Expanding the reach of your business into the rental market has the power to produce big opportunities and other benefits. And one of the best parts about investing in the untapped rental business is that it doesn’t require connections to start out – simply taking the initiative will deliver results. When I moved to New York City, I did not know a single person. Now my business is primarily referral-driven, and with the way technology has advanced, I think it’s even easier than ever to grow a client base in rentals.
Here are my top three strategies to build a rental client list:
1. Use your current network (beyond just real estate).
Just like sales, the rental business is a relationship business. To build your client base, make sure all your networks – including sales clients, community groups, and social networks – know that you work in rentals. You can do this with simple tactics like adding rental listings and data to your email newsletters, business cards, and online profiles or mentioning rentals occasionally when you post on Facebook.
You never know who is moving into your area or when one of your contacts knows someone who will be soon. You’ll only get the referral if people know you have the ability and desire to help them.
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2. Market your listings online.
In real estate, nothing attracts consumers’ eyes like the product itself. Posting listings to websites – like Craigslist and Trulia – where renters search for their next home is important if you want to catch clients. Your listings are a chance to make an impression, so make sure to take great photos and include detailed and accurate information.
3. Find the “Doormen.”
Each rental market is unique, so learn as much as possible about your market in general and your ideal niche within it Introduce yourself to key players and brand yourself as a rental agent. In New York City, where potential renters often walk into professionally managed buildings without an agent to inquire about upcoming vacancies, I found that doormen were key players. I got to know the doormen in my area and made sure they had my business cards so when these situations arose, they would pass along my card or call me and I’d get the client. The lesson is simple. Find the “gatekeepers” to rental information in your area and make sure you get connected.
Building a network that helps you make money in rentals takes both effort and creativity. Use these strategies to start your networking, and you’ll be well on your way to attracting new renter clients who can improve your bottom line.