EPMEPM: BD & Growth

Are You Happy with Your Levels of Growth So Far?

Similar to other areas of life, in business development the things that worked yesterday may not work today. But that isn’t a reason to give up, even if your results this year are not what you had hoped. Sometimes, says Tara Bradbury, you need to go back to where you started for the breakthrough.

During July the BDM Academy held a free webinar on ‘What would you do if today was your first day as a BDM?’ Throughout the presentation I took the time to ask our attendees’ questions and one of them was ‘Are you happy with your rent roll growth for the first half of 2015?’

To my surprise, out of the 167 attendees only 30 per cent were satisfied with the results they have been achieving. This prompted me to think how I could help those in the 70 per cent turn around what clearly has been a slow start to 2015.

As many of you may know, on 14 July my world changed and I was blessed to announce the arrival of our first daughter. Those of you who saw me during my pregnancy would agree I was a little bit naive as to what to expect when becoming a parent. Every day my husband and I have been faced with an immense amount of delight and pressure from this little bundle of joy that requires 100 per cent of our attention.

You have moments where you think ‘I’ve got this’ and you work out a method that helps keep your child calm. Then within days those methods are of no interest to your baby and you say to yourself ‘Why isn’t this working? She liked it a few days ago.’

The reason I share this with you is that prospecting for new business is exactly the same. For some reason we all seem to think if we keep doing the same activities that worked in the past the clients will just walk in, but those top-performing agents know it is just not the case. Every potential client you meet has different needs and methods of communication that work for them. You can’t expect the one-size-fits-all approach to work every time; to go from being a good agent to a great agent you need to be prepared to embrace change.

If you are in the 70 per cent, think back to your first day in the industry and how you approached prospecting for new business. Did you just sit back and wait for it to walk in the door, or were you proactive and focusing on your income-producing activities to achieve ultimate results?

If you are in the 70 per cent, today is the day to make the change. If you are in the 30 per cent, well done and enjoy my fast tips to help ensure you finish 2015 with a bang!

Don’t go it alone! Be accountable to a mentor and or someone in your team. You will only hold yourself accountable for the goals that others know about.

Don’t be afraid to share free industry updates in your local marketplace and focus on creating a profile around being the investment property specialist. The more you give back, the more you will receive in return. To achieve the ultimate goal you need people to say ‘If you are looking for help with the real estate side of things I would highly recommend Tara from Wide Bay Prestige Properties; she is the investment property expert on the Fraser Coast…’

This is the perfect time to build relationships with professional service contacts in your area. Meet with accountants, banks, solicitors, financial planners, insurance brokers and loan specialists. Discuss the opportunity of sharing industry updates with potential and current clients. Or set up an investor evening where you share ideas and market updates relevant to your industry. This is a goldmine referral opportunity and one not to be missed!

Brainstorm ways to involve past and current clients by including testimonials in your marketing and promotion. If you are running an investor evening, encourage them to speak about some of the personal results they have achieved and the experience they have had with your agency.

Provide advice, resources and industry best practices through all your marketing and promotion. This will demonstrate that you have your clients’ best interest at heart vs just trying to win the business on the day.

Ask open-ended questions to learn more about your client’s wants and needs. Then (and only then) provide specific information about your agency and the benefits it provides in the context of their needs around investment property ownership.

Go the extra mile and send a thank you card or congratulations message for a significant occasion. Clients love feeling appreciated and this is a great way to generate more business from contacts.

When you have responded to a new lead, or if you are working off an old database, make sure you have a system in place to follow up the client to win the business. In order to win the business over your competition you need to follow up, follow up and finally follow up!

Don’t just win the business and expect that to be enough. To encourage more opportunities out of your landlords and tenants you need to connect with them on a regular basis. Provide good news stories, share market updates, call them, ask for feedback on the service and finally find out if they are look at growing or expanding on the current investment portfolio they have. Don’t let your competition sneak in and work with some of your hot contacts because you’ve let the relationship cool down.

With less than four months to go of 2015, you still have time to turn your year around and get back on track with your goals. Embrace change and focus on the basics that worked for you right back when you first started. Don’t just stick to the same daily routine; get out of your comfort zone, try new things and regain your burning desire for success. And of course, don’t forget to follow up!

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Tara Bradbury

Tara Bradbury is the Director of the BDM Academy sharing her business development ideas and strategies with property management BDM’s and Principals. For more information visit bdmacademy.com.au.