10 Jul

A Healthy Property Management Style

If you like to read great business books and gobble up terms that help managers get the job done, there is one I want you to never forget, MBWA! Not only is it effective and powerful, but it is also good for your health! Here are variations on its commonly known names:

The Acronym: MBWA
Management bWalking Around
Management bWanderingAround
Management bWalking About
Manage bWalking Around

My own version and personal favorite is – PropertyManagement bWalking Around (PMBWA). It is not easy because you have to push yourself away from the desk. Get out and just start walking around. Do nothing but walk. That is all you have to do. Start at the top, the bottom, the outside, the inside, or any part you would like. If you push yourself away from the office you will be out there in the thick of things. Walk around the parking lots, mechanical rooms, corridors, vacant spaces, other departments of the company, but just walk. Or as a former, very successful boss of mine said, “Get out there in look ‘em in the eye!”

While you are walking ask questions, talk to people, make inquiries, and introduce yourself to strangers. Ask technicians what they are working on and ask contractors what project or task they are performing for the property? Do not have a plan or carry anything with you but your smartphone. If you must take a note, just use the camera feature, call yourself and leave a voicemail, or a record a message. Do not carry notepads or anything else at all, because the notepad might make you think you need to find things to write down. It can also be a intimidating if you’re taking notes during a conversation with a colleague that is supposed to be casual. Let your mind be free and just walk. Wherever you go, information will be gleaned. There is insight to be had from the properties you manage, as well as your own property. It is talking to you, you just have to listen.

It is not easy, but consider doing PMBWA regularly. Nobody expects a property manager to just walk around with no plan, direction, or destination! It will puzzle your staff, intrigue your customers, and create interest from your contractors. Remember, this is NOT a building inspection. You are managing your property just by walking around. It sounds unbelievable, but I bet you that you will learn so much and find out so many things that it will spark enthusiasm, excitement, or bring resolution to a matter you have contemplated or been challenged by.

Try it and let us know how it worked for you!

“More content available at All Things Property Management by Buildium, industry leaders in Online Property Management Software.”

02 Jun

What Is Your B2B Marketing Message?

As property owners and managers we need to change our thinking about marketing. For instance, do you have a B2B (business to business) marketing message or do you just focus on B2C (business to consumer) marketing? I would guess that many of you have B2C messages down pat, but fail to focus on B2B. The reason the real estate management industry does not look at itself as playing in the B2B world is due to a myriad of things, but the most pertinent being our training and how we’ve been taught to present ourselves to the marketplace.http://managerlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/b2b.jpg 425w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />

For instance, a typical business report about the economy focuses on consumer spending, retail, housing starts, home buyers, and the stock market. There is no mention of the terms we are familiar with, such as number of units, total square feet, vacancy, occupancy, tenants, building improvements, and leases signed. There is no connection to our industry metrics and benchmarks. Our data and statistics are not tracked due to the nature of our business model. It is as if our industry is a forgotten piece of the economic pie.

For this reason, I think there is a disconnect in how we really fit into the picture. My intent is to turn the tables and give you some tips on how to improve your B2B marketing messages by giving you the confidence to realize that we are vital to our communities.

The B2B marketing message you create should have to do with the value delivered to your nearby communities. Our properties purchase supplies and products from local merchants, as well as provide jobs to service industries such as painting and plumbing. Our properties deliver massive opportunities that are necessary to complete the community. Do you know the economic impact that your property provides? Do you know where your residential customers work or where commercial customers live? These are vital insights that will help you to understand your customer base and can help you create a strong B2B marketing message when you are communicating with potential clients.

As a property manager, you are a business. Not only should you market your property to the end customer, but also to the businesses of that customer. For instance, build a relationship with the store manager of the local grocery store. Feel proud, confident, and shake hands with that B2B professional. Even offer to show them the property if they’d like. Sounds strange doesn’t it? Use this interaction to explain how you fit into the community, and what value your property provides. This relationship could also help make the difference when a property owner is trying to decide between your property management company and another because it shows that you are an active member of the community and that you understand the property needs to function as part of a whole. It demonstrates that you know who your perspective tenants are, and what their needs will be.

Property managers are part of the larger community and we must tailor our marketing message to the obvious B2C customers, as well as the less obvious B2B beneficiaries.  Make a list of all of those businesses that benefit from your property. Develop a plan to attend local meetings or just visit the locations to leave a business card. If possible, offer incentives or setup cross promotions with the other businesses in order to reach out to your community. Open up a line of communication with that business. Get creative, have fun, grow your customer base, and network with other business leaders. It is vital that you create your own B2B marketing message in order to show that you are a key element of the community!

“More content available at All Things Property Management by Buildium, industry leaders in Online Property Management Software.”