Continuing on from part one; we take a look at the next five keys to beat fee discount requests.
Extra Bonus Tip- Know your competition! – you must know your competitors; not only their fee charges and their likelihood to offer discounts but also what they look like with their perception strategies. In a world where perception is reality, what perception do they give your prospective clients with their marketing materials, website etc? If they look better than you, then you are encouraging fee discount requests simply on this issue!
Most people understand that ‘you get what you pay for’, so if you are an ‘apple’ against a pack of ‘apples’, the client will push for a difference – this always being a fee discount request. If you are an apple against oranges, with the orange being the more desirable fruit (with perception and points of difference), then you will have a hard time wrestling fee discount requests.
If you are the orange, against a pack of apples then you will find it much easier to win the business and get the fee you ask!
6- Have a fantastic website – continuing with the concept that you are what you look like (your prospective clients’ perception of you), create a great website. Firstly, go and take a look at all of your competitors and you will most likely see that their property management profile on their site is pretty appalling! Probably no more than just a business card online! Your website needs to not only be a promotional lead machine but should also be filled with educational content for landlords and tenants alike. Check out these websites for inspiration- trueproperty.com.au, focuspropertymanagement.com.au and crockers.co.nz all have some great property management content and are all property management leaders in their respective marketplaces.
If you are part of a franchise ‘sales brand’ group, then find out if you can at least add content and pages to your office website. You can still make a difference!
7- Get more referrals – we all know that when we are personally referred work from a current or previous client, there is already a degree of trust established and the likelihood of being asked for a fee discount is greatly diminished. Look after your current clients so that they are raving about you.
If you are not sure about how your current clients are talking about you, perhaps send a survey with this question ‘Out of ten, how well do you rate our agency and services when discussing them with friends and family?’ This one question alone tells you exactly how they feel about you. If they are really happy with you, only then are they motivated to want to tell others how good your services are!
8- Do a show and tell! – Instead of just a verbally based listing presentation, use a listing kit to show prospective clients what you do. Have some great examples of your work with great looking ingoing and routine inspections, application form, lease documents etc. The visual stimulus has been proven to improve retention of information by over 150% on hearing alone in many studies.
Got an iPad? Using the ‘Keynote’ app you can create a great looking presentation.
9- Be more likeable – you could be the best property manager or business development manager around, but if you are not a likeable person, this will hinder you. People love to deal with people they really like, and they will be happy to pay for the experience. Just think about it, who are the most successful real estate salespeople you know? I bet they all have one thing in common – they are all great people. They just love people, and it comes through! I also believe these salespeople also get paid the best, because people are happy to deal with them and pay what they are worth!
10- Know what you are worth! – If you have a rock solid belief in yourself and your services and you know beyond any doubt you are the best person for the job, it will come through in your enthusiasm and conviction. Enthusiasm and confidence are contagious, and your strike rate will increase substantially.
The success traits in play
After writing the last key above I went out to lunch with a business development manager who works the area in which I reside. He said that he had just signed up 33 new properties in the last three months- an outstanding effort indeed!
All the traits of success were there. He had a list of points of difference and reasons why his agency does it better, his enthusiasm and drive was inspiring and he could overcome competently any fee objection and win the business, with his full fee structure intact. Clearly, this person was hungry and focussed on getting new business.
He also told me an interesting story about one of the properties he signed up; the landlord sent emails and left calls with five real estate agencies with his agency returning their call! This was followed up quickly by a listing appointment! The other four agencies didn’t even return the call, let alone get an opportunity to meet with the landlord. Amazing, but a true and common story I hear all too often!
Getting the business need not be difficult if we follow just a few simple rules of play, enjoy what we do and be hungry for new business.
All the best!