You want to get more clients for your property management company and you want to do it fast. Maybe you’ve been scouring the internet for tips and tricks, canvassing downtown, or looking into an extravagant marketing campaign. And don’t get us wrong, these will generate some new customers for you, but those methods can be a big investment in terms of time and money.
Ready for an inside secret?
One of the best ways to get more clients is by simply managing the ones you already have well. It sounds easy, but it entails more than doing just a “good job.” It requires creating a rockstar experience for your clients. It means every interaction they have with your business is so amazing they can’t help but take to the streets and spread the word about how awesome your property management company is.
How do you create these 5-star worthy experiences, though? It starts with your customer database–the ultimate resource for your business. So if you’re looking to level up your CRM, we’re here to help. Read on, or skip to what matters most to you:
1. Why a customer database matters and how it gets more clients for a property management company
Simply, because the customer always comes first. And providing great customer service starts with knowing who your customer is. A lot of property management companies feel this is a simple task since they’ve been working with the same clients for years. However, as businesses grow it becomes more and more difficult to keep track of which Dan–Smith, Johnson, or was it Wilson?–never takes phone calls and can only be reached by text.
Therefore, having a system in place that allows you to log these details and easily pull up information is key to creating a great customer experience. It will allow you to personalize every interaction and make your clients feel valued, and valued customers become loyal ones to your business.
Not to mention if you’re in the property management industry, you’re most likely working with numerous property managers who have hundreds of tenants you’re servicing. That’s a lot of people, and a lot of information for your team to keep track of.
To help ensure satisfaction, it’s essential to record all those details so no one slips through the cracks and a customer database is the best way to do it. You should easily be able to pull up which properties and tenants are linked to which property manager–and it shouldn’t take more than a couple of seconds to do this. If you’re spending thirty minutes sifting through Excel sheets or paperwork, you’re probably not creating a great experience for your customers or staff.
Perhaps the biggest reason a customer database matters is because 80% of your revenue is coming from 20% of your client base. Sounds wild, right? But it’s a real thing called Pareto’s Law. Your most loyal customers are the ones who are repeatedly booking, renewing their contracts, and recommending you. They’re driving the majority of your cash flow. If you manage them well, you can grow your company quickly and with far less effort than most other methods entail. And we’ve got some tips to get you started!
2. Why personalization is a game changer, and how it will get you more jobs booked in
Being personal matters. It’s the reason you’ve been getting your hair cut at the same place for the past 8 years. Maybe they’re a little more expensive than the big chain down the street, but they know you. They greet you by first name and ask, “The usual?” when you walk in. It’s comforting, you trust them, they’re worth the extra $10. Every interaction your customers have with your business should be the same, no matter who they’re interacting with at the company.
Imagine it’s the first hot day of the summer. Naturally, the office phone is ringing off the hook. One of your long time customers calls in, it’s Carol who manages several larger apartment complexes. She has a tenant whose AC unit won’t turn on–can you fix it? Of course you can, and you provide Carol with some times a technician can come. She’s going to reach out to her tenant to see which day will work best and then call back to confirm the appointment.
Thirty minutes go by before Carol rings again, and she connects with a different dispatcher. They’re newer to the business and haven’t mastered searching through the Excel file that holds customer information. Carol who? What service will you need? And which address will that be at? Clearly, this isn’t a great experience for Carol who has to repeat all her details and reconfirm everything again.
So how can you make her feel more valued? It starts with having a database that everyone can access and easily navigate. Something cloud-based is most ideal for this. It should have fields where you can store everything (and we mean everything) about your clients. Addresses, assets, pictures, contracts, communications, invoices, customer names, tenants names, even their dog’s names–as much information as possible.
When you have a system like this in place, every interaction can be personalized no matter who answers the phone. Let’s rewind to Carol’s first call when she requests the service for her tenant. The dispatcher takes her name and instantly pulls up her information in the customer database. They note this tenant has been serviced before and that Monday’s never seem to be a good day for a visit. Would Tuesday be best?
It’s small, but it’s personal. It shows Carol you remember and value both her and her tenant as customers. Even better, instead of Carol reaching out to her tenant to confirm the appointment, the dispatcher offers to email through an online booking link. That way the tenant can pick the time that works best for her directly, saving Carol 45 minutes of going back and forth.
3. The difference between property management companies who record job histories in their database and those who don’t
Make no mistake, a customer database is equally important to have in the field as it is in the office. If you’re wondering how to get clients for a property management company, it starts with making your customers feel so valued they can’t help but share how awesome your business is. Every interaction needs to be top notch.
We’ve heard of one too many incidents where a technician arrives onsite to evaluate an appliance and has no clue what was done to it on previous occasions. If your work orders aren’t cloud-based, this tends to be a common problem. Carrying around paper job sheets from past jobs isn’t practical and, in most cases, increases the chances of something getting misplaced or lost. As a result, a lot of the time technicians go in blind to jobs–which isn’t the best look.
