Jan 9, 2024

From travel agent to property manager

Paul Haigh

I worked for 17 years in the highly competitive travel industry before moving into the full-time role of running my own Property Management Company “4rooms Property.” When I talk to people about what I’m doing now they often look at me quizzically with a raised eyebrow and say “How did you get from travel into property management? They are completely different professions aren’t they?” I’ve always replied with the following or similar statement “Not really it’s the same thing, selling airfares and accommodation or leasing and managing a property, the process is the same. I’m still selling something, it’s just that its property management now.”

When everyone is selling “something” you have to stand out.

From the moment we are born and take our first breath of air we begin selling and people begin buying. We create Certainty that we are alive by waving our arms and legs around to show we’re here and alive. We use Urgency when we use our lungs for the first time and we scream out to the world with our first cry that we need to be wrapped and fed now… right now! We manage our parents’ Expectations by quietening down after we are full and warm and then we look cute to everyone who looks down upon us as we lay peacefully in the $729 cot that we have convinced them through our imminent arrival that we need.

My Doctor is a great salesman.

I have been going to “Dr. B” as we call him in our family for more than 20years. Unlike the doctors of old, he doesn’t sell magic snake oil but he uses some of the same principals. “Dr. B” uses Trust when I walk in and sit down, I look around the surgery and I see all the familiar things involved with medicine like a stethoscope, blood pressure monitor, various models, and charts… he smiles and makes me feel comfortable. He Directs the consultation by asking me questions about what’s wrong with me for how long and where is the pain etc. He shows he Cares by listening as I try to explain what’s wrong and show him the rash that’s developed on my inner thigh. He makes a Recommendation on how I should treat the rash and then promptly sends me out to the front desk to settle my bill of $45 for the 6 and a half minutes I was in his office, he closed the sale!

We all use Certainty, Urgency, Expectations, Trust, Care, Recommendations, and a lot of other buzzwords and techniques (don’t even get me started on features and benefits) in our everyday lives and these all contribute to and help us sell whatever our “something” is.

In the case of 4rooms Property Management we sell a service not a physical product and of course, we use the above techniques also. But what makes for a great customer experience when you don’t have a physical product?

We Engage our landlords and tenants by having great conversations and showing a personal interest in them and their property, I ask questions because I am truly fascinated with all things to do with property. We give the best Value for the low fixed fees that we charge for the systems and processes we use to manage those properties every day. Given that everyone is in sales; we know that some experiences are better than others. Because we charge a low fixed fee and not a percentage of the weekly rent, this along with the great service and value we provide every day for both our Landlords, Tenants and suppliers is why 4rooms Property is Unique for property management in Adelaide.

EVU” – Engage with and be nice to people, provide Value because it’s your customer’s highest need and be Unique because everyone’s selling “something.” Dr. B uses EVU, he’s always friendly and has a chat with me and shows interest in what I’m doing, even though he’s always running late with appointments he never rushes the consultation and ensures I’m happy with what we have discussed before I leave, and his uniqueness? I think its the brown sandals and knee high socks.

I’m not sure this will take off as a 3 letter acronym and the world probably doesn’t really need another one however I think focusing on these 3 simple things in a very busy space can and hopefully makes a business stand out.