BD MAS­TERY: SIX STEPS TO CLOSER COM­MU­NI­CA­TION

Tara Brad­bury re­veals how ri­valry be­tween agency de­part­ments could be stop­ping you from turn­ing lo­cal op­por­tu­ni­ties into a strong pipeline.

Elite Property Manager - - Contents - Tara Brad­bury

ISTILL RE­MEM­BER my first year in real es­tate; it was a big eye-opener for me. Prop­er­ties were selling for as low as $50,000 at one point, and I re­mem­ber think­ing I should re­ally save a de­posit and buy my first home.

Then in no time prices ex­ploded up to $150,000, $200,000 and $300,000, caus­ing a mas­sive buy­ing frenzy. Sales con­sul­tants were work­ing flat out and some prop­er­ties were be­ing sold three or even four times within a 12-month pe­riod.

I also re­mem­ber hav­ing to walk down to the bank each day to hand over a black leather bag with any­where up to $10,000 of trust money in cash. Look­ing back now, I’m sur­prised I wasn’t robbed, con­sid­er­ing I left at the same time ev­ery af­ter­noon, strut­ting down the street in my stun­ning high heels with not a care in the world.

The con­nec­tion be­tween the prop­erty man­age­ment and sales de­part­ments was pretty much nonex­is­tent at this time. Sales con­sul­tants saw the prop­erty man­age­ment team as sup­port staff, and they were ex­pected to be the first to pick up any in­com­ing call. The prop­erty man­agers also had pre­con­ceived ideas about the sales con­sul­tants, say­ing they were over­paid and lazy.

Ini­tially, as a 17-year-old fall­ing into the real es­tate in­dus­try straight out of high school, earn­ing $300 per week was fan­tas­tic! Many of my friends went to univer­sity in the city, but in­stead I chose to live at home, paid cash for my first car and be­lieved I was truly liv­ing the dream.

But af­ter a while I started re­al­is­ing I wanted more; I felt that the real es­tate in­dus­try might not be the right fit for me and started con­sid­er­ing other op­tions. I was work­ing in a very neg­a­tive en­vi­ron­ment with agents who had been in the in­dus­try for over 20 years, em­brac­ing change was very dif­fi­cult for them. Then at the age of 21 I was of­fered a po­si­tion with another lo­cal real es­tate agency; I jumped ship and never looked back. For those of you who have fol­lowed my jour­ney, my BDM ca­reer was with a lo­cal com­pany, Wide Bay Pres­tige Prop­er­ties, and as a men­tor my­self I now see how lucky I was to work with such a fan­tas­tic or­gan­i­sa­tion.

I now have the plea­sure of work­ing one on one with agen­cies across Aus­trala­sia, shar­ing with them dif­fer­ent rent roll growth strate­gies to help im­prove their most valu­able as­set in the agency. It still amazes me how many of­fices are miss­ing the con­nec­tion be­tween the prop­erty man­age­ment and sales de­part­ments. I see so many in-house op­por­tu­ni­ties leak­ing through the cracks and go­ing to com­peti­tors ev­ery day, all be­cause the prop­erty man­age­ment and sales de­part­ments refuse to com­mu­ni­cate with each other.

So how do we im­prove the com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween de­part­ments and get the ben­e­fit of these op­por­tu­ni­ties sit­ting right un­der our noses? Let me share with you my sixstep process.

Step One: Im­ple­ment weekly meet­ings for sales and prop­erty man­age­ment to­gether. If you have a full­time BDM they should at­tend both meet­ings.

Step Two: Dis­cuss pos­si­ble re­fer­rals that can be passed be­tween both de­part­ments from con­ver­sa­tions with clients over the pre­vi­ous week.

Step Three: Pro­vide ap­praisals be­tween both de­part­ments to en­sure our clients see us a one-stop shop for all real es­tate needs.

Step Four: Share changes and mar­ket up­dates be­tween the de­part­ments to en­sure the agency is seen as the in­vest­ment prop­erty spe­cial­ist in the mar­ket­place.

Step Five: Set up a part­ner­ship ar­range­ment or some form of in­cen­tive for any

I KNOW MANY SALES AGENTS WHO DON’T HAVE CON­FI­DENCE IN THE PROP­ERTY MAN­AGE­MENT TEAM; IN­STEAD THEY HAVE EX­TER­NAL RE­LA­TION­SHIPS WITH DI­RECT COM­PETI­TORS TO PRO­TECT THE RE­LA­TION­SHIP THEY HAVE CRE­ATED.

busi­ness passed be­tween the prop­erty man­age­ment and sales de­part­ments.

Step Six: The di­rec­tor or prin­ci­pal cre­ates a com­pe­ti­tion around re­fer­rals passed and busi­ness se­cured. Those who are com­pet­i­tive and money-driven will get right into the chal­lenge.

Many sales agents are re­luc­tant to pass on the client to a prop­erty man­ager be­cause they don’t have the con­fi­dence the prop­erty will be looked af­ter. In fact, I know many sales agents who don’t have con­fi­dence in the prop­erty man­age­ment team; in­stead they have ex­ter­nal re­la­tion­ships with di­rect com­peti­tors and are let­ting the busi­ness down to pro­tect the re­la­tion­ship they have cre­ated.

From my own ex­pe­ri­ence I can guar­an­tee that the fol­low­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties are not be­ing fol­lowed up in your agency 100 per cent ef­fec­tively.

• Cur­rent land­lords

• Cur­rent ten­ants

• Cur­rent trades­peo­ple

• Past land­lords

• Past ten­ants

• Con­tacts on ten­ant ap­pli­ca­tion forms

• Open home at­ten­dees list

• Auc­tion at­ten­dees list

• Buyer leads through web­site or advertising

• Past buy­ers

• Past sellers

• Data­base fol­low-up – hot, warm and cold leads. It is vi­tal that as an agency you form stronger re­la­tion­ships with your clients, an­swer all their ques­tions and ad­dress their con­cerns. You should al­ways build long-term and trusted re­la­tion­ships with your clients; they are en­trust­ing you with their prop­erty, which is very im­por­tant to their fu­ture. So if the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the prop­erty man­age­ment and sales de­part­ments is nonex­is­tent in the agency, how do you think that will re­flect in the mar­ket­place?

I en­cour­age you to take the time to look at how each and ev­ery mem­ber of your agency com­mu­ni­cates with oth­ers. Are you work­ing in a pos­i­tive and pro­duc­tive en­vi­ron­ment? Or are you in a team that has a re­ac­tive ap­proach to change and strug­gles to con­nect?

Don’t let poor com­mu­ni­ca­tion in your agency dam­age your brand in the mar­ket­place.

TARA BRAD­BURY is the Di­rec­tor of the BDM Academy. She shares her busi­ness de­vel­op­ment ideas and strate­gies with prop­erty man­age­ment BDMs and prin­ci­pals. For more in­for­ma­tion visit bd­macademy.com.au.

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