It is said that it takes five times more money to gain a new customer than to keep an existing customer. Because of this, it is really important that we take necessary steps to keep our current property owners happy.
- Know your competition. Take time to look at what other property managers are doing. You are not their only option so see what is working for them. How are they using social media drive more business to their owners? What is their unique value proposition? What is their approach to acquiring new customers? Look for problems or their short-comings. Being able to address the issues that your competition has can go a long way in separating your business from them. Look for service gaps that they are exploiting. These are services that they are offering that others are not. Take a look at their website and make notes of things that stand out and things that need work.
- Deliver Special Services. To separate your business form the competition look for services that are not offered by your competition, not done effectively or services that are exclusive to the area your properties are in. For example, if you rent beach rentals and you have a local delivery service that rents and delivers beach equipment and your competition is renting out beach equipment from their office, mention in your listing that the rental company delivers and picks up the equipment. As a property owner I would see the value in having a rental company that offers convenience service to my guests.
- Provide guest profiles for all your guests. Have your reservation agents gather as much information about the guests as possible. Not just names, addresses and phone numbers but also things like their favorite time of year to travel, what kind of amenities they enjoy, types of restaurants they like, do they come by car or plane, do they bring all their necessary supplies or do they buy or rent supplies when they arrive, do they have pets etc.
- Keep the unit clean, well maintained and safe. The guests first impression of the unit starts when they drive up to it. Make sure the outside is well maintained, freshly painted, trimmed grass and tidy landscaping. There should be no loose patio stones, deck boards, stairs and railings should be in good working order and not loose. Doors should close and lock properly. If you it has a smart lock it should function without issue and they should be informed how to use it prior to arriving. Inside, the appearance should be neat and clean with no unpleasant odors. All electronics and appliances should be functioning correctly and clean. Check all the furniture and make sure there are no stains, rips or tears. Linens should be free of stains or tears and smell fresh. If it has a pool make sure it is clean and the landscaping is well maintained. Appearance will make or break a vacation rental. A well maintained older unit is far better than a run down newer unit.
- Keep a running maintenance report. Each unit should have a full maintenance report detailing work performed as well a suggested work that needs to be done. Each unit should also have a maintenance yearly schedule that includes things like appliance warranty info, HVAC cleaning and maintenance, pool cleaning and service reports, scheduled deep cleans, pressure washing etc.
- Treat each home as your own business. An owner wants to know that you have their unit in your best interest. They have many options when it comes to who manages their property and if the owner doesn’t feel like you have their best interest at hand you will be replaced. Constant communication, detailed financial reporting,a properly maintained unit, happy guests, a well filled calendar are all important to them and it should be just as important to you.
- Keep constant communication between the property management team and the owner. Communication is one of the major factors that will determine how long you keep the property owner on board with your company. Poor communication is a clear sign to the owner that they are not important and you just don’t care. If you are not sharing potential guest information, maintenance issues and fixes, financial reports, marketing strategies or rates and calendar concerns then you are not doing your job.
Follow these steps to not only keep your current property owners staying with your company but also communicate these steps to potential new owners to create value in your services. if a new owner sees the extent you go to they should have no reason not to sign up with your company.