Developing Relationships with Real Estate Brokers

This week's tip comes from Jed Jed in VRMB's Accelerator Program where we walk managers through the foundational elements (step by step) for creating a company that lasts. We're accepting applicants for our next cohort beginning this month~!

Here's one of your instructors LindaS LindaS and I talking about the power of realtors...

Local realtors can be a great source of leads. Local realtors are trusted by their clients and the property owners will value a referral from their realtor. Therefore, building a strong network of local realtors should be part of your property management marketing plan.

You could also implement a referral reward for every client they send you to keep them motivated. This strategy will depend on your local environment. Some realtors feel that referral rewards compromise their integrity and they only refer to the companies that they believe are going to best serve their clients and they don't want to be "bribed" to refer.

Make sure that you are very clear with the realtors that if the owner decides to sell in the future, you will only refer them back to their original realtor. Even realtors that work for companies that do property management will give an alternative recommendation.

Here are some of our favorite ways to market to realtors:

1. Direct Mail
The fact that direct mail is lasting and puts the name of your company in front of the realtor is important. Sending the realtor with a useful swag item with your company's name, logo, and contact information will keep your name alive to the realtor and they will be more likely to refer you when they have a client need.

2. Email Marketing
Your biggest challenge with email marketing is to create a subject line and interesting content that causes the realtor to open your emails. Make sure that your information is going to benefit the realtor and their clients. Offering professional income projections promptly is very helpful to the realtor. Make sure you are conservative with your numbers and be mindful that you are part of the sale when you give a projection; it is important not to overpromise. The client is expecting to have as accurate information as possible. In vacation areas, realtors are often working with people on vacation who are only in the area for a short time so if you can respond to an income projection request within hours, you will be on the good side of the realtors.

3. Help Guides / Books
Another idea for engaging a realtor is to provide a link to a guide that would teach their client how to self-manage their short term rental property. This seems counterintuitive, but it works. If you produce a detailed guide on how to manage your property, most owners will be overwhelmed and see that they need a property manager's expertise. Make sure your contact information is visible, but it's important to be subtle. The idea of the guide is to help them manage themselves.

Recommended Reading: Here is how we acquire more homes in the region by FNemes FNemes

4. Attend Realtor Meetings
Many real estate boards have meetings, luncheons, awards and you should attend as many as possible. The more you socialize with the realtors, the better chance they will remember you. You may even have an opportunity to have a booth where you can hand out swag with your company information and educate the realtors about your company and the advantages for their clients.

Other ideas
  • Any of your local realtors that are heavily involved in social media are always searching for new material. Offer your expertise to be interviewed about certain aspects of vacation property management. How to decorate, what creates revenue, what a client should be looking for when they are considering purchasing a vacation rental, etc.

  • Drop off food items at a busy real estate office (shout out to BrianO BrianO for this tip)
  • Gift the realtors that you usually work with on an annual basis. A nice gift with your logo will keep your company's name in front of them.

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