Do you enjoy sales? If you feel like you don’t, then you’re not good at doing business development. Why not just hire someone to do it for you? You have to get good at sales to be a business owner.
Property management growth expert and founder/CEO of DoorGrow, Jason Hull talks about and answers: When are you ready to get a property management business development manager (BDM)?
[01:19] When are you ready to hire a BDM? Wait until you are ready.
[01:58] How to know when you are ready to have a BDM to gain freedom and success.
[03:08] Business Owner: Learn how to sell, close to train your BDM to be successful.
[04:04] Partnership: If you’re not willing to do it, bring in experienced and proven BDM.
[05:33] Exception: Clients with BDM invested in and values business to get results.
[07:24] Sales can be fun, once you learn how to do specific actions and get good at it.
[08:47] Level Suck: You have to do the work. You have to suck. That’s where you start.
[10:34] 4 Reasons: Live your purpose to get fulfillment, freedom, contribution, support.
[11:16] Right Type of Person: Give them your knowledge, experience to surpass you.
[12:18] Jason’s Recommendation: Do the work because there are no shortcuts.
[14:45] Sales Challenge: Figure out how to make it easy and not painful, uncomfortable.
“Sales is the lifeblood of the business. This is where money and revenue flow into the business.”
“Usually, we don’t want to do it because we aren’t good at it. When we’re not good at something, it’s not very fun.”
“You have to do the work, and you have to suck, and that’s where we all start.”
“I know what good looks like, and I know what great looks like, and great is better than me.”
Welcome, DoorGrow hackers, to the DoorGrowShow. If you are a property management entrepreneur that wants to add doors, make a difference, increase revenue, help others impact lives, you are interested in growing your business and life, and you are open to doing things a bit differently, then you are a DoorGrow hacker.
DoorGrow hackers love the opportunities, daily variety, unique challenges, and freedom that property management brings. Many in real estate think you’re crazy for doing it. You think they’re crazy for not because you realize that property management is the ultimate high trust gateway to real estate deals, relationships, and residual income.
At DoorGrow, we are on a mission to transform property management businesses and business owners. We want to transform the industry, eliminate the BS, build awareness, change perception, expand the market, and help the best property management entrepreneurs win. I’m your host, property management growth expert, Jason Hull, the founder and CEO of DoorGrow. Now, let’s get into the show.
One of the things I wanted to talk about is a common question I get asked and a common situation is when are you ready to hire a BDM? This question came up this week. One of my clients thinks they want to get a BDM. I’ve heard lots of people hire BDMs and fail. This is more common than hiring BDMs and having success. This is the default.
Anytime I hear somebody excited, they hire a BDM. BDM either quits, it doesn’t work out. You may have tried to do this yourself. The challenge with this is that a lot of people tried to do this, but they weren’t ready. Let’s chat a little bit about how to be ready to have a BDM and how you know when you’re ready to have a BDM. If you feel like you don’t enjoy sales, you’re not good at doing business development. BDM stands for business development manager. It’s basically a salesperson in a property management business.
If you feel like you don’t like doing sales, you want to bring somebody in to do this, and you’re thinking, well, I suck at this. I don’t want to do this. This is uncomfortable so I should just hire somebody. The challenge is sales is the lifeblood of the business. This is where money and revenue flow into the business. If you are making that mistake, you need to realize you are not ready to get a BDM because you cannot train them. You cannot onboard them. You don’t have the scripts. You don’t have the ability to bring them into the business in a way that they will be successful.
I probably touched on this before, even recently, but I want to reiterate that if you feel like you’re not good at sales and you don’t know how to do it, then your only option is to bring somebody in that is already really good and proven at this or you have to learn to do this. For most of you, that means you need to learn how to sell. You need to learn how to close. I know a lot of times there’s resistance. Maybe it’s that you feel like it’s uncomfortable for some reason.
