4 Organic Growth Hacks for Single Family Property Managers + A Bonus Cold Call Secret Weapon and Sample Prospecting Flow

Looking to start an organic growth movement within your single family property management business? 

Rally your single family team around progressive outbound growth efforts! We highlighted 4 powerful organic growth hacks your team can start on with little to no cost involved. 

Stalk Zillow Daily for Self-Managing Landlord Rental Listings

Zillow (and platforms that syndicate to Zillow) allow DIY landlords to post their own listings and market them on Zillow’s network — which includes Trulia and HotPads. 

Sort rental listings in your area by newest post.  Open each listing immediately scrolling to the bottom of the ad or navigating to the Contact section. Then identify the source of the post. If the listing source comes from another property management group or real estate brokerage, move on until you find something that looks like this:


Hint: Do not email Sandy through Zillow.

She’s getting a lot of email inquiries from renters, other property management groups, and realtors trying to snag her listing. You’ll either get lost in a sea of threaded emails or you’ll come off as spammy or annoying.  

Have a solid script ready and call Sandy; the worst she can say is no. Or, if you’re phone shy or simply don’t have time to call people individually, see the secret weapon at the bottom of this page to cover your call touch without having to talk to scary people on the phone. 

Be prepared to talk about tenant placement and monthly management fees but also make sure your leads are fully aware of all the pain points around being a DIY landlord like maintenance coordination, late rent payments, and finding quality tenants.

Pro Tip: Sometimes Hotpads (in particular) and Trulia have listings that Zillow does not. Make sure you’re checking all 3 listing sites daily. It’s worth the extra effort. 

Make Friends with an Investment Sales Real Estate Agent 

If your property management group stays in their lane (you don’t sell residential properties) you can buddy up with a real estate agent, particularly one who has an investor buyer network.

This is a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” agreement. 

You give this agent all your residential sales leads from owner churn and they give you all their investor buyer leads in need of tenant placement and property management services from newly purchased investment properties.

You might even get referral fees from the agent on real estate sales or offer brokerage incentives to your agent buddy if your company offers similar payouts for door referrals.

Pro Tip: Make sure you’re extra clear with agents. You’re looking for owners, not renters. Residential real estate agents hate renting out properties and finding tenants. They will happily push that off to you if you’re not clear in the arrangement you’re looking for.

Look for Upcoming Expiring Sales Listings

Take a lesson from seasoned real estate agents and track on-market residential sale listings that have been approaching the 180 days on market (DOM) mark. 

Property managers that reach out to these discouraged homeowners may stick out over real estate agents offering to put them through another 6 month exclusive listing agreement with no guarantee of a sale.

Chances are if listings are the market for that long then you, my friend, are in a buyer’s market or downturn economy which is perfect for organic growth within property management groups. These are your target prospect and you should make sure your value propositions solves their specific pain points and fears. 

Pro Tip: Enroll the homeowners in an email campaign at around the 120 DOM mark to get a head start. A task management tool like Aptly, which includes checklist templates, can help keep you organized. Use an email spam checker tool to make sure your emails don’t land in their junk folder since they won’t necessarily be expecting your email.

Lurk at Lowes 

Lowes, Home Depot, Floors & More and other home improvement stores are filled with DIY landlords. Saturday is the day to break out your biz swag potentially capturing the attention of weekend warrior homeowners shopping for materials to fix up their rental homes. 

You have to toe the line at these places because showering people’s windshields with flyers and passing out your business cards in the bathroom will get you banned from the premise. Ask me how I know. 

Some passive solicitation ideas:

• Ask the home improvement store rep where you can leave cards or flyers. There should be a dedicated billboard for vendors.

• Park a branded vehicle and leave it in front of the parking lot. A colleague of mine wrapped his car and would leave it at the Home Depot in his market every weekend. If you don’t have the money — or desire– to wrap your car, a decal or magnet will do. 

• Add magnet business cards to your vehicle for interested people to pick off themselves. 

• Wear your branded polo shirt you reserve for NARPM conferences around the store. 

Pro Tip: Don’t limit yourselves to home improvement stores. DIY landlords are everywhere, invest in car magnets and make a nice flyer to leave in grocery stores, HOA community billboards, and even your friend’s work break rooms.

A Secret Weapon Cold Call Tool

Adding a phone call channel to your outbound efforts is a must when prospecting for DIY landlords. This especially true if their email address is not readily available online (though you can get that information with tools like Spokeo, FYI).

As valuable as phone conversations are, cold calls can be daunting and time consuming. You either are too scared to do them or don’t have enough time to do them. Either scenario leaves you without ringing a person’s phone and letting them hear your voice. 

Use Sly Broadcast, a mass voicemail dropping tool which allows you to pre-record a message and “drop” it in a voicemail automatically. No individual dialing, no repeating the same message over and over, no hesitancy for people who are scared to make outbound sales calls. 

Putting It All Together

Here’s a sample campaign flow that incorporates our growth hacks and various outreach mediums:

  1. Compile a list of new self-managing landlords you found on internet listing websites.
  2. Add your leads to an omni-channel task management tool like Aptly to track touches and consolidate communication records in a single platform:

    Aptly’s pre-configured and customizable “Owner Leads” task management board

  3. Send a mass voicemail using Sly Broadcast to the group of leads.
  4. If anyone bites, call them the ol’ fashion way. They are no longer a cold lead.
  5. If you don’t hear back, send a second voicemail 2-3 days later.
  6. See if you can find their email address online using contact information aggregate sites like Spokeo. Use an email spam checker tool to make sure your emails don’t land in the junk folder.
  7. If you still have no luck, send another voicemail/email in 10-11 months. Why? Assuming they found a tenant and gave that person a standard 12 month lease, they might be in the market again for tenant placement in about a year.

Sometimes organic growth is a long game. You’ll need a task management tool to help you keep track of all your leads, consolidate communication to a single record, collaborate on tasks with others on your team, and seamlessly convert leads into owner clients without losing historic data.

A PMS integration would be nice too.

Contact Aptly to learn more about property management’s first PMS and inbox integrated task management tool and consolidate owner lead management (and any other property management task you can think of) into a single, integrated platform.

Not using Aptly?

Aptly is a task management tool specifically designed for property teams. We integrate task boards with your inbox, phone, and property management software (PMS) giving teams a single place to collaborate and manage all work.

Contact us to get a free trial of Aptly and learn more about the future of work for property teams.

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