When Kasey McDonald first began a career in property management, all she was given was a desk and a computer, with no guidance, support or training.
“When at the coalface in taking over managements, I was still seeing inadequate files and completion of paperwork and minimal customer service standards,” says McDonald.
“The agency owner still regarded property management as the second cousin.”
McDonald eventually went on to run her own real estate business, where she organically grew her rent roll from zero to 227 in just three years.
Her mediocre introduction to the property management sphere, coupled with her own success as a real estate business owner, inspired her to cultivate an educational platform that motivates real estate agencies to improve the way they operate.
As founder and director of the Property Management Training Academy, McDonald travels both nationally and internationally to help businesses develop best practice and achieve accelerated growth.
And while she travels across different regions and countries with varying legislation and regulations, McDonald says failing real estate businesses across the globe all make the same mistake – a lack of quality communication with their clients.
“Email is a confirmation of a conversation – it is not the conversation,” says McDonald.
“We need to be developing relationships as we are in a people business, the property is just the product.
“Yet we still see property managers and BDMs sitting behind a desk and constantly typing all day, instead of implementing communication techniques to meet the needs, wants and expectations of their clients.”
Another communication pitfall businesses fall into is not utilising their social media networks to their full potential.
“The industry is constantly evolving and the expectations of the client and customer are ever-increasing,” says McDonald.
“Community networking and sharing success stories via social media have stood out as the key growth strategies being implemented that are achieving the best results.”
Once a real estate business has honed its communication skills with its clients and customers, McDonald says it can wholeheartedly concentrate on accelerating growth and expanding the rental roll.
To achieve this, a business development manager should concentrate on the following five key factors:
Be a specialist, not a generalist. Not only do you need to know your area inside out, but you must also know your numbers in order to become the marketplace leader.
Tying back to the theory that communication is at the heart of all successful business development teams, it is important that transparency is included in all of your dealings. Provide your clients and customers with clear and concise communication every step of the way.
Be diligent in your planning. Have a specific KPI or target to meet? Chunk it down into simple goals and have a clear understanding of what it will take to deliver results.
Focus on professional development
Surround yourself with great people that can mentor you along the way. If you are a principal or team leader, organise regular training sessions throughout the year for your employees.
The human factor
Remember, real estate is a ‘people’ business – properties are just the product. Simply be human and help people where you can.
Kasey McDonald will be speaking at this year’s Business Development Feature Day alongside respected industry practitioners like Wayde Hildrew, Scott Mackey and Jason Rose. The event, held this Friday at the REIQ’s Cannon Hill office, will give BDMs and business owners the tools to build their rent rolls to maximise profitability and saleability. Hurry – ticket sales close tomorrow! Book your spot now at REIQ.com/devday.