The Perfect Formula for Acquiring and Retaining Property Owners

by | Mar 29, 2022 | Vacation Rental Software

Successful property rental management includes acquiring inventory and retaining owners. You might know the basics but there are many factors to keep in mind when taking action. The perfect formula includes everything from understanding your owner persona and if they are a good fit to how the property will grow your annual revenue per unit (ARPU).

Let’s start with how to determine what kind of owners and property you want through clear intention.

  • You want to increase your ARPU
  • You want an owner that is a good fit for your company
  • Do you want investors or traditional homeowners or everyone in between?

When it comes to profiling different types of owners, there are a few things to keep in mind. Investors vs. traditional homeowners have varying goals. Investors tend to focus more on P&L and ROI (return on investment), have low owner usage, and are more likely to sell than traditional homeowners. On the other hand, traditional homeowners typically have more owner usage, are more involved and interested in the property, and will likely be long-term clients.

Creating an owner persona will help you to understand your potential owner— who they are, what they like, and how they need to be managed. Once you have a better understanding of who they are, you can start to build an effective strategy for communications before you even know where they are.

Once you have decided what kind of owner you’d like to bring to your company, now it’s time to focus on where to find them and how to attract them through marketing and other tactics. Some of those tactics include:

  • Inbound leads: they initiate contact with you
  • Outbound leads: you initiate contact with them
  • Direct marketing mailer, referrals, cold calls, list purchases
  • Realtor referrals
  • Guest referrals
  • Current owner referrals
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Website – owner application
  • Website CTA Header

Now you’ve found prospective partners, it’s time to start building a trusting relationship with them. The most important step is to communicate as authentically and honestly as possible. Only then will you be able to create a lasting relationship with trust and loyalty.

Creating a successful company pitch should include telling your brand story in a vivid and personal way. You’ll also need to articulate a clear differentiation within your competitive market and show the details and distinguishing benefits and features that you offer, and why they should be compelled to do business with your company.

Honest conversations and having all the right answers will also go a long way in creating a good repour with a potential property owner and partner. Lastly, sharing rental projections will incentivize property owners to join your management company. It will show them how you are willing to work in making money as a team.

Homeowner Questions to be Prepared For

  1. How long has the company been in business?
  2. Where did the company start?
  3. What makes the company different?
  4. What are the company’s specialties?
  5. What challenges has the company overcome?
  6. What can a new owner expect from the company
  7. Payment and fee structures, housekeeping, and maintenance, owner stays, etc.

If you have done a thorough owner persona, you should have all the right answers to any questions and you will know what the owner expects. A compelling presentation based on specific expectations will create a connection, but you can only be successful in acquiring those property owners if you are the first in the market to reach them, you communicate with transparency and accuracy, and your follow-up.

By the time you take on a new property, you should know the owner’s profile, you have begun to build a trusting relationship, and have given them a compelling and accurate representation of your company’s benefits. Securing a property owner’s business is just the beginning. Retaining them is where it might get challenging but if you are honest, transparent and they can see you are a partner in the investment, you will have a good foundation for success.

Retention efforts are vital and one of the most important efforts in keeping owners informed and happy is to be engaged with them. Clear and consistent communication is vital. There is no such thing as too much communication, but you will also have to manage the flow to keep the engagement efficient. You will know by your owner profile how they prefer to receive communications and how often but staying connected in an authentic way is key. Aligning strategies by sharing goals, rate plans, owner usage, and overall aspirations is an example of how to collaborate and engage with a property owner.

Education and Data will Drive Sales Efforts

Education is also invaluable. Sharing effective marketing strategies, trends, and direct mail opportunities that they are not aware of will help to solidify the relationship and create trust. Also, at a time when every industry is reliant on data to grow business, the same is true of ours.

Our industry is finally at a point where you can’t avoid using data or your competition wins. Keep in mind these prospective owners are typically interviewing at least one other company in your market.
To inform and boost sales, you need quality data. The data sets you to share with your prospects should include those that show your performance for similar properties as well as which amenities will drive the revenue in this partnership.

Supplemental reporting above and beyond the owner statements can provide differentiation and commitment. Forward-looking reports like revenue and upcoming events that will drive rentals. Guest feedback is also an important report as are lost opportunities in the revenue lost during specific owner stays. There are also ways to communicate how the property could be even more valuable by adding different amenities like a hot tub or pool. Show the property owner the ROI on these amenities based on other properties.

Setting accurate owner expectations is something you can’t afford to miss. When you educate your new owners on the growing demand for quality and well-kept properties as well as share which amenities drive the nightly rental rate, you’re setting up this new partnership for an entirely new level of success.

Sharing that your services capitalize on communicating which areas of their property need to have reinvestment on an annual basis, only drives revenue in one direction—UP. Homeowners are relying on you, the professional, to tell them what will drive their revenue up and when you communicate this in a consistent and professional manner, you will find homeowners investing in your brand and increasing the value of the product you service.

It all comes down to treating property owners as genuine partners. Both the owner’s goals and the property management company’s goals need to align. Building deep and sincere relationships will gain owners/properties as well as retain those owners with longevity which will enable you to grow with them.

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