Since I was involuntarily thrust into this industry 15 years ago, I have long concluded, and thus argued that onsite managers make ideal candidates for investment property management. Onsite Managers live on site (ya don’t say, Nick?) and have invested on site so they have a vested interest in ensuring quality tenants are selected for the property. They keep maintenance costs low without the need for costly call-out fees for basic issues. They know the building intimately, being privy to the body corporate committee’s wishes and also the rental demand inside the complex and the area as a whole. A good onsite manager, armed with the marketing tools and services we provide, can out-perform an external manager in their sleep.
But we can theorize all day long about the performance of onsite managers. Where the rubber-meets-the-road is what counts and that’s what this article explores. More of that in a moment, but first I feel I should offer some background into how our software does this. Our software was built specifically to support onsite managers and it integrates with a vast number of other APIs and systems. It lists managers’ rentals onto all the leading property portals across Australia – but it does a LOT more than that. It also manages the enquiries that come back, forwarding them onto managers and automating a lot of the lead management, sending a text message back to each enquirer with the manager’s direct contact details, and storing all the manager’s leads in an online database so they can monitor all their activity. It will also attempt to schedule the enquirer into a private inspection with the manager, at a time convenient to the manager, when it knows they have no other appointments, it will even issue a diary management file once such an appointment is booked and then follows up the day before the inspection with the enquirer sending them a map and confirmation email to ensure they show up. Best of all, if a listing has a price-drop, or change of status, it will hunt down and recontact every enquirer who has shown past interest in the listing, to hopefully rejig them into taking further action. It does all of these tasks autonomously and most managers don’t even realise this is all happening in the background… it just “works”. No one else in this space has a more comprehensive lead management system for onsite managers than TheOnsiteManager.com.au.
A week after the enquiry is received, our software then follows up with the enquirer again via text message and email to see how they went. We send them a feedback survey to ensure we aren’t missing any leads. We’ve been doing this for over a year now with every single lead we get (86,765 rental and sales leads so far since January! Imagine how many text messages we’re sending?!) so we have a LOT of data collected and it begins to paint a very clear illustration of just how well our managers are performing.
So lets do a DEEP DIVE!
70% of respondents were satisfied or higher with their manager’s handling of their enquiry and about half of all respondents said the manager was “Excellent”. Great work guys! (Note, the respondents that marked ‘terrible’ typically correlated to ones claiming they never received a reply – which, upon further investigation, is generally due to the respondent ‘forgetting’ they spoke to the manager, or the manager’s spam filter over-playing bad cop. In either case, we can usually resolve the issue to their satisfaction.)
58% of respondents said their enquiry was dealt with “Right Away”.
A week after their initial enquiry, about a One Third of all respondents had signed a lease on a property (the rest either still looking, or changed plans). Interestingly, of the lease-signing cohort, the majority had done so with our manager: 54% with our manager verses only 46% elsewhere.
As a final exercise in our quality control process, whenever our software detects a disgruntled response particularly an enquirer claiming they ‘never heard back’ (29% have said this happens) we automatically follow up with the manager to find out what happened and give them a second chance to respond to the enquirer. In the vast majority of such cases, the manager either has an over-zealous spam filter running amuck and didn’t realise they were missing enquiries (so… always good to know!) or the enquirer actually did speak to the manager, and they simply forgot about the exchange (tenants eh? Where would we be without them?). On a similar note, when we receive EXCELLENT feedback from an enquirer, we forward this to the manager also as encouragement. All feedback, both good and bad, is ranked against each manager to give them a real-time ‘report-card’ that they can refer to at any time when they log into the control panel. C being the average and anything above or below a C being good or bad, respectively. The manager with the best report card wins an awesome prize at the end of the year, last year it was a free holiday (well deserved) courtesy of HiRUM software so it’s a great way to build some comradery and ensure we’re all going above and beyond to continue being the best onsite agency in the country.
The data we model, so far, indicates that in the large majority, our managers are doing a great job. One must always keep in mind that such surveys are voluntary, so disgruntled applicants are always more likely to respond than the happy or indifferent, we should therefore always read results with such a weighting in mind, but still, these numbers are encouraging! Well done to our onsite managers!