“Kelley, I need your help I have just had an email from an owner telling me they are taking their investment to another agency, what do I do?”
I hate to say it, but I receive these phone calls more than I would like to admit. These conversations break my heart as I can clearly hear the distraught managers voice on the other end of the phone. My initial response is, how strong is your relationship with them? Again, more than I would like to admit the answer is “well, I haven’t really spoken to them for a while, but I always send them their reports on time”. My reply, as hard as it is to say, “well that really isn’t good enough”.
It is so much harder to try and regain someone’s business and trust than retain it. When you buy your management rights you quite literally pay thousands of dollars for the investor so your number one priority should be to keep them happier than a pig in poop (S*&%).
Let’s talk about how to prevent these phone calls from happening. Grab a pen and get ready to take some notes.
The first thing I suggest you do each morning is to export your list of investors, highlight five names and call them immediately to introduce yourself/touch base and start building the relationship. Remember, before you call it is vital to ensure you are knowledgeable about their unit because ‘Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance’.
Go through previous reports and research the tenants and make sure you are prepared to answer any questions they might have. During the conversation write down any handy notes so the next time you chat you can impress them by referencing back. This should be done quarterly or at least half yearly at a minimum. In between these quarterly conversations if you find yourself doing something over and above your normal duties, for instance a tenant comes into your office on a Friday afternoon and reports a leaking tap, whereby you immediately go over and fix the issue as it was a simple replacement of a new washer. (I hope I just got all those terms correct; I am definitely not a handyman).
I would strongly recommend that later that evening you send a quick email to the owner, explaining what happened and that you fixed the problem right away. Why do this? Because your investors don’t know how valuable you are to them if you don’t tell them. You must always inform them about the little things you do that obviously an outside agent wouldn’t or even better couldn’t.
Back to the phone call conversation at the beginning of my article, let me outline my two top tips to make sure you never need to make that call to me.
- Build relationships with your investors, know what they expect from you and exceed it. You paid thousands of dollars for their business but that does not mean you are entitled to it. You must continue to work hard for it.
- When you go over and above no matter how small you think the job is ensure you let your investor know. They can’t read minds or know all the amazing things you do unless you tell them, so ensure you are out there showcasing you and your business.