If I could merely have one phrase that would sum up how to recover and retain clients it would be, “Play the long game”. I would leave my article there, but that doesn’t offer much value does it?!
Have you ever decided to start going to the gym and after a week of slogging it out you see no results and conclude it is a waste of time? When really if you just stuck with it, kept consistent and were patient you would see phenomenal results. Retaining and recovering clients is somewhat similar to this scenario. You can’t simply send an email and expect clients to drop everything and trust you with their business. Building relationships and rapport takes time and consistency in all businesses but especially when you are asking to look after someone’s biggest investment. Whether this be in relation to sales or property management, both are huge decisions, and you must, at all times respect and understand that.
You may not notice it but the little things that you consistently do for a client such as, keep them up to date through your quarterly newsletter, send them their favourite wine at Christmas, call them every six months just to enquire how they and their pooch are doing, may be the very reason they decline to move on when offered 5.5 percent commission by another agent.
For some people it is hard to comprehend but the driving force behind a decision is not always money. You must find out what is important to your client and continue to exceed their expectations in that area.
When contacting outside investors for our clients we have a 24-week marketing schedule, that is a six-month plan to try and retain their business. Although we know the onsite manager is the best person to look after their property, we must prove to them we are the experts and find out what their driving force is and work on it. You must listen, remember – two ears and one mouth. If I am having a conversation with a potential client, there is a pen in my hand to ensure I catch anything that we can use to win them over. For example, the potential client might mention that the call out fee for their handy man is only $30. The next marketing campaign would be about how the manager does not charge a call out fee OR we do group booking for some repairs and the call out fee for ALL trades people is only $10 per unit. We listened to what might be important to them and provided a better option for them.
The long game not only relates to marketing, sometimes it is also about working with your heart and not your pocket. In no way am I saying do everything for free and let people take you for a ride, but I believe that if you do what feels morally right money will come in one way or another.
I wanted to end this month’s article on a somewhat serious message purely due to the tough times we are living in. If you are struggling at the moment and simply need someone to talk to, please ensure you reach out.
ARAMA has created a safe space called A-Map, it is an initiative that helps managers connect with a professional when times are a little tough. If that isn’t your style and you need an ear (and hopefully by the end a little giggle) please give me a call. If not me then a neighbouring manager who knows the struggles this industry can bring.
The years 2020 to 2022 have not been easy for some people, so as they say, “it isn’t weak to speak.”