That discomfort is something as a business owner and entrepreneur, really, almost everything is sales in some way, shape, or form, which is just convincing people to do what’s in their best interest, which is helping people and benefiting people, getting your kids to eat their food, getting your kids to do their homework. That’s all sales. You have to get good at sales to be a business owner. It doesn’t mean you have to be the salesperson.
But if you’re not willing to do it, then you need to bring in another business owner. You’re going to need to share some sort of relationship or create some sort of partnership with somebody who is a proven BDM that’s added hundreds of doors to a property management business.
They will come in, but this is not going to be a cheap person that’s a brand new first-time BDM who’s never done this, that you can just go find somebody that knows how to do sales, bring them into the business, and they’ll have success. That’s not reality. You need to create a partnership. If you’re really not the person to do this, you need to go find somebody that’s at your level. They may want half your business if you’re just starting out. If you are experienced and you have a good sizable portfolio, maybe you can bring them in some sort of percentage of the revenue or percentage of the business.
It would need to be a pretty tempting situation for them to come in. There needs to be an incentive. These are people that could probably build their own business up. I know BDMs that have added 700 doors to a business and then gone on to another business and did something similar again. These are rare unicorn people that have had the experience that has done this. If you don’t know how to do this, you’re not going to be able to bring somebody in that’s starting from scratch and really be able to support them and convince them and tell them what to do.
Now, the only exceptions that I’ve seen to this, I have seen some clients come to me with a BDM. This BDM showed up and was invested in the business value, the success of the business, showed up to all coaching calls with me, got involved in the content in DoorGrow Academy, and they learned as if they were the business owner. They wanted to become good at selling, good at promoting the business, good at prospecting, good at driving revenue, and good at their job.
They were invested in it so they put in the work and the time to do it. They followed my advice and they were able to get great results. One client had, in just a short period of time, three maybe four months or less, had 300 doors, largely through creating a really good partnership with one owner that had a lot of doors, which is a dangerous situation normally.
Normally, I probably wouldn’t recommend doing that. They were aggressive and they were able to start adding doors. Then they landed a partner that is going to bring to the table hundreds of doors in the long run. That’s a really high level of investor.
Like I said, that can be dangerous, right? I’m sure many of you can guess why. You’re putting too many eggs in one basket. That owner has a little bit too much power over you. Then later, they had to have a conversation about setting some boundaries and some clear expectations to really determine this relationship and to be willing to walk away from that relationship. They’re in a position of power to be able to be a business owner instead of this person, this investor’s employee. It’s possible and I’ve seen BDMs come in and do really great work, but it’s rare. It’s rare to find somebody that’s willing to do and that wants to do that.
If you are wanting to go the more typical route, which means you need to learn how to sell. Usually, we don’t want to do it because we aren’t good at it. When we’re not good at something, it’s not very fun. It sucks to go play a sport like basketball if you suck at basketball. Once you get good at basketball, basketball is a lot of fun for people that play basketball.
Golf, maybe you sucked at golf, initially. If you’re a golfer, once you got somewhat good at it, it’d be a lot more fun. Maybe you found a way to make it fun even though you just still suck. Here’s the thing, you need to get to the place where you have put in the reps, you’ve done the work initially, to get good at sales, to figure out what works, what scripts to say, you have to get past that pain and that discomfort. Otherwise, you’re always going to project that onto your team members.
You’re never going to be able to guide them in the right way. You’re never going to be able to know if they’re doing a good job or not because you don’t even know what a good job looks like because you haven’t been able to do it.
If you’re expecting to push just results on them like get these results and I’ll give you a commission. You’re setting them up for failure because they need specific actions. They need the scripts. They need the language. They need to understand the target audience. They need to know the objections and how to deal with those. These are the things you learn by sucking and doing the work. You have to do the work and you have to suck. That’s where we all start. We all start at level suck.
If you are willing to suck, you don’t suck for very long because something’s uncomfortable. There’s pain and you change. You change quickly. You learn and adapt. That’s why you’re an entrepreneur. You are an entrepreneur because you are highly adaptable. You can change quickly. You can pivot. You can learn. You may have been rejected at some point in the past. Maybe when you were young, you got your feelings hurt, somebody rejected you or made you feel small or whatever.
