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The Fast-Track To Success

Finding tenants in 60 minutes scoops award

By: Victoria Heyes

1 January 2023

ABOVE The Rental Bureau’s innovative, award-winning tenant-finding process

BELOW Achieving the goal: At least 50% of properties rented after first viewing

The Rental Bureau in Auckland is thriving by putting their customers first. The company made the finals in two categories at the Westpac Business Awards 2022: Excellence in Customer Service Delivery, and Excellence in Innovation, which they won for their new tenant-finding process. The Rental Bureau was also a finalist (top 3) in the REINZ Awards 2022 for Property Management Company of the Year (Small Office) – an award they took home in 2021.

Founder Victoria Heyes says, “Winning this award and gaining recognition for the hard work we do is a win for everyone in our industry. It’s nice to have some positive light shining on all the work we property managers do.”

Victoria and her team reviewed the tenant-finding process from the perspective of property owners (who want great tenants secured quickly), prospective tenants (who want to be approved quickly), and current tenants (who want minimal disruptions). The answer for everyone was to rent faster and the team had a very clear directive in mind – get great tenants to the first viewing and rent first time. But how?

The solution came during the COVID lockdowns when all businesses were finding innovative ways to continue remotely. The Rental Bureau invested in video technology to enable virtual viewings.

Most of the work now happens before the viewing, and doing the prep up front means there aren’t long waitt-imes at the other end. This includes a virtual advert so that potential tenants can view the property in advance, and making sure owners and prospective tenants are available and ready to sign on the day. Real-time comms from the viewing to the owner and the support team in the office means that agreements can be signed quickly, often on the same day.

“Everything is strategically planned” says Victoria, “We meet with owners to discuss when the viewings will take place and what to expect, we take props to the property with our photographer to make sure it looks great, and we reach out to everyone booked for the viewing and let them know we will be moving fast on their application. Viewing times are set so that the highest number of customers can attend, and so that our office can simultaneously complete reference checks – the team stays late on viewing days to complete applications and tenancy agreements.”

“We have capability to get a tenancy agreement electronically signed within 60 minutes of the start of the viewing,” Victoria says, “Although it doesn’t always happen within the hour, it is often completed by the next working day, and our goal to rent 50% of our properties after the first viewing is currently on track”.

“The down-side it that we don’t have many listings on TradeMe at any one time” Victoria laughs. Having only 2 or 3 properties used to indicate that we weren’t very busy – now it just shows that we are super efficient!”

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