I’ve recently spent some time looking into world changing business leaders such as Richard Branson, Walt Disney and Steve Jobs, and from learning about business people in general one trait has really struck me. Their drive to improve on the now, to create, to move their areas of business forward was far and away more important than any monetary reward they may receive. I believe the pursuit of excellence (which doesn’t have to cost a lot) will ultimately bring business benefits when applied consistently.
In my work in the property industry, and specifically providing quality accommodation to young professionals, the days of just ‘renting out a room’ are disappearing. And morally we have a duty to provide a great product to our paying customers. The large number of changes in the private rented sector mean it is more important than ever to treat being a landlord as a business. Specifically:
1. Product – like it or not, we are providing a product which others are paying for. And we have to be cognizant of their use of it. Chucking a bed into a former living room and putting some old sheets against the window is not providing a great product. Factors such as temperature, light levels, noise, furniture provision need to be thought out, since as rent levels rise so will the demand for quality services. If professional people don’t feel they’re getting value for money they will move on, leading to increased tenant find costs and potentially even voids.
2. Marketing – leading on from the product is the marketing of it. It’s very easy these days to throw a fuzzy picture of a bare mattress onto spareroom, add a phone number and a price and get people applying. But this isn’t working in a businesslike way. Spend time writing a nice advert, with staged dressed photos (including the room for rent!) and a summary of what your money gets you. It is a sales process!
3. Service – from the second you first make contact with a potential tenant to the day they say goodbye, being a landlord is about providing a service. Communication, professionalism, confidence, processes and systems, integrity etc are all vital to the business. I’ve dealt with others in the industry where I’ve had to correct financial mistakes, push back on incorrect work, challenge and chase, which leads to lack of trust and confidence. For tenants they need to know you have their back and are doing best by them, the paying customer. Otherwise they’ll move on.
Of course for any business there needs to be a careful balance between cost and benefit, and although we may not be able to reach the heights of perfection demonstrated by Jobs and Disney, aspiring every day to do that little bit better will bring appreciation from customers and financial rewards in time.
For you, whether it be personal, business, employment, what can you strive to improve, to do a little better? What benefits do you think it will bring? To chat about it get in contact on hello@asset-living.com
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