EPMEPM: BD & Growth

What’s Working For Top BDMs Right Now: Tara Bradbury

Tara Bradbury recently achieved a long-held ambition and set up a ‘round table’ event specifically for BDMs. Here are some strategies from the event that participants say are working for them right now.

When I was an active BDM I always wanted to be involved in a round table event with an exclusive group of up to 20 top performing BDMs across the country. However, this was never offered and I found that, while many conferences had BDM presenters, I needed to attend sales training events to get the next level strategies, to ensure I was on track with my growth path and secured new business each month.

These days, however, we do have many events that are very supportive of BDMs in the property management industry, with loads of talent across Australia and New Zealand.

Over the last 12 months, I have been talking with many BDMs across the country about the round table idea and asked if it was something they would be interested in. The feedback was super-positive and on 30 September, after less than two weeks of personal invitations, we secured our select group of 24 agents across Australia. The event was run over a full day and our hot-seat session was where the ideas and strategies started flowing around the room.

As I’m sure you can appreciate, I’m unable to share every secret that we discussed. However, I wanted to give a sneak peek of what you can expect at future events and share with you our top three takeaways.

1. BDM expectations: Your targets are only as good as your actions.

A KPI must be measurable. Remember: what gets measured gets managed. The targets must be stated in clear terms and a time frame must also be established for all KPIs, with key checkpoints along the way to ensure that the BDM is on track.

When it comes to KPIs, you need to be specific. This makes it much easier to track for both the BDM and the principal. Each day you should be asking yourself, ‘What is the ultimate outcome I would like to achieve? What needs to be done to achieve my targets?’ When your KPIs are specific it allows less room for confusion and misinterpretation. The BDM then has a clear plan to follow and the principal has something to refer back to when the BDM is held accountable.

Don’t just write KPIs because that is what you have been told other BDMs do. Take the time to review your position, agency, experience and marketplace when setting your targets. Many BDMs will focus just on the numbers and not on the dollar value.

  • Measure new business secured (leased and/or generating an income)
  • Measure net growth
  • Measure properties lost
  • Measure your prospecting pipeline
  • Measure your database contacts (hot, warm and cold leads)
  • Measure your call connects
  • Measure your appraisals
  • Measure your networking events attended and the connections made

As you can see, so many areas can be measured. This is why it’s so important to complete a full review of the last 12 months prior to setting your KPIs for the next 12.

2. BDM and agency marketing strategy: A detailed marketing strategy is essential for every BDM and agency.

Many BDMs are hesitant to go out and start promoting because they simply don’t know how to do it. Before you hit the streets and start promoting every way possible you need to have a marketing strategy. You need to have a detailed plan and a consistent approach. Adding a Facebook post once a week or running an ad in the local paper the next week will never work without frequent updates.

To achieve a truly effective marketing strategy, you must evaluate the property management industry and your primary target audience. The first part you will need to evaluate is the actual agency and your role in it. This means looking at your property management department from a landlord’s or tenant’s point of view. What do they truly get out of your agency? Once you know that, you can create a marketing plan of action and start implementing your ideas.

A good marketing strategy is essential for every BDM and agency. It gives the principal a clear direction of where to go with marketing efforts, and a better understanding of what marketing methods are working and generating ongoing leads.

I tested many possible approaches when it came to the promotion of my BDM role and the agency. Some worked well and created consistent ongoing referrals, while others failed miserably. It’s okay to test a large amount of promotional ideas if you are tracking them along the way.

3. BDM prospecting and branding: The importance of creating an ideal week.

‘I wish I had more time’ and ‘If only I just had an extra couple of hours in my day I would achieve so much more.’ We all agreed that these were excuses and phrases that would be left in the training room and never spoken again when once we returned to the agency. But you are probably all thinking ‘If only it was that simple’. Well, the answer is: it is! There are only ever going to be 24 hours in a day. We therefore discussed the importance of having an ideal week in place to make sure we are 100 per cent accountable for where our time is spent. Many of us tend to procrastinate during our daily routines. Having an ideal week keeps us on track, ensures our time is focused on income-producing activities and holds us accountable for our actions. So to ensure all BDMs get the most out of each day and are focused on prospecting activities with proven track records, here are the top seven non-negotiable strategies working in many agencies across the country.

  1. Connect with all your clients and turn them into advocates: make five client service calls each day
  2. Make sure you connect with 10 prospects, followups or referrals every day
  3. Invest in your website and social media presence
  4. Offer a giveaway on your business card
  5. Build referral relationships with builders, developers and buyer’s agents
  6. Review Gumtree and target private investors
  7. Create and distribute a ‘Just listed’ and ‘Just leased’ flyer.

A key point that was raised throughout the day was that although people seem to think the role of BDM is an easy overnight success, we know this is not the case. In fact, most days you can feel like you want to get off and escape, but other days you wish the ride would never end. Despite all the ups and downs, we all agreed the role of a BDM in a property management business is a very rewarding career path for the right person.

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