BDM Academy’s Tara Bradbury offers her 16 top tips to help grow your rent roll in 2020.

1. Monthly newsletter

Newsletters should be standard practice. My advice is to send them out monthly to keep production levels high and the communication lines open. You don’t want to oversaturate your clients with weekly newsletters, however, leaving it for more than a month is too long. Send your newsletter out with the end-of-month ledgers for owners and do the same for tenants. Make sure the newsletters showcase vacant rental properties as well as some properties for sale. Your property owners are investors too and you never know when they might want to add to their portfolio!

2. Survey

Feedback is integral to your success and surveys are a good way to identify areas where your office can improve. Phone surveys are an especially powerful tool. If you’re not the person in the business who directly manages the client in question, the client may be more willing to reveal their more honest opinion to you. That being said, email surveys are less aggressive and can be less time-consuming for PMs and BDMs. A lot of people prefer to respond this way for the same reasons. When building your email survey, include the estimated completion time and keep your questions short and succinct. It’s always good practice to include an incentive (e.g. a voucher or chance to win tickets to a movie) for survey participants.

3. Giving back

Find ways to surprise and even delight your property owners. They’re valuable to your business, so small gestures like Christmas cards, a scratchie or even a hamper for those top-end clients can have a profound effect on that relationship.

4. Focus

A simple way to enhance your existing business processes is to run focus groups around service. Ask your clients about the EOM process, how their statements are laid out and your office communication process. Choose a mix of 10-15 couples and be sure to offer them something for their time, like a book, a bottle of wine or voucher.

5. Investor evenings

Running an investor evening is a great way to create value for your clients by providing free, relevant information about buying or investing. Consider partnering up with a professional service like a financial planner, and host a free investor evening for the local community. This is a fabulous way to network and give back to the community.

6. Market review

Give your owners a free comparative market analysis (CMA) every 12 months. This is a great value-add and will open the lines of communication with your owners. It’s also a great way to position yourself as an authoritative educator on all things ‘property.’ Another tip is to celebrate milestones. This is a great way to connect with your clients and businesses over wine and snacks. It’s also a great way to physically get them into your office.

7. Curbside inspections

These are so easy to do and owners absolutely love them. If you’re in the neighbourhood, simply take a photo of their property on your tablet or smartphone. Send your owner a quick text or give them a call to let them know you were in the area and decided to do a drive-by. The inspection mightn’t be for another couple of months, but they’ll love the fact that you’re keeping an eye on the place.

8. Tenant of the month

Reward a good tenant for the month with a voucher, flowers, a book or some wine, etc. Even small gestures can go a long way!

9. Tradie BBQ

Host an in-office barbecue for your tradies – they are a great source of referrals! Plus, it’s nice to show them you value their efficient work.

10. Give incentives to clients in business

A couple of ideas:

  • Landlords get three months’ free management for every one client secured. If they refer four a year, that’s free management!
  • Tenants get a voucher (such as a Myer voucher) for referring one secured investor. If they purchase an investment, they would get three months of free management.
  • Tradesmen who refer one secured client would get a gift voucher, such as a Dan Murphy’s voucher or Myer voucher.
  • With developers, you might have a set rate per property that is a referral incentive.

11. Video update

Record a video market update outlining the results that have been achieved. This is a good way to self-promote while educating your clients too.

12. Prospecting

Talk with past buyers and sellers to see if they are looking at buying more property or if you can provide advice on a property they may be looking at.

13. Competition 

Running competitions in your business can be a good social outlet and a bit of fun. Connect with your tenants. If they have kids, do colouring-in competitions, and even create a certificate that you leave in the kids’ bedrooms after a routine inspection that might congratulate them on passing for having a clean bedroom.

14. Leave something

After an inspection, it’s a great move to leave something behind at the property. This could be a simple card or even a jar of jellybeans or lollies that are labelled with your business information.

15. Books

A book is a great gift to send out to landlords to say thanks for their business. You can send these along with a new agreement. I often use Jim Stovall’s book The Ultimate Gift as it has a positive message for everyday people of all walks of life.

16. Tenant entry pack

Before your tenant moves in, leave behind a tenant essentials pack with things such as toilet rolls, tea bags, vouchers (local businesses) and coffee cups in a cleaning bucket. These are the handy things you look for when you’ve just moved in and everything is still in boxes.