NEW BUSINESS. THINK WISELY ABOUT THIS.
BY SHANE STONE.
I believe we have possibly come to a point with growing rent roles and obtaining new business that we need to take a big deep breath, do we need a coach? do we go to BDM training? conferences? how much money should I or should the business spend on developing my skills for business development? who’s the best? Who’s the expert? the list is long… my first recommendation is STOP, THINK AND PREPARE.
In writing this article I am in no way saying don’t go out and get trained, merely pointing items that need to be conscious of before kicking growth off.
In 1997 I managed a portfolio, a small team and new business, I did not look at getting leads, I did not focus on BDM, why? Because myself and my team did a bloody amazing job and 10,15,20 plus managements would walk in the door. 90% of the time we would just ask the bloody question. no advice or direction it was our job and simply hard work….another good example, I was doing some in office training in Warrnambool in Oct 2017 with 3 amazing ladies, I questioned how new business was going , “we don’t have time” as the day went on I learnt that, one of the PMs got 2 new properties, another got 4 and the other 5, 11 in total for September, “but ladies you said you don’t have time,” “oh this is just owners who like us, ….
Food for thought isn’t it.
Now let’s look at 2 things we need to address before you even think of spreading the gospel that your office is the best of the best.
- If your rent roll IS NOT “clean” and systemised? it would be the worst mistake obtaining new business if you can not bed it down seamlessly it WILL sting you in the caboose.
- Time is the other issue especially if the PM has operational work to do.
Let’s give you a couple of scenarios,
- A full time BDM
- PM who is looking to grow portfolio
- We will assume for the article you have a just hired BDM with some knowledge of property management, she or he is a communicator, where do they start? Well firstly you hire me, (had to get a plug in somewhere). Local knowledge, market values, culture of the office, a knowledge of the portfolio(s) the PMs and have a close relationship with the sales department these are the items you/they need to kick off with, thereafter you can consider some training, as a good guestimate I’d say 6-8 months after commencement (apart from my coaching of course) and always remember income is a by-product of your work.
- Current PM with Portfolio, time is the first thing that needs to be addressed, you will need to have a designated time per week to market, follow up and bed down, it will be a case by case scenario per individual and office, it might be a case two hour are locked and loaded for marketing on Tuesday then another hour on a Thursday, what ever works for you and the office.
Further, I hear that we (Property Managers) are either brilliant or unable to multi-task, in relation to BDM multitasking is not and should not be in the equation its more of a case of accelerated Focus (more on this on another fine sunny day). Just because you are amazing at managing properties does not make you a good PM whilst some are “duck to water” some can take a little longer, or may not be interested at all.
As a starting point your current owners are your first point of contact, ‘there is gold in those hills” every time you are in contact with an owner you should be asking the question “do you have any other properties? or do you know anyone who has?”, “wants fried with that” the answer will most likely be NO in the first instance but a seed is planet just come back and water it.
With both situations I want to reiterate the MOST important item, TIME. Growing a rent roll does not happen overnight, numerous times I have seen directors and PMs/BDMs come back from Interstate conferences or training with expectations that 20-50 new properties will happen in the same month, you might be lucky but to put yourselves in this mind set might be disappointing.
In relation to my first paragraph and rhetorical questions, yes you should do training and at some point, we all get jaded and need a motivational jab, I will make this it very clear, GO TO TRAINING OR A CONFERENCE THAT SUITS YOU NOT ONE THAT IS BEING SHOVED DOWN YOUR THROAT, HAVE A COACH TO MOULD AND BLOODY TAILOR TO YOU!!
Finally, Property Management and BD is an amazing and brilliant vocation and now a career in its own right, staying happy and motivated is the key.
Good luck, stay safe and smile always.