Hannah Gill: How to become the chief growth officer in your business

When it comes to business development and rent roll growth, there's a plethora of 'should' and 'should nots' to be followed. But how do you know which is right for your business? Here, Hannah Gill provides a snapshot of the Exec BDM course and explains why you need to know your client type, how to operate multiple growth funnels and key metrics you must know.

As avid readers of Elite Agent, you will have likely seen a reference or two to a coaching series called Exec BDM.

This ran over the past 12 months, and each fortnight, Samantha McLean, Tara Bradbury and I were joined by some of the industry’s best to talk about business development and rent roll growth. 

What I loved most about the program was the diversity of business sizes and the varied (yet similar) challenges we have in the business development space.

The ability to share ideas and genuinely collaborate helped lift the already high standard of business development across Australia.

The series wrapped up at the end of the financial year, so I thought it was timely to recap the best bits, which was a challenge because every session was beneficial.

Know your client type

In one of our first sessions, Tara broke down client profiles for landlords, tenants, trades and property-specific criteria.

She wisely suggested the importance of having absolute clarity on what your preferred profiles are and then sticking to them. 

This includes the location of properties you manage, the minimum rent you would take and the preferred landlord, tenant and trade profiles.

This clarity and discipline in sticking to your profile means your quality of relationships and properties you manage likely remains high – a win for the business and the property manager responsible for the ongoing relationships and assets.

Multiple growth funnels

This was one of my sessions, and it’s something I tend to harp on about.

It’s important to focus on three growth channels at any given time.

If you focus on any more, it is likely none will be executed well, but if you have any less, you risk your pipeline drying up if something shifts in your market.

To identify which channels to focus on, you first need to know where your current leads originate.

I suggest you include a question in your scripts or processes to capture this information.

Once you can identify this, over a while you’ll see which are the most successful in terms of lead quantity and, just as important, quality.

Nurturing three relationships/lead sources takes time if it’s done well, so prioritise these and optimise the opportunities you generate from them.

If one source begins to slow down or dry up, only then should you start to tackle another. 

What gets measured gets managed

Just like high-performing salespeople, high-performing business development managers need to know their metrics.

As a minimum, you need to know:

  • how many prospecting calls you make 
  • how many appraisals you conduct
  • how many listings you sign.

If you know your target is 30 listings per month, tracking your close rates (the number of calls you convert to appraisals and the number of appraisals you convert to listings) means you can work backwards in achieving this goal.

You might find you are 100 calls short of appraisal targets, or four appraisals short of conversion targets each week, as an average.

If this is the case, you can adjust your ideal week and ‘big rocks’ to make space for this increase in output.

Client experience touchpoints

This was spread across two sessions and hosted by all three of us as it’s something we’re all passionate about!

There are many opportunities in our workflows to add in automated and scalable client experience touchpoints – and when we talk clients, we’re talking landlords and tenants. 

We know building trust takes at least eight interactions, and we looked at ways to ramp these up faster at the beginning of a relationship.

This can be achieved for new landlords and tenants before a tenant even moves in, which helps build solid foundations for meaningful relationships.

Additionally, there are predictable ‘business as usual’ points of contact that we can build great experiences around – think rent reviews, inspections, and maintenance.

Reviewing every opportunity to interact with your clients means you can improve their experience working with you and hopefully remove any friction they may encounter.

So, there you have it, a snippet of 12 months’ worth of quality business development content recapped in 700 words.

Thanks to everyone who participated and shared – I learnt a bucketload from all of you (and thanks to our series sponsor, connectnow)!

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Hannah Gill

Hannah Gill is the Director of The Property Collective, REIACT President and one half of Gill & Hooper