Being prepared with a handful of pre-qualifying questions for prospective clients, will not only save you time, but also give you the edge when it comes to winning new business.
Nothing is more frustrating to a potential customer, than being led through a whole sales discussion, only to discover, that the product or service you’re pitching to them, is not the perfect fit.
By Vasili Hadzellis – Core Property Management Consulting
It’s a frustration, I’ve been reminded of, too recently.
Last week, I was in the process of buying a new mobile phone. My existing phone was in need of replacing, and I wanted a quick upgrade to a new model, whilst remaining on my same plan.
Problem is, when I rocked up to my service provider’s store, instead of it being a simple process, I was taken on a time-consuming merry-go-round that ended up with me visiting 3 stores and speaking to 3 different sales reps, before I got anywhere near, to the new phone in my hand.
If the first rep (at Store No #1), took the time to ask me the right questions straight up, he would have avoided a lot of headaches that followed.
Problems that left me (their valued customer) frustrated and resentful for the time and energy they wasted.
Like that fact that . . .
1. The phone he eagerly demonstrated to me, with all it’s cool features – wasn’t even in stock!
I was literally signing the papers, already seeing my new phone in my hands, only to be told there “wasn’t one at the back of the store.”
Oh, but I “could wait for one to be delivered, or try another store!”
Are you kidding me?
2. Or the fact that, when I arrived at Store No #2 (an infuriating 45 minutes later) I had to repeat myself all over again – who I was, what I was looking for, and could they arrange the changeover for me.
So 30 minutes later, we’ve proceeded forward again, and I’m signing the papers . . . . until I’m asked “What’s your mobile number?” (I tell them my number).
“Oh! You’re a business customer?!…Sorry sir, but we can’t do this for you here. You’ll have to do it over the phone or visit a business center store.
Are you serious?
Why didn’t the first guy at Store #1 – ask me what type of customer I was in the first instance?
And then, to add salt to the wound, they didn’t even offer to make the call to the business store, on my behalf!
Major fail, service provider!
So, now that my rant is over – here is my case in point.
Pre-Qualifying Your Property Management Clients
If every property manager took the time to pre-qualify a prospective client, before diving into a rehearsed sales pitch, it would not only avoid wasting time discussing things that are irrelevant, it would also give them a better opportunity to win the business.
The right pre-qualifying questions arm you with the right information you need, so you know what the next steps should be.
Let’s say you have a prospective client who calls your agency enquiring about renting their property. You start explaining the whole letting process from start to finish, explain the benefits of your service, and highlight how fabulous your agency is.
Then, about 15 minutes or so into the call, you ask you client, if they’d like to make an appointment to proceed, only to find out that they were only do some research on price way in advance or they only want to rent their property for a 3 month period over the Xmas holidays!!!!
Ouch. You’ve just wasted your time and theirs!
If the right questions are set up from the get-go, then you can quickly determine whether or not this potential client qualifies for a listing appointment or just some quick helpful information.
You certainly will avoid wasting time explaining your services and processes, to a home owner, who not ready to hear it yet.
On the flip side, if they ARE ready for a listing appointment, those pre-qualifying questions are “listing gold.”
You can determine:
- how much time to commit to the appointment
- what their current circumstances are
- any property challenges
- the motivation to lease out their property
- what anxieties or frustrations they have, from working with other agencies.
In other words, you can head into your appointment knowing EXACTLY what objections you have to overcome.
You’re armed with everything you need to win the business!
Below are a few key questions to help you create your own pre-qualifying process for clients.
Just keep in mind that this process is meant to be a quick one, so you can achieve this by keeping your process simple.
- Will this be your first experience as a landlord?
- When it comes the leasing and management of your property, what’s most important to you?
- Do you currently live in the property? Is the property already on the market for lease or currently under management?
- From the front door to the backdoor/sliding door, can you give me a brief description of the property?
- Were you thinking unfurnished or fully furnished? Long term tenancy?
- To fit in with your ideal timeframe, how quickly would you like lease your property? This side of Easter/End of Financial Year/Spring/Christmas?
- Have you seen any properties on the market right now that you think compares to your property?
- How do you think you’ll go about selecting your Property Manager? What’s important to you?