THE KEY ROLE OF A BUSI­NESS de­vel­op­ment man­ager (BDM) is to source new strate­gic op­por­tu­ni­ties for the busi­ness, while build­ing and main­tain­ing re­la­tion­ships with re­fer­ral part­ners, prospects and clients. But what does a ‘next level’ BDM look like? Tara Br

Elite Property Manager - - Business Development Mastery - Tara Brad­bury

The role of a BDM can be many things, depend­ing on the com­pany struc­ture. Many busi­nesses over­com­pli­cate the role and in­cor­po­rate too many ex­pec­ta­tions and KPIs, leav­ing the BDM lost and un­cer­tain as they fail to achieve ex­pected tar­gets. To get the most out of your BDM you need to have a clear un­der­stand­ing of the dif­fer­ence be­tween mar­ket­ing, sales and busi­ness de­vel­op­ment.

Mar­ket­ing at­tracts cus­tomers to the brand or busi­ness and is usu­ally gen­er­ated dig­i­tally and through var­i­ous me­dia out­lets, such as print, TV, ra­dio and on­line. Sales take the leads and con­vert them into busi­ness. Busi­ness de­vel­op­ment, on the other hand, works to seek and cre­ate new op­por­tu­ni­ties and leads, and build a strong growth pipe­line.

Busi­ness de­vel­op­ment can help iden­tify and ex­e­cute new ar­eas of busi­ness, new op­por­tu­ni­ties, new re­fer­ral part­ners and new prod­ucts. This is done typ­i­cally through part­ner­ships be­tween an­other com­pany and your BDM.

No mat­ter what in­dus­try you op­er­ate in, the fun­da­men­tals for suc­cess­fully em­ploy­ing a BDM are the same. • In the in­ter­view, make sure you ask di­rect ques­tions re­lated to the role and what they know about the busi­ness. • Talk with the team about the can­di­date; get feed­back and sup­port for the new team mem­ber. • Once se­cured, en­sure they have a de­tailed job de­scrip­tion, key per­for­mance in­di­ca­tors and an un­der­stand­ing of the type of ne­go­ti­a­tion power they have when at the list­ing ap­point­ment. • En­sure they know, un­der­stand and are 100 per cent pas­sion­ate about the brand, team and fee struc­ture they are pro­mot­ing. • If you have a sales team, help this process by cre­at­ing the in­tro­duc­tion. • Pro­vide feed­back when the BDM comes in with a list of re­fer­ral part­ners they would like to con­nect with. You don’t want them to be do­ing busi­ness with peo­ple you don’t know and trust. • Lastly, have a strong

ac­count­abil­ity plan in place and don’t be afraid to ask the tough ques­tions. These may all seem log­i­cal steps, but they can eas­ily be missed when a man­ager just lets the BDM walk into the role with no guid­ance or ac­count­abil­ity plan.

As a BDM, al­ways start by fo­cus­ing on how you can help them, not what they can do for you – and re­mem­ber, the over­all goal is to start build­ing long-term, prof­itable re­la­tion­ships.

For ex­am­ple, if you were speak­ing with an ac­coun­tant you could say, ‘I work with many prospects and clients who have tax-re­lated ques­tions and they nor­mally call up around the mid­dle of each year. I would love to be able to re­fer them to some­one I know and trust, and would ap­pre­ci­ate hear­ing a lit­tle more about your busi­ness and how you as­sist your prop­erty in­vest­ment clients.’

You can also help each other stim­u­late re­fer­rals by run­ning joint in­vestor evenings, shar­ing ar­ti­cles on news­let­ters, web­sites and so­cial me­dia up­dates.

A good BDM will be su­per­proac­tive in pass­ing on a re­fer­ral – it’s a great way to show you’re lis­ten­ing to your clients’ wants and needs. If you want to be seen as the in­vest­ment prop­erty spe­cial­ist in your area, you need to start per­form­ing like one and be ready to share so­lu­tions.

The next-level BDM knows what it takes to stand out and be dif­fer­ent, and won’t take no for an an­swer. They en­sure they are de­vot­ing 100 per cent at­ten­tion to the role, and are on the phone or in face-to-face meet­ings ev­ery day, with the goal of hav­ing at least one ap­praisal booked each day. ■


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