Shannon Davis, Principal of Image property management and Director of Metropole property strategists joins us for this week’s episode of Real Estate Pros. Shannon shares his journey in the real estate industry, how property managers and property strategists working together has helped with the growth of his businesses and why sales is like dating and property management is like marriage.
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Property strategist Shannon Davis says that among the most important qualities to create a better real estate business is to understand that having a “Give to Receive” culture leads to success and fortitude during lean times.
Shifting from being a school teacher, coming into property management and starting from the bottom has been a valuable learning experience and Shannon says that this baptism by fire has allowed him to go through all stages of the business and identify areas that were in need of the most improvement.
His own experience has shown him that oftentimes clients find themselves unable to find the right help stemming from a lack of communication and good advice. He recalls the first time that he handled a vacancy, people couldn’t provide him with good feedback on open homes and price points. Citing his favourite quote from Zig Ziglar, “when we help enough people get what they want, we get what we want”, Shannon believes it is this core belief that allows his business find smooth, increasing cash flows at fair market price and that in turn, brings happy clients and happy tenants.
This reverberates even in the sales department in that they seek to be trusted advisers. “They have a give to receive mentality, not transaction based, but they want to serve customers and when you have that mentality, the dollars and the success of the business look after itself.”
Shannon further reminds us that property management income is recurring whereas the sales results are wiped from the whiteboard each month and it all starts again. It pays for principals to not be complacent in a buoyant market and acknowledge how important it is to recession-proof their business. Again drawing from his experience, in the early stages he recounts, “I failed in every way,” because of inexperience and at the same time, losing a key staff member who actively targeted the clients of the business when she left.
Shannon says that another important realisation coming from this experience is “making certain that clients build rapport with me as the business-owner, not one of the staff,” and that “any new potential staff members who come for an interview and say, ‘I can bring this amount of managements over,’ that’s the end of the interview for me. If I’m gonna do that to other people, I’m gonna eventually have that done to myself.”
Given common challenges such as creating brand awareness, generating leads and increasing loyalty and advocacy, Shannon believes in the value of word-of-mouth marketing coupled with more sophisticated marketing solutions for branding as a business grows. However, in property management, becoming skillful with the letting process for vacancies is a step-up advantage, suggesting that, “a vacant property is vulnerable, and that’s when they’ll leave you. Most people don’t want to switch when there’s a tenant in.”
Overall, Shannon also quotes Ghandi for motivation and inspiration in saying:
“Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.”
What are your favourite things in the world to do when you’re not at the office?
Taking the wife home to England to see her family, watch the ‘Gunners’ (AKA. The Arsenal soccer team) and then travelling in Europe especially when it’s cold in Australia.
What is your favourite business book?
“How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie
What is your favourite technology resource you use daily to help you run a better business?
Inspect Real Estate
What is ‘one thing’ that prevents people in real estate from achieving success and what would your advice be to overcome it?
“Business people need a give to receive mentality. Some business owners don’t invest back to the business and worse, don’t think long term or don’t get delayed gratification. In business, you have to plant the seed, then harvest the crop. It goes in that order.”
Fast Fact of the Week
Real Estate Dynamics conducted a mystery shopper survey of over 130 agencies to measure customer service, knowledge of best practice, and selling skills. The findings of the 2013 found that 86.5% of businesses agreed to cut commissions during the initial discussion with a prospective client, and disconcertingly, there was only one agency among those surveyed which asked for a phone number. Furthermore, it was only this one agency also that conducted a follow up on the initial inquiry.
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