Having the busy role of a property manager isn’t limited to managing rental properties but also generating leads to keep your business growing and evolving. Let's dive into how to create a property management referral program!
What is a referral program?
A referral program is a marketing strategy used to source property management leads. It makes use of recommendations and word of mouth to grow a business's customer base through the networks of its existing clients.
Businesses are likely to adopt a referral program as it is most often the strongest form of a lead as they tend to have a better chance of closing. This is normally due to the fact that the referee trusts the person who referred them to you, so they are usually already favourable to you.
Take the time to build relationships with all of your clients
Being a property manager, you have a myriad of possible referrers right at your fingertips. For example, your tenants may not be looking for a property manager to manage their own rental properties. However, they are likely to have friends, co-workers or family members who might be looking.
Your vendors are also in and out of properties, interacting with industry persons on a daily basis. As they are existing clients, they are already incentivised to recommend your agency. Providing you have a good relationship with them, they will want to recommend you as they know you are likely to hire them to complete the maintenance work at the property.
Consider if you will incentivise referrals or not
Before creating your own referral process, do some research on competitors and take note of their referral programs. If you notice it is common for referrals to be incentivised, consider doing the same. You want to give your referral program the best chance at success. Therefore if it were not incentivised and others were, there is a chance that yours will not experience as much success.
However, if you find that no one is offering an incentive, you can focus on a referral program based on the quality of your relationships. You could also consider adding an incentive to your program anyway, to set your program apart from others and therefore make it more appealing.
Continue to monitor your competitors and note any changes in their referral programs to make sure your business remains competitive with others. It’s important to take note of any local laws and regulations which may prohibit paying referral fees or finders fees to specific individuals.
Creating a Successful Referral Process
Meet with your team to brainstorm how they think their specific clients would best respond to the introduction of a referral program. This will help you to tailor an experience for the different types of clients, ensuring that each is contacted in the way they would respond best.
- Create a conversation guide to be had during conversations which have word-of-mouth advertising potential
- Update your website to detail what your referral program is, highlight any incentives and direct customers to contact you
- Promote your referral program on your social media accounts
- Create a targeted email campaign
Once established, you can then draw up a few templates and pass them on to all staff to ensure that the process is uniform throughout the business.
An easy and efficient way to collect and maintain referral data is to set up a webpage with a form that visitors can fill out to send their referral information to you. Provide areas for the person making the referral to put their contact information, company, and property description, as well as the contact information for the referral themselves and a place to confirm they have permission from the referral for you to be in contact with them.
You can also actually set up your webpage form to add all submissions immediately to a spreadsheet where you can keep track of all your referrals. This makes the process of monitoring referrals seamless and ensures everyone can keep track of submissions.
Once referrals have been collected, determine how you would like to introduce yourselves as a business, and maintain contact with them. Meet with your staff to brainstorm and decide on a process that confirms what you will do once you receive a referral and how you will nurture them along their journey to signing with your agency.
- What will your process be for contacting them? How quickly will you do this after they have been referred to you?
- Who will be the person contacting them? Will it be the property manager or new business consultant?
- Where will you meet with them to discuss the intricacies of their property? Will it be in your office, at their property or do you prefer to keep it on the phone/via zoom?
- How often will you be in contact with them? And for how long?
- How will you manage potential negotiations of fees?
Once a referral has successfully signed up and becomes a client, always thank any individual who had a hand in the successful referral. Not only do people appreciate the recognition, but it also highlights to them that they bring value to your business and strengthens your connection.
Part of this process may be sending them the incentive or the reward you decided on earlier. Alternatively, you can send them a small gift such as a box of chocolates, flowers, or even a simple handwritten card or e-mail can still go a long way to express your appreciation.
Referrals are an excellent way to grow your property management business. Any leads you gain from having already created a positive relationship with someone else can be warmer and longer-lasting.
In order to take each referral far, you need to have a well thought out system in place. Setting up your referral process and including your team in on the creation of it all, will help to minimise errors.
Want to refer someone to PropertyMe and be rewarded with a $200 gift voucher of your choice for your efforts? Go ahead and click here to refer a friend, or for more information.
Thanks for reading this blog on how to create a property management referral program! You might also be interested in:
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