Let’s face it – everyone wants to grow their rent roll.
Whether you’re an eager BDM wanting to impress the Principal, or an enthusiastic and driven property manager with your eye on the bigger picture – rent roll growth is the holy grail of any good property management division.
After all, with growth comes more opportunity for success all-round.
In my experience as the owner of a franchise real estate office and successful Property Management BDM, I see a lot of real estate companies make some really common, crucial mistakes in their attempts to grow their portfolio.
But there’s one I want to focus on right now.
We all know that hiring a good BDM is a surefire way to stimulate growth. However, it’s all good to have your BDM out there generating leads and securing new business, but not if that new business is lost within the first three months. I see it happen a lot.
Where I see a lot of divisions fail is in the handover process from BDM to property manager.
I see a lot of hard work wasted where a BDM works tirelessly on securing a new landlord (sometimes a relationship building process that can take 12 months), only to then poorly manage the internal handover process and lose the client within the first three months.
Remember, the BDM has most likely secured the new business through building a relationship with the property owner over a period of time. This relationship is often devalued, when a BDM handballs the property owner to the Property Manager as soon as he or she has signed on the dotted line.
I’ve done things a little different in my career and it’s worked a treat.
If I secure a new property owner, and their property is vacant, I make sure I’m the one who leases it. Traditionally, a Property Manager will do this process. However I’ve found that the property owner has built a rapport with the BDM, and appreciates them taking the time to find the right tenant for them.
After all, I’m in the best position to know exactly the type of tenant the owner wants, because I’m the one who’s been talking to them for the past year or so. By then, I often know about their family, where they go on holidays, why they bought the property. Everything.
So let’s at least give them the decency of a smooth handover so they can also start building a rapport with the property manager. Remember, this takes time.
So in the meantime, the BDM should find the tenant, continue liaising with the property owner and even conduct the first inspection.
Yes, you read that correctly. Doing the first inspection as the BDM shows the property owner that you care about how the property and tenant is going for them. I also make sure I call the property owner 30 days after the tenant is secured to ensure the end of month payment went through to them and to give them the opportunity to voice any concerns they may have.
It all seems like a fairly simple strategy – for the BDM to find the first tenant and do the first inspection - but it’s not commonplace and so many BDMs get it wrong when it comes to transitioning new business to the property manager.
I first introduce the property manager to the owner about 48 hours after the agreement is signed. Then we have a system in place that transitions the owner/property manager relationship. It works really well.
What most people don’t realise, is that the handover process never really ends. Any good BDM will strike a balance with their property owner to sustain an ongoing relationship while not hindering on the relationship that is forming with the property manager. It really is an ongoing process and when BDMs and property managers start to realise that, they’ll start to find the holy grail, too.
By Kasey McDonald