When you realize that the success of your property management business requires more than just the expertise to manage properties, where do you turn? To maintain your current level of income or grow to expand your business, you (or someone you trust) need to understand the business side of things and close new sales.
Yes, to maintain your current level of income requires finding new property management leads and replacing the clients you lose with new business! While you'll have plenty of good clients who stick with you for a long time, not all clients stay forever. It's part of the realities of running a business.
If you don't believe us here at RentBridge, here's what Mark Cuban has to say: "Sales cures all. There has never been a company in the history of companies that has ever succeeded without sales. Anybody who has ever told you, 'Don't worry about sales you can grow it and worry about sales later,' they are lying to you. They will fail; you will fail. You have to be able to sell."
How can property management business owners find the right person to entrust with the business side of managing rental properties? We don't need Mark Cuban's help with this one. Take this advice from RentBridge!
Property Managers Need Property Management Specialists
Property management is unlike many other industries. To trust your business development to anyone who doesn't understand what you do or the intricacies of the rental property industry could be a risky move.
That's why it's critical to partner with a business manager who has been in the industry. Property-managers-turned-business-managers know how to help other property managers grow! They'll also be just as passionate about your business as you are.
Choose Someone You Trust
Your business manager needs to understand everything about your business. They need access to look under the hood and figure out what's working—and what isn't working. Holding anything back can keep them from understanding critical things about your business that could help you grow.
Be careful about choosing a friend: finding the right business manager for your property management business requires finding an impartial expert in both property management and sales. To build your trust in them, make sure you vet them thoroughly before giving them too much access to your financials and other critical information.
They also need to be an excellent "face" for your company! In many cases, they will be the first person a potential client meets or speaks to as they get to know your company. They need to be professional, without scandal, and someone you trust to be "you" out in the world.
By carefully selecting someone with the qualities necessary to represent you well and help you grow, you'll benefit from the addition of a business development manager!
They Need an Appetite for Sales
It's not enough for your business manager to understand how to help you manage properties better. They also need to possess superior sales skills to help you find new property management leads. Just as marketing for property management is an essential part of your success, your business manager's sales ability alone could be the thing to make or break the future of your business.
They should see sales in a positive light: many people look at sales negatively, through an old-school lens. They see it as a slimy car salesman standing in a parking lot or the process of cold-calling a list of names and hoping someone picks up the phone.
Neither of those scenarios is the way we should view sales in this day and age. The sales process has evolved! That's good news for your business and for the ideal candidate to become your business development manager.
"Selling" Has Evolved
Nowadays, we should see sales as a way of informing someone about a product and bringing a beneficial service into their life. In essence, "selling" is a way of providing a benefit to someone. What pain point can your property management services solve for a DIY landlord? You are the solution! That's a "sale."
It's helpful to think of acronym NEAT (Needs, Economic impact, Authority, Timeline) when approaching a sales plan:
- Need: A sale should address your potential client's needs. Where do they struggle most? What are their financial goals? Your business manager must offer solutions to help them resolve those issues.
- Economic impact: Your business manager should help a property owner understand the economic impact of their decisions. Do they want to make more money from their investment property? Not choosing to work with or take advantage of your property management solutions could mean they continue to lose money. Showing them potential loss versus the potential improvement to their bottom line can help the right business manager make a compelling case to a potential client.
- Authority: Why is your company the best? The right business manager tells your story—with authority—and positions your expertise to make you the obvious choice for property management in your area.
- Timeline: An effective business manager keeps a timeline of follow-ups and milestones when following the buyer journey of every property management lead in your sales funnel.
A business manager who can master these skills, along with other sales techniques that work for different types of property owners, can be an excellent choice for your company. It's less of a "lurking car salesman" approach, and more of a "come alongside and help" technique that builds trust and relationships with your most qualified leads.
The Ability to Communicate
You know how critical it is to maintain excellent communication with your property owners and tenants. Poor communication can ruin your business and drive tenants and owners away. If you're not a natural communicator, it's one of the essential skills to develop to be a more successful property manager.
The same idea holds true for your business development. A business manager that can't communicate well with your team and property management leads is the wrong choice. Excellent communication is vital for every aspect of life, especially in business. Your future business development manager must be able to communicate with everyone, from prospective clients to current clients to team members to vendors, etc. A lack of communication can cause a breakdown that could destroy your growth and chances of prosperity.
- Your business manager has to understand how to adjust communication styles depending on what a potential client needs or who they're working with in-house.
- They must be able to understand and put the appropriate property management and marketing systems in place that addresses client needs, resolve internal process traffic jams, and helps your company flourish.
- This might mean incorporating workflow automation throughout the business model or putting the right property management workflows in place throughout the team. Whatever it is, it needs to be done with a good line of communication.
They Understand the Importance of Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing provides many of the property management leads that your business development manager will pursue. They must understand how inbound marketing works, how valuable it is to your overall marketing strategy, and how to take advantage of closing qualified leads delivered by your inbound strategies.
A business manager who has primarily relied on cold calling, email campaigns, or in-person networking might find inbound marketing to be a strange way to find "real" leads. If they've never benefitted from the lead pool generated from your online content, website, and social engagement, they're in for a treat!
Make sure they can come around to recognize the essential need for inbound marketing and how to work with a team that depends on this strategy as part of your broader marketing plan.
They Leave Their Ego at the Door
Even the larger-than-life Richard Branson understands that you cannot be all things to all people. It is crucial to be able to hand things off and assemble a team you are proud of and have confidence in. You cannot feel like you are the only one capable of doing specific tasks: you must be willing to delegate.
Branson shared this sage advice: "As much as you need a strong personality to build a business from scratch, you also must understand the art of delegation. I have to be good at helping people run the individual businesses, and I have to be willing to step back. The company must be set up so it can continue without me."
Make sure your business development manager isn't in it for the glory! Your property management business success if a team effort. From your property managers to your marketing team and sales force, you all work together to please clients and grow your business.
BizDev as Software Instead? RentBridge Can Help!
You don't have to have the portfolio of someone like Richard Branson or Mark Cuban to be successful! It's possible to utilize solutions that don't require having the budget to hire a business development manager.
At RentBridge, we have a solution for property management companies who prioritize their budget for property management marketing, without the leftover funds for a business development manager. They need a more efficient (and cost-effective) way of developing their business.
Just as you create a property management website that will level up your inbound marketing game, you can use HubSpot to help develop your business. As a Diamond HubSpot partner, RentBridge can help property management business owners utilize this tool to find and develop new property management leads!
We become your new (virtual) business development manager! Our business development package contains foundational marketing campaigns that a property management business must have to be a successful player in the field. With RentBridge and HubSpot, you have a great alternative to level up—without needing a significant budget to get there.
Let's chat! Contact the RentBridge team with any questions! We can get you quickly ramped up and talking to new potential clients sooner—rather than later!
Updated and republished 7/17/2020.