We all know that most real estate agencies have 2 sides to their business: the properties for sale and the properties for rent. Typically, the 2 teams are made up of very different staff. The sales agents are often more outgoing, hungry for action, keen to improve and hone their skills, and are working towards a goal of commissions. The property management team are not working under a commission structure and earn a lot less than their sales counterparts. Some start in this area while they get some real estate experience before moving on to the sales side. But others prefer the administration property management offers, and make a career out of it. Many agencies see their property management staff continuously turning around so there is not a great deal of continuity for the landlords they are supposed to be ‘looking after’.
So, how much cross over is there between the teams and their clients? How often do the property management team check to see if their landlords are happy with the service they are receiving? Do the sales team speak to any of the landlords and stay in touch with them about their plans for their properties?
I had an interesting conversation today with someone; let’s call her Mia, who owns multiple investment properties around Sydney and this was the inspiration for my blog post this week. While we were chatting, Mia commented about how useless the agency is who looks after her investment properties and if she was ever to sell any of them or her enormous house (think gorgeous suburb of Sydney, mansion proportions, multi-million dollar property), she certainly would not use this agency!!
This would be terrible news for the sales team and directors of this agency. Do they even know this? This should be the easiest of any referrals – someone already with a relationship with their business and team. It should be a given that if Mia were to sell, she would give them her business.
Mia commented that she leaves her business with this property management team for the moment as she has tried quite a few different ones in the area and they are all as bad as each other. She listed their faults:
- Poor communication
- Lack of follow up
- Poor choice of trade people for repairs
- Poor customer service
- High staff turnover so lack of continuity
This got me thinking when she said that they are ‘all as bad as each other’ that perhaps many agencies are running their businesses separately rather than as one. A different set of values for the sales staff than the property management staff?
My point today is that perhaps in always focusing on the sales staff, it’s time for the real estate agencies to start investing more time and money in their property management teams and business. Referrals should be the easiest way to get new business but if that is definitely not going to happen from one of your landlords, perhaps there is some serious work to do within the business.
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