Agency owners want two things – big sales with big commissions and a growing property management department. While the sales department can ebb and flow between busy periods and market lulls, a principal can always depend on the agency’s rent roll to provide a reliable cash flow.
However, when you’re immersed in the day-to-day minutiae of running your own business, it’s easy to get overwhelmed in financial management, resolving client disputes and simply ensuring your team are both happy and performing well – leaving little to no room for you to grow your profits.
Natalie South, 2019 Young Gun and Business Development Manager for Harcourts Solutions Group explores how your business can thrive with the guidance of a business development manager.
Your agency’s reputation will be enhanced
Your client’s first experience with your agency should begin with a business development manager. A hard working and proactive BDM will provide consistent, professional content and service to the market, to reaffirm to buyers, sellers and landlords that your agency is reputable enough to handle one of their biggest assets.
South says in a world of social media and instant reviews, it’s important to have a BDM that ensures your brand is one that existing clients are recommending – not warning people to steer clear of.
“In today’s society, people want to work with people that they can trust and in a lot of occasions, someone that a friend has already done business with,” she says.
“The client experience is more important than ever and a BDM has the time to ensure that experience is second to none.
“It sets the tone, expectations and standard of what that client can expect throughout the remainder of the management.”
If an investor doesn’t choose your agency to purchase their home through, the BDM will have established a good enough rapport that will encourage them to come back to you for property management.
Allow your property managers to do what they do best – be property managers
A successful property manager is used to wearing so many different hats – the nurturer, the counsellor, the administrator and the problem solver, just to name a few. So what is the harm in adding one more? After all, it could save you on wages when you rely on the property management team to take on business development tasks, right?
The fact of the matter is, it’s not in a property manager’s innate nature to perform the ins and outs of business development – a good BDM needs to have their finger on the pulse of new property listings, hunt down clients, and know what tailored marketing strategy each property needs.
South argues that expecting property managers to do a BDM’s job is detrimental for business growth, and can cause emotional burn out amongst property managers who are already juggling an extensive work load.
“It comes down to personality types and skill sets,” South says.
“A BDM is driven by growth, outcomes and is compensated this way, where as your property managers are driven by administration, checklists and generally do not have financial incentives.
“A BDM has an ability to sell to a client why they should engage that agency and where the value is in the fees involved with the management.”
By employing a BDM, you’re allowing property managers to concentrate on their primary role, while the BDM can grow the rent roll and generate leads that would otherwise be missed by a busy property management department.
The sales team will receive more support
BDM’s are not only a great asset to the property management department, but to your sales team as well.
A good business development manager should offer smaller scale support like participating in community events to promote the agency’s brand or assisting sales agents with registrations at open homes, right through to developing marketing campaigns or providing updates on the rental markets for potential investors.
If a BDM and sales team work well together, you can expect to see an increase in investors wanting to buy and tenant the property through your agency, suggests South.
“There are a number of ways a BDM can support their sales team, like open for inspection call backs on a Monday morning,” she says.
“Doing this establishes who is looking to buy for investment purposes, who will need assistance with renting their property, who will need assistance selling their property, who needs assistance with a mortgage broker and if the buyer has any other properties that the BDM or the sales agent can assist with.
“A good BDM will also provide rental appraisals for all new listings within 24 hours of them hitting the market, and provide clients with updates on the rental markets, vacancy rates and insight into what tenants look for when looking to rent.”
More often than not, a BDM has extensive knowledge on the rental market that a sales agent simply does not. By utilising a BDM in your overall sales and property management strategies, you’re bound to capture more buyers looking for investment properties, owners wanting you to manage their property and existing clients referring your agency to their own networks.
With a BDM, your agency really can have it all – big sales with big commissions, and an expanding rent roll that provides a reliable cash flow.