There’s a saying that if you keep doing the same thing, you will keep getting the same result.
What does that mean for landlords?
If you are weary of running ads and wading through a swamp of phone calls and missed appointments every time you have a vacancy, maybe it’s time to change your tack.
Learn a Lesson from the Pro’s
The best way to develop a steady flow of prospects, even develop a waitlist, is forming Strategic Alliances.
A Strategic Alliance occurs where two businesses that share the same customer attributes (income, buying preferences, etc.), yet do not compete with each other, pair up to market one another’s business for little or no cost. Strategic alliances are everywhere in other industries as well – like the beverage manufacturer who teams up with the snack company to cross-market products.
How can a Strategic Alliance help a landlord?
- Grass roots marketing is cheap, often free.
- Renters who are referred tend to be lower-risk tenants.
- Referrals often stay longer because their lifestyle is connected to your neighborhood. Longer leases translate to higher profits.
- Alliances develop a steady stream of referrals.
- Forming alliances allows you to meet other business owners.
- In some cases, you can generate revenue by marketing your partners’ business.
Seven Steps to Forming Strategic Alliances
Don’t have a marketing team behind you? That’s okay. It’s easy to form alliances if you follow these Step-by-Step Instructions:
1. Identify Your Strategic Partners
To begin, ask your tenants what they like most about the neighborhood. Find out the favorite hang-outs, like lunch spots, coffee shops, laundromats, health food stores, clubs, bookstores, video stores. To speed up your fact-finding, host a barbecue and get everyone together at once.
2. Make an Offer They Cant Refuse
Approach your alliance partner with a compelling offer. Let’s use the example of a local gym. Effective marketers always begin by offering something of value: “I own an apartment down the street and I would like to refer my tenants to join your gym.” That’s hard to refuse. Follow up with what you want: “In return, I’d like to offer your clients the opportunity to rent from me.”
3. A Special Offer
You will be the most effective if you give a ‘Special Offer’ to the your prospective tenants. Perhaps it’s a discount on a gym membership in our case.
4. How to Communicate Your Offer
Discuss how you and your partner communicate with customers/tenants:
- bulletin boards
- new member welcome package
5. Launch your Offer
Plan the right time to launch your offer. Now, you are ready to receive your study flow of prospects, right? WRONG!
Consistency is the key to success in a strategic partnership. If your prospects only see your message once, they are not as likely to respond. Work out a regular marketing schedule with your partner to develop a flow of inquiries.
7. Create Urgency
Create a sense of urgency in each of your communications with your prospects. Include an expiration date, or leave your offer open for a limited time. After all, a special offer can’t last forever!
American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services related to your commercial housing investment including REAL ESTATE FORMS, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at www.joinaaoa.org.
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