EPMEPM: BD & Growth

A Smooth Transition: Kasey McDonald

Whether you’re an eager BDM wanting to impress the principal, or an enthusiastic and driven property manager, rent roll growth is usually the common goal. Kasey McDonald discusses why a strong handover connection between the two is vital for everyone, including the client.

Let’s face it – everyone wants to grow their rent roll. After all, with growth comes more opportunity for success all round.

In my experience as the owner of a franchise real estate office, and as a successful property management BDM, a lot of real estate companies make really common, crucial mistakes in their attempts to grow their portfolio – many of which I’ll be addressing at the RETG tour in 2017.

But there’s one I want to focus on right now.

We all know that hiring a good BDM is a surefire way to stimulate growth. However, it’s all good to have your BDM out there generating leads and securing new business, but not if that new business is lost within the first three months. I see it happen a lot.

Why is that?

Where I see a lot of divisions fail is in the hand over process from BDM to property manager. A lot of hard work is wasted when a BDM works tirelessly on securing a new landlord (sometimes a relationship-building process that can take 12 months), only to poorly manage the internal hand over process and lose the client within the first three months.

Remember, the BDM has most likely secured the new business through building a relationship with the property owner over a period of time. This relationship is often devalued when a BDM handballs the property owner to the property manager as soon as he or she has signed on the dotted line.

I’ve done things a little differently in my career and it’s worked a treat.

If I secure a new property owner and their property is vacant, I make sure I’m the one who leases it. Traditionally, a property manager will carry out this process. However, I’ve found that the property owner has built a rapport with the BDM and appreciates them taking the time to find the right tenant.

After all, I’m in the best position to know exactly the type of tenant the owner wants, because I’m the one who’s been talking to them for the past year or so. By then, I often know about their family, where they go on holidays, why they bought the property. Everything.

So let’s at least give them the decency of a smooth hand over so they can also start building a rapport with the property manager. Remember, this also takes time.

In the meantime, the BDM should find the tenant, continue liaising with the property owner and even conduct the first inspection.

Yes, you read that correctly. Doing the first inspection as the BDM shows the property owner that you care about how the property, and the tenant, is going for them. I also make sure I call the property owner 30 days after the tenant is secured to ensure the end of month payment went through and to give them the opportunity to voice any concerns they may have.

It all seems like a fairly simple strategy – for the BDM to find the first tenant and do the first inspection – but it’s not commonplace. So many BDMs get it wrong when it comes to transitioning new business to the property manager.

I first introduce the property manager to the owner about 48 hours after the agreement is signed. Then we have a system in place that transitions the owner/property manager relationship. It works really well.

What most people don’t realise is that the hand over process never really ends.

Any good BDM will strike a balance with their property owner to sustain an ongoing relationship while not hindering the relationship that is forming with the property manager. It is an ongoing process, and when BDMs and property managers start to realise that, they’ll start to find the holy grail too.

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