In a highly competitive market it's hard to stand out. One of the ways you can do that is in the sales documents you provide for potential new association clients.
Examples of sales documents might include:
- A brochure that describes your management services
- Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about your company, qualifications, and how you will handle common situations, such as after hours emergencies.
- A management presentation showcasing your technology and qualifications.
- A management proposal will spell out the details of your plan for your potential new clients.
- A sample management contract so the board is not surprised by your terms or expenses schedule.
- Your sample monthly financials package that you generated from your management company software.
You can use Microsoft Publisher (part of Microsoft Office Professional) templates to create brochures and other professional looking sales documents. (for an alternative free option, try Google Presentation)
Another option is to ask the vendors you partner with for co-marketing documents. Promoting your selection of quality business partners can make a positive impression.
All of your sales documents should also be saved in PDF format so you can provide them as a free download on your company website.
Your brochure is a visual representation of your brand. Your branding is more than just the image you present in your logo, it is all of the design elements you use that act as a visual representation by which your company will be judged. That’s why it is important for your brochure to reflect the goals of your company, and present a consistant visual and written message with your website and all other marketing materials you have.
A professionally designed brochure can make you look like a larger company than you really are, or it can make you look like some guy running a business ut of his parents basement. It's well worth the investment to have your brochure professionally designed (and don't neglect your website, it's your online brochure!)
Frequently Asked Questions
Your FAQ is a living document, which is constantly growing. Start off by imagining you are explaining to your mother in law what you do for a living. Write out all of the questions you can think of that she would ask to better understand how your business works, and take time to write well-thought out answers. Don't be afraid to inject a little bit of personality into your answers.
Your management presentation
A community board of directors will want to meet you and have you discuss your services. You need to create an impressive written and verbal presentation where you discuss the services and benefits of your management services. You can use PowerPoint to create an impressive looking and professional presentation. (We have a great co-marketing kit that you can customize to give you a jumping off point.)
Practice the verbal portion so you are comfortable when discussing your approach to community management, but not so much that you sound like you are giving a memorized speech. Your verbal presentation needs to sound sincere and spontaneous, not “canned”.
Do your homework on the community you are courting, and tailor your presentation to the specific community. In any sales situation you always want to find out what is causing them to consider a change in management. In sales speak, this is finding out their ‘pain points’.
Your management presentation needs to address how you would cure their ‘pain’ with your management services. If you can do this, you’ll increase your chances of a successful management proposal.
Key points to include in a management presentation:
- Who you are
- Why you started a management company
- Your key services
- Benefits to the community
- Your goals within 3/6/12 months to improve the association
- Examples of technology & sample reports
Your management proposal
After the face-to-face Management Presentation, you will need to prepare a written proposal. The proposal will itemize your services preferably broken out by the 3 main areas of your management services:
- Property Management
- Office Meetings
This is a great place to showcase the features your chosen management company software brings to the table. The Management Proposal is also where you confirm your management fees for the services the community wishes you to provide. It should look professional and use simple language describing your services. You might include your Mission Statement in the Management Proposal as well.
Your Management Contract
While it is a legally binding contract, your management contract is also an important part of your sales package. Boards are looking for a professional company to represent them for a reasonable price. Your management agreement demonstrates both of those features in one fell swoop.
You are the legal agent for the communities you manage. This agency relationship is established in the management contract. The contract describes the services you provide and the management fee for these services. The contract should also protect you from liability except in cases of negligence—which cannot be contracted away.
Normally, a management contract also has a Schedule of Reimbursable Expenses, like postage, printing, resale certificates, etc. attached to it. These are important to list and price correctly since the reimbursable expenses are revenue generators for you. You should mark them up from your actual costs to cover your time involved in each of these items. (Here's one you can use to get started)
Sample board reporting package
A prospective Board of Directors is going to want to see what a sample monthly financial report package looks like. You can use the management software you purchase to create this package or get canned samples from the software company. Community Officers will be judging your performance as a management company largely based on what your software can do and how the reports look, so this is a key element in your sales package.
The way you present your company to a prospective board strongly informs your chances of success in winning the contract.
* image credit to Simon Vieira of VFS Visual Designs