EPMEPM: BD & Growth

Filling the Pipeline

WHEN SET THE CHALLENGE of prospecting for new managements, does your mind automatically jump onto the starting blocks and launch full steam ahead into finding an investor in desperate need of a tenant – today? A better strategy, says Real+ coach Kate Benjamin, is to understand your pipeline and conversion rates and plan from there.

You may be lucky to find that your office sometimes attracts investors who need to find a tenant immediately, but as we know this is not always the case. So, when these calls are few and far between, what are you doing to make sure that you are continually filling your pipeline with potential clients who will need your services in the future? What are you doing to increase calls into the office? Are you making calls from the office, and talking to investors before they even consider talking to your competitors?

The key to increasing your rent roll growth is to execute a new business strategy that is planned, measured and executed. But where do you start? Let’s talk about the first steps in building an investor pipeline and executing a growth strategy.

Think about your targets and make sure you have a clear picture of what you need to do. How many properties did you sign up in the past 12 months as an individual? What was your net growth across the whole business? What are your targets for the next six to 12 months?

Planning for this period includes allowing for holiday breaks, annual leave and training days. Don’t be fooled into thinking there are 52 weeks in a year to gain new business. Make sure that your plan is based around a 10-month year and that any additional business gained outside of this is a bonus. Once you know your annual target, break this down by month and week, and then calculate your daily targets.

Your targets should be visible, at your desk and in front of you every day. They should include, but may not be limited to:

  • New business leased
  • Listings
  • Appraisals
  • Calls
  • Connects
  • Database contacts added

Once you have set these targets, you must decide how committed you really are. The best BDMs in the country know that prospecting is an appointment with the phone, and that making connections with potential clients on a daily basis must form a regular and non-negotiable part of their ideal week.

It is equally important to note that one of the keys to success is ‘what gets measured gets done’. As part of setting the above targets, you must also put a plan in place to track and record your activity. This serves two purposes: it allows you both to track results and review this data. You can then be clear on your conversion ratios:

  • Calls to connects – how many numbers do you need to dial before you talk to someone?
  • Connections to booked appraisals and database contacts – how many people do you need to talk to before you book an appraisal or add an investor client to your database?
  • Appraisals to listings – how many appraisals do you need to attend in a month to list your target number of properties?
  • Listings to leased properties – are you guaranteed to take over the management and/ or lease of all the properties you list?

It is important to be clear on what works and when. Ask yourself whether calling in the morning or the afternoon yields you the best results, then track it and see. I had always been a firm believer in the ‘Eat that Frog’ mentality – getting prospecting over and done with in the first part of the day. However, during my time as a BDM, I came to the realisation that one to two afternoon call sessions per week allowed me to catch those investors who were simply not available to take or return calls early in the day. Suddenly my connection rate increased over a week.

In summary, before you launch into picking up the phone, be clear on what you want and need to do to create your pipeline and increase your opportunities. Remember, the key to success is a well thought out new business strategy that is planned, measured and executed.

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