Boosting your customer retention is proven more beneficial over the long term than customer acquisition. The monetary value of keeping a tenant outweighs the efforts to find and acquire new tenants by 5 to 1.
Interestingly, the majority of businesses in the property sector have a larger budget for acquiring new customers than they do for retaining them. Think about your marketing and sales efforts, then compare this budget to your customer support services. Many real estate and property management companies fail with customer retention statistics.
Improving your customer acquisition may sound easier to achieve as there are many tried and trusted methods to chop and choose from. However, addressing your retention strategy has long-term benefits you shouldn’t ignore.
Let’s look at boosting property delivery and customer retention rates.
This post is an exerpt taken from our Business Guide for Property Management companies. You can download your free copy of the guide by clicking the link below.
Time to Market
You don’t need us to tell you the property market has changed significantly over the past ten years. We are in a digital era encouraging speed and service value to sellers, buyers, and tenants. But how can you optimise your digital service offerings to satisfy customers and beat the competition?
Timing is everything, giving owners of landlords peace of mind that your systems and processes are in place to alleviate the barriers of time delays. In an ideal situation, you want to aim for the shortest time to market as possible; to do so, you should evaluate the following to see where you can improve.
The average time it takes to sell a
house in the UK is 101 days.
Online Mortgage Advisor
Virtual and Digital
Professional listing photographs are sufficient but may lack the stand-out nature that modern digital technology allows. Consider the cost and value of presenting virtual tours on your properties; these are in demand for buyers and tenants to fully grasp the property.
Alongside a virtual tour, be sure to include a digital floorplan. You may be surprised at the number of current listings that exclude this, meaning the buyer must request information rather than having it readily available.
Don’t wait until there is a change on the property to communicate with the customer. Frequent communication with steps you have taken and progress will be well received. If you share you are doing the right things, you are already building up trust with the customer.
Poor communication will damage your reputation and likely result in lost future business.
As soon as a property listing is available, you want to show it to the right people at the right time. Here is where strategic marketing can help.
Traditional and digital approaches to marketing can unveil what stage of the purchase funnel your customers are at. Segmentation will enable you to create marketing collateral specifically for each group.
In turn, you will have a continuous flow of buyers that, if approached correctly, will reduce your time on the market and increase lifetime value. The days of a single message to everyone are long gone. Adapt and refine those messages to reduce qualifying time and increase your time closing.
Higher Lifetime Value
The longer a client is with you, the more income you generate from that client. High-profile customers are your golden eggs; to acquire a high-profile customer, you would need to evaluate your marketing and sales spend against the lead’s planning, pitching, and closing. Expect this cost to run into the thousands, if not tens of thousands.
Have a lot at all your current high-profile customers. Did you win them directly, or have they slowly been nurtured due to the trust and service value you have provided? This rings true to many of your existing customers.
You are nurturing the customers who already believe in your service, and support means more income, thus scaling and growth. So, how can you improve your lifetime value?
Engage with Customers
From the initial conversation to the onboarding process, engagement with customers and prospects should be a mixture of accessible resources and personalised communication.
As with all businesses, customers may prefer an account manager they wish to speak to; this is great for LTV, but what happens if they are on holiday? Or worse still, they leave for a competitor. Are you confident your business won’t follow out the door with them?
This is where a divisive customer communication strategy should stand the test of time and personnel. Ensure all of your employees are at the same service standard levels; this way, you are protecting yourself against lost business and a low LTV.
We have outlined various methods to improve your customer retention throughout this article. In addition, be sure to continuously review and monitor new tools and software that adds value to customers.
From a technical perspective, ensure your systems are running without disruption or barriers and that you are using software and combining or integrating systems that reduce manual workloads.
Retention is a mixture of how well you service and respond. The technology you choose will define how well you output your value.
There are numerous reasons why you may experience a high or low customer churn rate; the key takeaway here is to look at those who were impacted by decisions or actions you undertook.
More specifically, any customer that leaves your organisation due to the customer experience or support is where you can make significant inroads to reduce this number.
To analyse possible reasons why a customer leaves, politely ask them to complete a short questionnaire/survey on what they liked and disliked about your organisation.
Only 16% of businesses focus on reducing churn.
The number of showings per sale or rental impacts how quickly it is filled. This raises the question of the most viable and productive way to show properties and ensure they are filled as quickly as possible.
Open House vs Individual Showings
This could fundamentally come down to demand. If you have a property in high demand, an open house will likely fill the property in a single visit. An occupied property, or one with less demand, may be less likely to succeed in planning an open house. Therefore, individual showings will make more sense.
Screening and Scheduling
The last thing you want is to spend considerable time screening and arranging viewings on properties without a let or sale. Every property is different; your screening process must be robust enough to book and plan viewings and scheduled times in priority order.
Investing in your screening processes makes you three times more likely to fill the property in a single day of visits.
Carriage companies use complex systems to find the best routes for multiple delivery/drop-off points. The same logic needs to be employed with how you manage the need to show people around properties in the most efficient way.
Mapping the distance travel time between all the properties you have on your books would help to assign routes quicker, especially for those with numerous properties on their books. You won’t require sophisticated software that haulage or delivery companies use, but you can use the scheduling logic to save you considerable time each week.
Nurturing and retaining clients is far easier than finding new ones. The amount of time and effort it takes to do this is minimal compared to the tireless slog of finding prospects, marketing to them and converting them into new ones.
Spend dedicated time every month working out how you can improve on what you already have. Be sure to review the tech you use to see how this can assist and ultimately drive your decisions.