5 Steps to Pivot and Grow your Property Management Business During Uncertain Times

Picture of Ellen Bathgate
Ellen Bathgate


The year 2020 has been a whirlwind so far. Natural disasters and then a total world crisis. In times of total uncertainty like these, it’s essential that you rise up, lead your market and continue to grow your rent roll.

During times of uncertainty, there are some outstanding opportunities for your property management business, provided you focus on 5 key steps to pivot and grow. In fact, times like these will force you to take action to propel your property management forward.

So, whether you’re reading this article while we’re right in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis, or you’re reading this article on the other side of the crisis, there are 5 steps you need to take to grow your property management business right now.

1. Become a Technology Wizard

It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, whether you’re new in business or have been in the Property Management game for 40 years, it’s time to embrace technology in your Property Management business.

Sure, you’re probably already using cloud-based trust accounting software. However, you need to embrace so much more technology than this.

In times of social isolation and remote working, you’ll find opportunities to use more technology. But technology isn’t only for these times of crisis.

Consider using getting creative with how you’re conducting inspections, and use technology in for 2 types of inspections.

Video Routine Inspections.

Some of my client are already doing these, so you’re facing an excellent opportunity right now. Here’s 6 steps on how to do video routine inspections.

  1. Contact your tenants to advise that you’ll be conducting their next routine inspection by video, and invite them to be involved in this inspection.
  2. Invite your tenant to select a timeslot for their inspection. Remember, your tenant will need to be home for this inspection, because they will be conducting the inspection on video. Use software (like CalendlyAcuity or even your leasing software) to allow your tenant to select a date and time that suits you for this inspection.
  3. Send your tenant a video link (like Zoom for example) once the appointment is confirmed, so that your tenant can meet with you via video for the routine inspection.
  4. Give your tenant a written and/or video guide on how the video routine inspection will be performed.
  5. Meet with your tenant by video at the appointed time for the routine inspection and guide your tenant through the process of conducting the inspection.
  6. Record the video. This is going to be evidence of your routine inspection and form part of the report that you send to your landlord client.
  7. Create a routine inspection report for your landlord client. You have two options for sending this report to your landlord.
    Option 1: Create a written report with still images (from the video) just like you would usually for a routine inspection.
    Option 2: Give your landlord a link to the video inspection. But before you do, please watch the video in full and ensure it’s appropriate to share with your landlord. You may decide to remove the original audio from the video and add a voiceover to the video to talk the landlord through the video instead. Consider asking your Property Management Virtual Assistant to complete this editing of the video and save you time.

Video Open Homes

You might already be conducting video tours of your vacant properties by video, but if you’re not, now is the time to start!

There are 3 easy ways to conduct video open homes.

  1. Virtual Tours. Using a camera and virtual tour software like Virtual Tours CreatorMatterport or even using your phone and having your Virtual Assistant edit the video to create a virtual tour for you.
  2. Promotional Videos: Take a combination of photos and videos and compile them into a promotional video of the property, allowing potential tenants to view the property and get a feel for the home. Remember that, if you’re using a combination of edited photos and videos, you may not be able to fully communicate the exact feel of the home, and you might need to include floorplan as well.
  3. Live videos. There’s something fun and authentic about live video, and it allows your followers to interact with you live, ask questions and ask to see specific areas of the home. Remember that, with a live video, it’s not going to be as smooth or polished as something pre-recorded.

2. Get more Landlord Leads from Social Media

In uncertain times, people are on social media more than ever. People are looking for comfort, information and a little distraction via their social media platforms.

This means that, there is a huge opportunity for you to generate more landlord leads during times of uncertainty. So, now is your time to shine on social media and generate leads!

Focus on 2 areas when you’re working your social media strategy.

  1. Consistency with your posts. Be present on social media every single week and stay consistent with your social media posts. If you need ideas for what to post, be sure to join our free mini course on your 5 Step Action Plan for Rent Roll Growth, and discover all the different type of posts you could use to stay consistent on social media.
  2. Paid Ads. Learn how to use Facebook Ads for Rent Roll Growth so that you’re constantly generating enquiries from landlord clients. Social media ads are affordable and powerful, and now is the perfect time to learn how to use them and start getting leads from them.

3. Outsource

If you’ve had members of your team working from home recently, you know that property management can be done remotely. Truth is, I ran my entire rent roll from my spare bedroom for over 4 years, so this is very possible.

Now that you’ve had experience with working from home, it’s time to look at outsourcing in your business.

Look at all the tasks that are currently being completed in your office and highlight the ones that can be easily performed from home (or somewhere else). Once you have this list, you’ll be able to identify all the tasks you could hand over to an outsourced Property Management Administrator.

This is your time to expand your team and get more help for your business and your existing employees. Taking administrative tasks away from your current employees will free up their time to be more client focused and help you grow your property management business.

4. Nurture Your Database

When times become uncertain, we turn to our phones. We watch our social accounts and read our emails. I’ll repeat that key phrase for you: “read our emails.”

So, what does that mean for you? You need to be in the inbox of your clients and potential clients.

How often? As often as you (reasonably) can! That means you need to email your database at least once a month, but ideally, once a week. Regular emails are the best way to nurture potential landlord clients.

What do you send? High quality content. Your blog articles, your videos, your podcast. Most of my clients start with sending their blog articles on a regular basis, as this is a great way to establish your expertise and nurture your potential clients.

If you want to learn more about using blogs to grow your rent roll, join our free mini-course on The 5 Step Action Plan for Rent Roll Growth.

5. Support Your Referral Partners

Other businesses in your community are often the best way to grow your rent roll. These businesses can provide qualified landlord leads to you every day of the week, if you have a strong relationship with them.

When times are uncertain in the world, your referral partners need more support than ever, and they’ll look to other business owners to lead them forward. How you support your referral partners during times like these will set up your relationship to be strong, even as times become more certain.

The 2 best ways to support your referral partners are:

  1. Promote them. Share their pages on social media, leave honest reviews for them, and feature them in your newsletters, videos and on your website.
  2. Send them referrals. There’s nothing that helps other small businesses more than getting new clients. If you have access to people who might need their services, look for ways to introduce your clients to your referral partners.

Your referral partners must be a key part of your rent roll growth strategy, so you must concentrate on how you support them during times of uncertainty. If you want to discover more about working with your referral partners, join our free mini course on The 5 Step Action Plan for Rent Roll Growth.

If you follow these 5 steps during these uncertain times, you’re going to set yourself up for success during times of crisis and beyond.

About the Author

She specialises in helping independent real estate agents to start and build their own Rent Rolls, using affordable (and sometimes free) marketing and growth strategies.

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