Creating a home for your Clients

Business Model for Investors | Creating a home for your Clients

The business model for investors is that you treat each property as a box that makes you money. Many of my clients will have heard me say that before.

When you are looking for a good property to purchase then you need to be thinking in terms of how much cash-flow you can squeeze out of one building. The emotion goes out of the equation and you end up with a portfolio that is working for you bringing in enough income for you to choose your lifestyle.

However, this can work against our business once we start to attract tenants, so it’s time to start thinking of them as Clients.

• Consider the benefits they will get from renting one of my properties, which will be easier for me to market to them and fill the rooms more quickly.
• They pay my mortgage and provide my ‘wages’.
• How would I treat my clients within my business?
• How will I get referrals to fill other properties?
• How do I need to keep in touch with them on a regular basis
• How can I add value to the product they are buying without adding significant extra cost to the business?

Business has two sides to it. The financial side where we need to be frugal and the personal side where we need to meet the expectations and the needs of the clients.

Landlords are generally so much better than this than used to be the case, but you will always find people living in accommodation that you wouldn’t want your children to live in. These Landlords are still thinking of themselves instead of their ‘tenants’.

Thinking of those renting your properties as tenants can detract from the fact that you are selling a product and a service. ‘Tenants’ is a word that congers up all sorts of ideas of people who will wreck your property, need only the basics to live with and are only in rented accommodation because they can’t afford to buy their own house.
Think back to when you had to rent when you were at College or University. Was the place you lived in conducive to study or to working? I can remember refurbishing sofas, clearing up the garden for that annual barbeque decorating rooms and generally added to the value of the property over time.

Was I the only one? No, there are many people who will upgrade your property for you, add value, and make sure the garden is kept in good condition. These are your ideal clients.

Unfortunately this is not always the case and there are clients who try to grow unusual plants in the property, spill drinks on the carpet, break the crockery, let the mould grow without letting you know and generally make a mess of their living accommodation – why? I’m not sure – perhaps they like living that way, or perhaps they’re not given any incentive to keep it in good condition.

How can you attract the better clients in the first place?
• Advertise locally and ask good clients to refer their friends.
• List the benefits they will find in renting your room or house
• Increase the rent slightly and provide a cleaner or gardener
• Give them incentive by adding to their deposit if they leave the property in good condition – an extra £50 or even 10% might make a big difference

When you have the right clients:
• Take time to listen to them and to build a relationship – there is no better way to keep good clients.
• Give them a welcome pack on arrival to show them how all the gadgets work.
• Give them a set of house rules that should be part of the agreement.
• Provide them with an SLA (sales level agreement) that will indicate how quickly you will respond to their issues and fix any areas that need maintenance within the property.

These clients are buying something from YOU. It’s your responsibility to treat them as you would like to be treated if you were paying £300 to £1,000 per month for a product or service.

There is usually no bigger outlay that the clients are making and they deserve to be treated as though they are very values clients. Your customer service needs to be second to none,

You will find that this actually makes renting your rooms and houses a pleasure and you will find many like minded people along the way.

Anyone who is prepared to find their own accommodation and live away from home is both independent and entrepreneurial in spirit – a bit like you really, and if you can think of your clients that way, then you will be 10 times more likely to be able to negotiate with them when issues arise and to work with them to build a great relationship over time.

Your reputation as a landlord will grow and you could eventually become the ‘Landlord of Choice’ in your area.

No different from work really is it? The better service or product you provide, the better your clients will like you and they will keep coming back for more.

It’s coming up to Christmas – how many of your clients are you taking out for a drink this year?

Happy investing

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