Case Study: Out-Caring The Competition in the Housing Rental Market
Doing the “right thing” is generally the best type of marketing.
We have worked on and off with a person who owns a bunch of Real Estate in Saskatchewan. The only thing is he doesn’t seem like he owns lots of real estate. He’s down to earth, smart, witty, funny to talk to and sometimes sends the most intelligent emails commenting on current climate we are living and working in.
I’ve started looking up to this individual based on his attitude toward business and his approach. He’s been in business long enough now that he knows you don’t just simply charge more each year and offer less to grow your company. No, he believes in trusting people, helping the community, and has a long term outlook on short term issues plaguing the traditional business establishment.
He’s refreshing to talk to.
He had a problem one day. Vacancy was up and he was offering rent in one of his new buildings for less that he was charging other renters in his similar properties. He needed to lower the vacancy rate or else, well you know what happens when properties go unused for too long.
We’re on the phone one day and he’s bothered by the fact that he’s charging less rent to some folks than to others and that just didn’t sit right. He tells me he’s going to offer a rent reduction to all his current tenants. In a sincere effort to drum up some positive word-of-mouth he lowered the rent on everyone else’s monthly payment.
I was stunned. I remember being on the phone thinking “Holy Shit, this guy REALLY gets it, this is remarkable!!”
The funnier part was when I told him I thought this was the smartest marketing strategy I’d heard in a long time and I was so happy about it. His response: “well Jeph it better work because if it doesn’t I just lost $3,000 of monthly income!”.
This all happened in late February and then Covid happened. I talked to him about a month in, I was obviously worried about the impact Covid would have on his already what seemed to be a struggling housing rental business.
Most of his rentals were either rented or spoken for, he didn’t have any vacancy and we had little reason to do more marketing at that point.
We always got along because he liked the way we worked with customers. No long-term contracts, no paying for things you don’t need, no marketing/advertising industry bullshit that this wonderful industry just so happens to be known for.
We don’t do any on-going marketing with him because he’s fine, his company is fine.
The next time you think you need “marketing” maybe what you need to do is make your current customers talk about you more.
Help people. Do the right thing. You never know what will happen.