
Once a good property manager knows the answers to a prospective client’s concerns they can link those with the key features and benefits of using their services. You can immediately foster confidence and get to the real issues of a client’s expectations for managing their property.
Most importantly, it will tell you what you need to talk about to reassure them you are the right choice for them.
For example, if the landlord says I’m looking around for a new property manager because my last manager wasn’t on top of rental collection – then you could explain how the company’s automated system tracks all rental payments and instantly sends out notices within 12 hours of a due date.
Of course what concerns one landlord won’t necessary concern another landlord. Each client will have individual concerns, which won’t be met by a blanket speech about your property management services. You are not memorising a script; you are interviewing the client just as much as they are interviewing you for the job.
Need identification happens at every single step in the listing presentation process. The more that you identify their needs, the more you can actually sell the solutions, features and benefits to meet those needs and enable the customer to realise that you understand them. Ultimately, that is what a great salesperson does. They identify the need so well that the customer ends up saying, “Wow, you get me better than I get me.” That is one of the most important skills of building a long term customer relationship and loyalty.
The more questions that you ask about who, what, why, when, where and how, the more likely it is that then you’ll be able to close and win that customer over.
Need identification is 90% of the sales process. You get this right and you will never have to worry again about pitching something that does not meet your client’s needs.
When you take these questions and map them against what it is that you do really well in your business, combined with being able to quickly identify a client’s greatest fears, you have a winning formula for success.
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Article courtesy of Josh Phegan, Josh is one of New Zealand’s and Australia’s leading real estate speakers, trainers and coaches. Known as the industry’s secret weapon, since 2007 Josh has been assisting agents to succeed and often double their annual income, in any market. For more information visit www.joshphegan.com.au