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There’s nothing worse than working day and night to deliver a quality service to your customers only to receive constant pushback over fees that barely cover your overheads. It’s an all-too-common occurrence in the property management industry, and one that stems from a very simple, yet pervasive problem.

Property managers don’t typically communicate their value very well.

It’s a universal truth that people only pay for value they perceive. In other words, if a customer can’t see your full value, they’re not going to pay you for it. The problem in the property management industry is that all the usual interactions with customers tend to focus on how value is delivered instead of what that value actually is.

Yes, rental managers find tenants, collect rent, and manage maintenance, arrears and leases. Community managers handle financials, compliance, maintenance, warnings and penalties, clearance certificates, meetings and reporting. Maintenance managers handle ingoing and outgoing inspections, reported maintenance issues, repairs, and rental escalation and renewal.

But all rental managers, community managers and maintenance managers offer similar (if not identical) suites of administrative services. That’s how you deliver your value, not what your value actually is. Unfortunately, that’s often all customers ever really get to see.

As a result, they operate under the mistaken assumption that their property managers are simply administrative assistants with little to set their services apart from the competition, aside from cost.

So, how do you change that perception and remove price as your primary service differentiator? You communicate your value – the what and not the how – in your customer’s own language.

Let’s face it, no investor buys property because they like tenants, or joins a body corporate because they enjoy AGMs. They do it because they want a good return on their investment. That is where the value of a good property manager lies – not in simply shouldering the administrative burden, but in positioning a property asset (or community, or portfolio) for optimal growth, minimal risk and maximum ROI.

All the administration, communication, and regulatory hoops that property managers jump through on behalf of their clients are simply the means to that all-important end. Your ability to achieve this end (through your unique combination of professional expertise, comprehensive services and service quality) is what sets you apart from your competitors.

That is your value, and that is your most powerful bargaining chip.

Of course, communicating that value to your customers takes more than just a lightbulb moment. The trick lies in carrying a consistent value proposition through every customer interaction. Each email, phone call, meeting, report etc. is an opportunity to create a “wow” experience that speaks to the value you deliver. A “moment of truth” for your clients to see what they’re actually paying for.

That means empowering your teams with the right messaging to connect with customers as investors, across all platforms, including one-on-one interactions, your website and social media presence, and any sponsorships, PR or events you’re involved in.

Don’t be afraid to give customers a glimpse behind the scenes, either. Seeing exactly how many complex tasks you juggle to keep their asset compliant and performant is a powerful reminder of the additional value of your time, hassle and risk-prevention services.

But most importantly, make sure your customers can see the one thing they value above all: how well their asset is performing in your capable hands. Communicating this – preferably through regular Asset Management reports with tangible feedback on key performance indicators – is the number one way to ensure your investors fully appreciate the extraordinary value you provide.

And, in my experience, when they appreciate that value, they’re also very happy to pay you for it.

WeconnectU’s end-to-end Rental Asset Management, Community Management and Maintenance Management software solutions include industry-leading, built-in intelligent reporting and proactive communication capabilities. These have proven to be extremely effective at helping property managers reposition themselves as property experts, enabling customers to see beyond their administrative skills to appreciate the full value of the service provided.