Last modified on March 15th, 2019
By Bryan Ives
Small property management companies face challenges competing with large corporations. Smaller budgets, limited staff and increasing overhead can be discouraging. You can compete with the big boys if you’re proactive. Here are a three strategies highly successful management teams deploy.
Number One: Pursue Excellent Relationships
Building relationships through excellent service is one way independent management teams can outshine the competition. Actively seek opportunities to go above and beyond expectations. For example, if you want residents to refer friends and families – give them a reason. Don’t hesitate to ask residents what you can do to improve their community.
But, don’t stop with building personal resident relationships. Reach out to your contractors, local realtors and community business leaders. At the end of the day, your relationships determine your success. When you gain a reputation as a strong negotiator, someone who listens to feedback and implements changes and a business person that respects owners’ property, referrals will follow.
Pursue excellent relationships by looking for ways to exceed expectations with residents, owners and community leaders.
Number Two: Attract and Retain Excellent Team Members
Attracting excellent employees – and keeping them – is another challenge for small companies. As property management teams focus on controlling the budget, they may consider reducing benefit packages.
Even if you can’t offer higher wages, there are some steps you can take to boost employee morale.
- Take advantage of training offered by your property management software vendor. Confidence and competence increase service levels. When employees feel confident, they are happier.
- Offer non-cash incentives – such as company picnics to celebrate occupancy rates or wellness day benefits to parents so they can take a day off, just to be with the kids because it’s Tuesday.
- Evaluate your business model to see if flexible hours, rotating shifts or other schedule variations will benefit key employees. Extended office hours might open the door for extra leasing opportunities and serve an employee need – that’s a double play for your property management team.
- Solicit employee feedback about your work environment.
- Thank your employees and “catch them doing good,” a simple, genuine thank you creates goodwill.
- Consider making arrangement with your local college to sponsor employee courses.
Check out this article from Careerealism.com for more tips on boosting employee morale.
Here’s another tip – colleges, universities and technical training facilities are excellent venues to look for trainable employees. If you build a strong relationship and support new employees properly, you’ll be one step ahead of the competition.
Number Three: Personally Connect with Owners
Independent property managers have greater opportunities to create personal relationships with owners than large mega-conglomerates.
Remember: Property owners are people first and clients second. When property managers know how much you value their business and their property, they’ll naturally share their experience with other owners. Look for ways to stay in touch with each owner. Send birthday cards, thank you notes for choosing your company and updates when you make improvements that benefit your owners.
Make sure you provide resources and tools to help your homeowners succeed. Update your technology if you aren’t offering access to online communication tools and accounting reports. Providing a subscription to print or online trade journals is one valuable resource option. Posting links and articles on your company website about investment vehicles and industry research is another.
Pursue Excellence Around Every Corner
Bottom line: Proactively seeking opportunities to build better relationships leads to more referrals. Attract and hire exceptional talent, engage your residents and express genuine appreciation for each homeowner and you’ll find competing with bigger enterprises isn’t so intimidating.
I really like the idea of sharing articles and investment links with property owners via email and posting to our media pages. Do you have any recommendations as to a good source for these on a frequent basis?
Hi Brian – There are several great sources out there. Here are a few to get you started: