What insights can be learned and applied to all businesses from the world of landlording?
Being a landlord, and operating rental properties is a business. There is a lot that can be learned from this, which can be used to master and improve other types of business too. This is specifically true of the need to implement systems. Here are some of the key takeaways…
Trends & Customization
Business and consumer trends are constantly changing. If you are going to survive and thrive you not only need to be alert to current trends, but need to be able to predict future trends, or create them. Real estate may change a little slower than say fashion, but the gap is closing. Every year individuals are drawn to new styles. Customization is one of the biggest trends the business world is dealing with today. Consumers want more and more of it. That’s unlikely to change. In addition to aesthetics and locations, in real estate you are dealing with new demands for smart living spaces, and green elements. You’ve got to give them what they want. To do that you need a business system that empowers you to find out what they want, or to influence what they want.
Using Technology to Prevent Losses
We all need to be embracing new technology. Time and time again we’ve seen new technology catch on, and its early adopters set themselves apart. We’ve seen it with Facebook and Twitter. Yet, many still want to hold out and “wait and see” if new technology catches on. Technology has changed the real estate industry big time. We’ve gone from being a major supporter of the printing business to being virtually paper-free. We went from supplying so much in revenue to telecom companies with business phone systems and commercial leasing brokers, to largely getting by with mobile phones and virtual teams. In these cases, adopting tech early gives a huge advantage. This is very true in property management and landlording systems and solutions, where it can dramatically increase efficiency, and reduce labor costs.
Technology is also critical for identifying and cutting losses. There is so much that can be done across all industries to watch the metrics and use tech to prevent losses. Failing to use systems in this way is now a major differentiator in competitiveness.
Screening clients (tenants) is a big part of being a landlord. It is in all enterprises, whether their teams and executives realize it or not. Bad clients can sap your energy, resources, and reputation. Great ones can help protect your assets, and can become key in driving your long-term growth. Know your best clients and how to identify them. Then find where they are, and how they are looking to connect, and engage.
Long Term Clients
As a landlord tenant turnover can get really expensive. You’ve got to market for new ones, deal with vacancy, and clean up in between. Having systems which help identify the clients who will stay long-term, and help build those relationships will help minimize expenses, increase overall return, and stabilize cash flow.
Lead generation is one of the most important systems in any venture. In the rental property world, you quickly learn that stopping and starting marketing efforts once you become alerted to a vacancy is too late. You have to be consistent, and ideally have a waiting list of clients, even before you need them.
Things break down over time. Even homes breakdown. No matter what you sell, it is likely to degrade overtime, even if that is simply because new upgrades become available. Those landlords who stay on top of inspecting their asset performance, and tackle maintenance issues early save a lot of time and money in the long run. They also have far happier clients, and keep up asset and business value.
There is a lot to be learned about the need for business systems and solutions form landlording. If you are a new landlord, then get a head start on these things. If you are in another industry, consider how you can replicate some of the solutions here for your own business.