Smart Growth for Smart Property Managers Part 2 (How to be 7 Times More Effective than Your Competitors)

David Borden

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January 28, 2014

Lead Response Time:


Before you can initiate any effort to increase your business, you need to set a standard in your office for answering inbound phone and email leads from your marketing efforts.  We recommend a 5 minute maximum response time (answering leads the second you get them is the better answer).  This rapid response serves several key purposes in growing your business.  First, it is impressive to the potential customer that you answered them quickly and it sets the stage for how you will handle their business in the future.  Next, it might prevent them from contacting your competitors if you get back to them before they can call and submit another lead to your competitors.  Third, and most importantly, consider this statistic…  If you answer your inbound leads in less than 5 minutes, there is a 70% chance you will win the business.  If you wait 24 hours there is a less than 10% chance of landing that business.  Please consider that statistic carefully, if you wait 24 hours to respond to leads, you will need 7 times as many leads to close each new property deal.  If you are not able to get a 5 minute response time, please do not waste your time and money trying to grow your business.


A five minute response time is the key to the rest of your growth plan.  All of your metrics and measuring of campaign effectiveness will hinge on your ability to do so.  You can’t say that a campaign is not effective because you only closed 10% of the leads if you are waiting 24 hours to do so.  Answering those leads immediately will increase your conversion 7 fold.  In that case it’s not the campaign’s fault, it’s yours.  It is a good idea to get a phone number dedicated to inbound owner investor leads, and a dedicated email address.  Don’t drop your inbound investor leads into a phone tree.  Make sure that someone who is able to drop what they are doing and handle that business is always available.  Don’t wait until after lunch, or until you have another cup of coffee, or until tomorrow to take care of customers wanting to hire you.  This is a huge opportunity for property managers.  We have secret shopped our customers in the past and we have found that property managers respond to about 50% of their leads, (Both tenant and owner leads) and their response time is a pathetic 2.5 DAYS.


Remember that investors do not call you because they have a wonderful tenant that is paying their rent on time and taking great care of their property.  They are calling because they are in pain, they have a problem and want help.  If you can help them now, they will most likely hire you because you contacted them first, and not because you have the lowest fees.


Let’s apply real numbers to our test case from part 1:

Let’s compare how many leads will be required to achieve our growth goals with two different response times.

5 Minute Response:

Goal:  11 new management accounts

Conversion Rate:  70%

Leads Required to meet Goal:  11/.7 = 15.71 or 16 leads.

Cost at $50/lead:  16*50 = $800

24 Hour Response

Goal:  11 New Management Accounts

Conversion Rate: 10%

Leads Required to meet Goal:  11/.1 = 110

Cost at $50/lead: 110*50 = $5500

I would prefer that you answer your leads in 5 minutes and put the other $56,400 in your pocket…


About the Author

David Borden

David Borden

With a resume that includes West Point graduate, Captain of the West Point Team Handball team (which, interestingly, is also referred to as “Borden Ball” around the world. Google it. We’re not sure which name came first, but we’re pretty sure Dave could tell you), US Army Chinook helicopter pilot and Co-founder, President & CEO of what is now the leading website in the country for advertising long term residential rentals, it stands to reason why Dave has a place at the PMW kitchen table: his appetite for success. And, well, because he keeps us laughing.

As our resident funny-man (possibly self-proclaimed), his booming voice can be heard spreading the PMW gospel to anyone who’ll listen. And, frankly, even those who have no interest in property management. (Don’t they teach “Inside Voice” at America’s oldest military academy?)

But his high-decibel, funny ways become awfully serious when it comes to staying one step ahead for the good of our customers; because Dave has been there. As a second-generation property manager from Colorado Springs, CO, he knows the struggles that property managers go through and painstakingly dissects every step of their process to come up with ways to ease their burden.

As former CEO & President of RentClicks (which went on to become Rentals.com), he strategically positioned their business to become NARPM’s first official partner and was awarded NARPM’s National Affiliate of the Year three times.

When he’s not devouring industry information at our kitchen table, you might find him bellying up to a plate of wings while watching his beloved (understatement) Broncos, flipping channels in search of a historical documentary, searching out a tennis match or preaching the ways of the world to his pre-teen sons, Andrew and Brady.