Tips for Effective Follow-up with Rental Prospects
When you’re a property manager, you also need to be a salesperson for your property. Sometimes, a potential tenant comes to see it and doesn’t leave already sold on moving there. That’s when you need to follow-up, getting your second chance to sell them on renting your property.
Here are some things you’ll need to keep in mind to make the follow-up more successful.
Smart renters organize their housing searches, with property stats and notes stored for easy reference. Property managers need to keep similar information about their prospective renters.
As you work with a prospective tenant, take notes on them. Keep track of their names, contact information, what they like in the property, what they don’t like, what they need, and little things they mention here and there. Find a system that you’ll use and works for you, whether on paper or a digital system. If you use it and have easy access to it, you’ll have the pieces you need to make follow-up go smoothly.
As in any sales situation, timing is important, but also difficult to get right. When the decision is as important as housing, they’re likely working on a short time table, so you need to be on top of things. Usually, you’ll want to follow up with email later that da and a phone call the next day, but there’s no one timeline that works for every situation. You want to keep your property in their mind and make sure they don’t forget you, but also don’t want to be too pushy.
Do something different
Remember what things are like from the tenant’s point of view. Searching for a rental can be a mind-numbing, repetitive experience, with several places starting to blur together in the stressful whirlwind of trying to find a new place to live, often in a short period of time. You want to be the person who helps make things less stressful and sticks out from the rest. Look at other property managers and do something different for your potential customer. Offer them help, give them a small, personal gift, or anything else that will help you stick out from everyone else out there.
Make a personal connection
You’re paying attention when you’re spending time with a client, so show it. If you keep notes like mentioned earlier, this is one of the times to use them. Talk about the things you have in common, make suggestions based on their specific needs, and generally tailor what you say and do to the specific client. It doesn’t just help you close the sale, but also works to make a good connection, which can be valuable even if they don’t rent this property right now.
Create and refine a system
Do you have a newsletter that you send each month to tenants, prospects and others in your network? If so, it’s easy to add a potential tenant to your list and make him feel like an instant part of the community. Get into the habit of creating a thank-you note — written or digital — that you send as soon as an interview is complete. You’re learning as you go, so build a system that learns and evolves, and use it consistently. The less you need to think about when is the right time to send a note or follow up, the more time you can spend on making it just the perfect message to send.
Put the client first
Remember your role to the client: they’re looking for a place to live, and you’re one of many people who can give that to them. When you make an honest human connection, you’re helping them get through an otherwise difficult process. You’re there to help them, rather than the other way around. If they need something and you’re capable of doing it, you’ll gain a lot of favor from them by doing it, which can translate to a hard-fought sale down the line. Following up and working to help the client is key to getting these sales made.
Know when to stop
You’re not going to sell everyone on your property. All the follow-up in the world won’t help if someone has found a better property, or if yours has an absolute deal-breaker. Don’t give up immediately after they leave, but down the line, after a couple follow-up attempts, you need to break it off gracefully. As much as any other situation, you need to be gracious, and thank them for their time and interest. Being honest and really putting them first may not always get you the sale, but just the positive word-of-mouth that comes from a great interaction will eventually outweigh the immediate loss of not making the sale.
Whether you make the sale or not, few potential tenants are completely convinced right away. Follow-up is key to making the sale, and failing that, building a strong reputation with someone that will pay off down the line.