Tips to grow your real estate agency rent roll

A healthy rent roll is one hallmark of a successful and well-managed real estate agency. In addition to delivering a consistent revenue stream for the business, every additional property under management (PUM) represents a potential sales client in the future. Landlords are most likely to turn to their existing management agency if, and when, the time comes to sell their property.

In a highly competitive market, growing your rent roll can feel almost impossible. With competitors lowering management fees in order to win listings, you might be tempted to do the same. This is not the best long-term strategy and will ultimately undermine the profit margins of your agency and your ability to sustain growth.

Instead, we recommend focusing on the following in order to win listings and grow a healthy, profitable rent roll.

Hire a business development manager (BDM)

An experienced BDM who is well connected and understands the industry is worth their weight in gold. In addition to growing your list of contacts and clients, they will take the pressure to win new clients off property managers, allowing them to concentrate on delivering the quality of service you want to be known for. With a dedicated resource spending time following up potential leads and contacts, growth in your rent roll is highly likely to follow.

Do your market research

How well do you really understand your market? There can often be a gap between what you believe, or think you know, and the reality. Bridging this gap and challenging your own assumptions is one of the most effective measures you can take to build your rent roll. Make use of available resources, whether free (such as Census data), paid (a market research agency) or in-house, to understand the demographics of the area your office operates in.

The better you understand the key features of the households and people in your market, the better you’ll understand what it is that they value or the services they might be looking for. Use this information in your advertising, communications and in structuring your services to appeal directly to potential clients.

Build your network and get involved

If you’re not visible in your chosen market and local community, it’s unlikely they’ll think of you when it comes time to rent or sell property. Specifically, being active in the geographic area of your business is a highly effective way to ensure visibility and in turn, to grow your rent roll. Participate in community events and attend networking functions that are not industry-specific to build a broad, diverse network.

Consider sponsorship of a local sporting or other club. Not only are they a great local networking opportunity, but the benefits of sponsorship extends far beyond yourself and your business. Incentivising referrals from the club and its members in the form of additional sponsorship funds can be a highly effective way of generating interest.

Service existing clients

Word of mouth is still the cheapest and one of the most effective ways to generate business. If your existing clients receive excellent service, they are highly likely to recommend your agency to their contacts or other potential landlords.

Growth in your rent roll is also dependent on a net gain position, meaning that any loss in PUMs can negatively impact on your growth goals. In order to grow, it is essential to maintain a base of happy, existing clients to build on. Consistently excellent service will avoid any reputational damage, which could in turn result in lost clients.

Incentivise your team and existing clients

It’s an oldie, but a goodie: Make it worthwhile for your employees and clients to refer into your rent roll. Whether you choose to implement a bonus scheme, offer a gift or other incentive, something of value to your people in exchange for referrals is an effective method of building the number of PUMs. Likewise, rewarding existing clients with gifts, or potentially a discount on their management fees, not only helps grow your roll, but further enhances their customer experience.

Get in touch with our team of real estate specialists to find out how they can help identify growth opportunities and maximise the potential of your business.