After two days at the Annual Leadership of Principals and Property Professionals Summit (ALPPPS), Jo-Anne Oliveri offers a personal summary of the best of the best.
With 100 principals and career property managers in attendance and many game-changing tools and technologies on offer, here are my top five takeaways to help you raise the bar in your property management business or career.
1. Adopt new technologies
In the face of disruption, principals and property managers have two choices: adopt or die. Those who step up their business operations and customer service standards by adopting game-changing technologies such as digital solar, smart locks, 3D floor plans and automated lease showings will be the ones who succeed and continue to thrive in this changing economy. That’s because, when we’re competing with the likes of Airbnb and other disruptors poised to enter our industry, the only way to survive is to be an early adopter.
The simple fact is that if you have the imagination to see disruption as an opportunity to innovate, and adopt leading-edge tools and technologies as a result, you can remain the agency of choice no matter who or what enters our industry.
2. Digital solar is a #gamechanger
Implementing game-changing technologies like digital solar keeps you ahead of the curve. ALPPPS presenter and Matter Business Development Director Stuart McGregor said that principals who implement innovative technologies will remain pertinent in this changing economy. For example, Matter’s Digital Solar platform means landlords can sell solar electricity to tenants for cheaper than a utility company. This is just one way that you can add value to your investors’ portfolios and, as a result, remain their agency of choice. Raising the bar in your property management business with game-changing technologies ultimately helps keep you ahead of the game.
3. Millennials: The new generation of client
The Millennial will be our industry’s next significant and impacting generation. ALPPPS presenter and Harcourts International Head of the Academy Irene Green said that, whilst Baby Boomers have dominated the industry for more than 20 years, the Millennials’ time is here. As principals and property managers, we must understand that the Millennial client is four dimensional; they need an agency who can help sell, rent, invest or buy their next property.
We also need to understand that Millennials head online first when researching the market, so it is vital that your property management business establishes a digital presence. In order to attract this new generation of client, Irene suggested that agencies create infographics to deliver information, use video to show properties, be of value on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and communicate a clear brand personality.
4. Be known for your customer experience
Whilst our industry’s poor reputation and poor service standards have made it an easy target for disruption, we have the opportunity to respond by providing a better customer experience. ALPPPS presenter and Real Estate Grow Co-Founder Jacob Aldridge said that disruption is set to change our industry, and principals and property managers must understand what they can do about it.
Fortunately, principals have the opportunity to respond by re-building their business’ reputation on its superior customer service standards. To do this, every aspect of your business must be evaluated and improved, including your vision, systems, training, branding, marketing and culture, in order to provide a second-to-none customer experience. That way, when the next disruptive service enters the industry, you will still remain your clients’ service provider of choice. Building your property management business’ reputation on its superior customer experience is the best way to respond to the threat of disruption.
5. Build relationships on social media
Use social media to build and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with your clients. ALPPPS presenter and Bluewire Media Marketing Manager Adam Franklin said that the key to social media success is to publish remarkable content, build genuine relationships and drive people to your website.
Principals and property managers can build online relationships by providing content which answers questions property investors are asking search engines. Your next step is connecting with your current and prospective clients on LinkedIn and nurturing those relationships to an email, phone and, eventually, in-person relationship. What’s more, creating a Facebook page for your business helps build a community of advocates.
Some great resources to help you manage your social media presence are Talkwalker Alerts, which monitor what people say about you online; Buffer, which schedules social media updates; Trello, which keeps track of your content ideas, and Canva, which creates images. Now more than ever, building relationships on social media is paramount if you want to succeed in this changing economy.
ALPPPS 2016 showed our industry that principals and career property managers who have the imagination to implement game-changing tools and technologies will be the ones who succeed and continue to thrive. Make this the year that you become an early adopter and raise the bar in your property management business or career.