Looking for More Contacts?
Ask any owner of a property management company what their goals are, and chances are good, you’re going to hear something about growth. We all desire to grow our business, increase our number of doors, and meet more landlords!
There are various strategies we use to make these connections. There is direct mail, cold calling, online ads; and many more. The one thing some property managers (PMs) miss out on is REALTORS®! Like it or not, property management is a relationship business. We work to build strong relationships with our landlords and tenants, but have you considered the relationships you are building (or not building) with the real estate community around you?
REALTORS® Love to Collaborate
As a REALTOR® for the past eight years, I can tell you with certainty that the real estate community is a tight knit one. REALTORS® love to collaborate so that they can share ideas and network to establish referral partners. Forming one or two strong relationships with local REALTORS® can lead to an endless stream of business.
Five Tips on How to Collaborate with Local REALTORS®
So how can you do this? Below are my top five tips on how to meet and start relationships with local REALTORS®:
Join your local Board of REALTORS® as an affiliate member.
As an affiliate with your local Board of REALTORS®, you will get the opportunity to network with REALTORS® at social and educational events. Take it a step further and volunteer to serve on a committee! This will get you face-to-face time with REALTORS® on a more personal basis. When you are working together to achieve a common goal, you are going to earn their trust and respect.
Offer to sponsor Continuing Education Classes.
REALTORS® need to complete a certain number of continuing education classes to renew their Real Estate license. Sponsoring a breakfast or lunch gives you face time with a room full of (hungry) agents who will be very appreciative of the meal you have provided. Check with the instructor, but many will allow you to raffle off something to give you the ability to capture the contact information of the attendees.
Join your local Real Producers or similar industry specific groups.
Look into local publications directed at REALTORS® that you can advertise in (like Real Producers). However, buying some ad space may not be enough. Use the relationship with the publication to sponsor in-person events or meetings that they will host. It’s all about getting face-to-face time and building a relationship with the agents. They may not remember your print ad, but they will remember the conversation they had with you!
Join networking groups or local chambers of commerce that REALTORS® are a part of (or just visit).
Networking groups, like Business Network International (BNI), are very popular among REALTORS®. This spot is usually coveted and filled quickly when a REALTOR® leaves. Your local Chamber of Commerce is also a great place to meet REALTORS®. They will host networking events for members, which will give you a chance to get some face-to-face time. Joining these groups can help you build a relationship with the agent, as well as other vendors who work with REALTORS® and landlords.
Form relationships with the people close to REALTORS®: Title agents, lenders, home warranty companies, junk hauling.
Ask your vendors for referrals to not only landlords, but also to REALTORS® they work with frequently. Sometimes we forget to just ASK for the business, and also for the referrals.
Go Beyond Just Membership
Something important to keep in mind when joining different groups is how you can also contribute. Don’t think of it just as a way to get something in return. It’s about building relationships and credibility! Do more than just sign up as a member. Volunteer to serve on the board, or on a committee, and actually get involved!
You will get more one-on-one time with members as you work together to achieve a common goal. This will also help to establish your credibility as they will get to see you in action. They will also get to see how much you care and know hard you’re willing to work. If you are working this hard for a volunteer organization, they will assume you’re going to work this hard to take care of their clients.
Follow Up with Your Contacts
The next step, and probably most important, is to follow up! You’re going to work hard building up a database of REALTOR® contacts, so it’s important to stay in touch. You don’t want them to forget about you when they’re on that appointment and their clients mention maybe renting out their house instead of selling. The easiest way to do this would be to set up a monthly or quarterly email blast to the database you build.
To ensure the referrals continue, make sure to reward the behavior, not the outcome. This means that when you get a referral, immediately reach out and acknowledge it. I would suggest a quick handwritten note and a small gift card. This shows that you appreciate them thinking of you!
Why Property Managers Should Collaborate with REALTORS®
The time spent marketing to and building relationships with local REALTORS® can give you a great return on your investment. Take great care of their clients and they’ll remember you the next time they have a client who needs your expertise!
This article by Melissa Hargreaves was originally published in the April 2022 issue of NARPM‘s monthly news magazine, pages 12 and 15.