For example, on Tuesday morning Carl heads out to service Carol’s tenant, Katie. He arrives with his job sheet and knows he’ll be working on an AC unit. Katie lets him in and explains this is the third time it’s malfunctioned in the past year, and that the previous tech recommended it be replaced if it broke again. Things have gotten awkward for Carl, who had no idea the unit was serviced multiple times already.
He evaluates and confirms it needs to be replaced, but he hasn’t come prepared to give an estimate–he thought it was a simple repair job. He has to call the office and ask for the price of parts and labor, all while Katie sits on the couch waiting. Then he needs to call her property manager and explain the situation.
The office won’t be able to send the estimate to Carol until the end of the day for approval, which means Katie has to go yet another day without AC. Inconvenienced, she asks Carol for a reduction in her rent. Now Carol is annoyed with your team. How did you not know about the problem beforehand?
The good news is, with a cloud-based customer database this can be completely avoided! It means everything is stored in one place–information about parts and work orders included. If work orders are digitalized, they can easily be added to a client’s record. That way a technician can access them while onsite and review all notes and pictures of what was done beforehand.
With a system like this, Carl’s Tuesday visit becomes a breeze. When he gets to Katie’s apartment, he’s already aware the unit has been serviced three times. Immediately he knows what problems to look for, and confirms it does need to be replaced. Having access to the previous work orders and coming prepared for the job means Carl can generate an estimate there and then.
He sends the quote over to Carol and she accepts and signs for it right away. Then, he pulls up his calendar, confirms a time with Katie for the installation, and sends her the reminder for it directly.
No upset tenant asking for a rent reduction, and no upset property manager calling into the office. Instead, you’ve provided an experience that was great for both Katie and Carol. They’re highly likely to book your property management company the next time they need a service. Not only that, but they’ll probably even suggest your business to their friends, who will also be inclined to give you a call since 92% of people trust recommendations given by friends and family.
And speaking of trust, how do you build it with customers? Check out these tips on even more ways to create client loyalty:
4. How a customer database with service reminders can get clients for a property management company
One of the biggest mistakes property management companies make is not sending out service reminders. A lot of clients need routine services, but they need reminders for them just as much. As their schedules fill up, getting the carpets cleaned or the house power washed begins to creep lower and lower down their to-do list.
However, if you take it upon yourself to remind customers that it’s been awhile since their last service, getting that maintenance booked in might jump from #10 to #3 on their list. Add in an “early bird” bonus for booking in the first few days after the reminders, and it might just go to #1. Not to mention, it’s a great revenue booster for your business that doesn’t require much effort. Moral of the story: don’t skip out on these nudges!
Imagine if you sent out an email to 3 property managers every two months reminding them that it’s time for their carpet cleaning. Even if just one books you in for 5 properties, that’s 30 easy jobs guaranteed, at 6 cleanings per year. We’ll leave you to do the math with this service reminder calculator, but simply said, the revenue adds up.
And the best part? If you leverage your customer database, not only will your current clients be more likely to book these repeat services, but they’ll do it with no additional work on your end. Seriously. This is how:
Once you have the service reminder templates typed out, automation and personalization are your best friends. The reminders can be scheduled to automatically be sent out monthly, quarterly, or yearly and personalized tags like customer name and property address can easily be pulled from your database. Include a booking portal in these templates and bam, within minutes you’ve booked multiple routine jobs with no real effort on your end.
Think about it this way, what if Carol received a service reminder for carpet cleaning a few weeks after the AC unit was fixed? She just had an amazing experience using your business, and it’s true, the carpets do need some maintenance. Even better, you’ve sent her a booking link so she can easily find a time that works best for her.
Of course she’s going to schedule in the service. She’s a well taken care of client, and you can trust she’ll be booking multiple jobs with you because she feels valued.
The takeaway on how to grow your customer base fast
How to get clients for your property management company can feel like a daunting question. But the truth is, you don’t need to be constantly searching far and wide for new customers. One of the best ways to generate business is to do a great job maintaining the clients you already have, and a customer database is an integral part of that process.
It’s a basic tool that can make a big impact. It should be your ultimate resource to being personable and knowledgeable with your clients, and make them feel truly valued through every interaction. When you build that strong foundation, it makes it easy for people to not only rebook with you frequently, but also to highly recommend you.
Remember, your most loyal clients are driving 80% of your business–so imagine if everyone was raving about how great your property management services are. If you’re ready to get them talking, click the checklist below to start implementing the best practices to manage your database!
When I'm not researching industry trends and writing about business strategies, I spend time with friends and family, travelling, and searching for the world's best chocolate chip cookie.