Why Rentals Should Be On Your Radar

Rentals are a great way to get in front of your client

Image from Flickr via Digital Sextant

It’s been well documented on this blog and others that the real estate industry is experimenting a rise in rentals.

“Great — so where does that leave a real estate agent like me who has built my career on sales for the past 20 years?” This is what I hear most when the topic is brought up in conversations with real estate professionals out at conferences. And I totally get it.

To some real estate professionals, rentals are like the annoying guy at your party. The one who kind of just showed up uninvited. You can ignore this guy all you want, but at some point, your paths are going to cross and you’re going to have to engage in conversation. Sometimes the conversation is just as painful as you thought it’d be. But sometimes, you’re surprised and think: hey, this guy’s not that bad.

In the case of rentals, the guy’s not that bad. And guess what? He usually has a lot of influential friends.

Many of my sales-focused clients have seen rentals as a great way to simply get in front of more people. They know if they do a great job and go the extra mile to land someone in a rental unit, the payout won’t be great — but they’ve just opened up a new channel for sales referrals. And time after time their name comes up when a friend of their client is looking to buy or sell. This is a channel that would’ve been shut off if they hadn’t removed that ‘We Don’t Do Rentals’ sign from the front window

We’ve laid out many ways to start a rental division, but simply put, you only really need two things: a database and a marketing channel. I tell my clients to envision themselves as a renter and think about where they’d go right now to find a rental in their neighborhood, and then be there. Check out your MLS. Call the apartment complex down the street and see if they offer referrals. Take the first steps to build and market your new-found rental inventory, and then just build up from there.

So still seeing that uninvited guest on the other side of the room?  Take the initiative and go right up to him. You’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else at the party who’s ignoring him.