Why you need to be obsessed with underserved reoccurring customers

I want you to imagine this one person, sitting in the room, at every meeting you have, listening intently and watching your every action. They are the customer, and they can’t believe how poorly the industry is serving them. There’s a massive upgrade required to thrive in this business, and it starts with workflow.

Workflow matters, and it’s the answer to some of our biggest industry challenges. I’m not interested in the small self-serving stuff; I’m talking about significant structural reform, that if we get it right we future proof our businesses, have customers that demand to pay more and play to the strengths we don’t even see we have.

It’s called the four-dimensional customer, the buyer, the tenant, the landlord and the seller. Too often there are walls between our departments, where we are obsessed by the portion of the work we’re paid to do, rather than the overall experience we provide to the customer.

Here’s a basic. One customer served well leads you to your next customer. Sitting in your business you have a subscription model for revenue - it’s called Property Management, it’s consistent, produces amazing income, and looks after one the most valuable customers - the reoccurring customer - the Landlord.

Here are the challenges the Landlord faces:

  • Growing their portfolio
  • Knowing what to do with their portfolio to ensure it performs (asset maximisation)
  • Knowing what equity they have across their portfolio including their principal place of residence, so they know when to buy next
  • The normal life events in their personal life that force them to sell and buy a new principal place of residence

Current thinking - don’t let the sales team near the Landlords as they’ll try to sell the investment properties which will reduce the size of the portfolio. Financially reward the salesperson for Property Management leads, but don’t reward the Property Management team for sales leads, in fact, don’t discuss workflow at all and completely underserve the customer.

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Let’s take what we’ve always done as just that - the way we currently serve the customer. What would happen if there was a better way to help the customer in new and exciting ways that produce tangible value for all involved?

Here’s how. Let’s hold a workflow meeting, just like they do at Amazon. When a customer orders a book online they expect it to turn up; they don’t care about the departments or whose job it is, they want the book delivered. Our customers are no different. We bring the whole team - sales and PM together, to talk about customer problems and how together we can solve them.

Every time your agency lists a property, could we speak with our business development manager or the property manager and get them to search the PM system for any Landlords that live in that street or surrounds, or an investment property we currently manage in that street or surrounds, so that someone either the BDM, PM or salesperson can call the client to advise them of the listing, invite them to the open, advise them of the sale, and see what impact it has on their portfolio?

Given that could we opt our Landlords into a Landlords first program where we advise them of new investment properties that are coming to market that they could buy? A closed loop that prevents the leakage to first home buyers, and instead offers our existing property management to our existing Landlords first?

Landlords could access their newfound equity to grow their portfolio. It's a simple idea, increasing the size and frequency of spend by one of our most important customer types.

We could also see our Landlords about where they live, to give them an idea of its value. How many of our Landlords live in the area you service? And how many have had a market appraisal on the home they live in?

The size of the opportunity is so great; it’s worth the pain of change. Think if your agency has 1000 properties under management, that’s 1000 Landlords, that’s 2,000 residential addresses you have under your control. Play to your strengths. If you could have your team working together, pulling in the same direction, with a clear strategy, measurement and coaching to adjust, we might win this race to achieve even better fees and dominate the markets we already serve rather than continually having to chase new one off customers.

This article first appeared on Elite Agent: https://eliteagent.com/why-workflow-works-wonders-josh-phegan/