Now, approaching people, starting things, or initiating seems threatening and dangerous to your brain. But your brain is a liar. Your brain is lying because it’s trying to protect you. But if you actually do the work, and if you do the prospecting tactics and methods that I share in our DoorGrow and Scale Mastermind and you do the work, then you’re going to get results. It’s inevitable. I’ve seen clients come in over and over and over again that were terrible at sales. They’re not good at it and didn’t think they liked it. They learned. They learned how to be good at it.
The common phrasing I hear is, it’s become like a game to me. It’s become fun. It’s fun when you have the skill and the knowledge to be able to be good at it and then it becomes fun. It’s like playing. You realize it’s not about being pushy or whatever beliefs you have about sales. It’s not about manipulating people. It’s not about bothering people, prospecting, it’s not. You are offering them some benefit. You’re solving people’s problems. You are making a difference in the world. That’s really what sales look like.
Sales become fun because it allows you to live your purpose and to make a difference and get those four reasons I’ve talked about before. You’re getting more fulfillment, more freedom, more contribution, and you’re making a difference and more support.
Then eventually, if you have other things that are more fun for you—they give you more freedom, more fulfillment, more contribution, more support in the business. What you really love and want to be doing, maybe it’s on the operation side, maybe it’s on the accounting side, or maybe it’s just not sales.
Once you are marginally good at it, a little bit good at it, you can bring in somebody else, get them probably to your point. If they’re the right personality type, the right type of person that can be good at this, you can give them your knowledge, help share with them what’s working, give them your experience, and they will then surpass you. They will supersede you.
I have team members on my team and I’ve done every role that exists in my business. But I have team members now that are all better at what they do than me. I’ve done it so I know. I know what good looks like and I know what great looks like, and great is better than me.
I bring in people that are better than me at doing these things. I’m actually in this situation now that I have somebody over sales and marketing on my team. Now he is offloading and bringing on and we’re training two new salespeople. I’m rebuilding my sales team, so to speak, and I’m no longer doing the sales. I’ve been doing the sales for the last little while as we launched a new product and service, this mastermind that we’ve had for the last year.
My recommendation is to put in your reps, do the work, there are really no shortcuts to this. If you’re willing to experience that pain, challenge, or whatever your brain is telling you a story, I think you’ll realize it’s never as bad as your brain makes it out to be.
I’ve seen entrepreneurs in property management with hundreds of doors that are down about 200 doors due to sales over previous years, which is very typical of the larger companies right now. They’re feeling pain and worried that they’re not going to be able to pay team members. They’re going to have to lay some people off and try to hire a BDM through a BDM placement company. Then that person spends time and money trying to get them into the situation, expecting another company to be able to train them, bring them in and it didn’t work.
I’ve seen small companies hire BDMs and bring them in, and it didn’t work. You have to do this. My recommendation is to tell your brain to shut up. It’s trying to lie to you and protect you. Sometimes you have to do the thing that’s uncomfortable, even though it feels like you don’t want to. You need to be willing to say, […] to your feelings and do it deep down, you know you should do. If this is resonating with you, you deep down know that you need to figure this out. You have to eventually figure this out. You don’t have to do it forever. You don’t have to be the best at it. If you’re going to run a business, you have to be able to sell your business or services. You have to be able to figure out how to do that.
A lot of you are the salesperson, you are the BDM for your business. If you’re doing great, awesome. If I can help pour a little gasoline on that fire, that’d be even better. I love being able to do that. I love being able to double a client’s close rate, increase the amount of deals they’re closing, help them figure out how to get more deals at a higher price point to eliminate the scarcity that exists in the industry, and eliminate the race to the bottom in terms of price. I can help you do that.
If you are not that personality type and you are avoiding sales, you find it uncomfortable. You don’t want to do it. My challenge to you is let’s figure out how to make it easy, and it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. I’m really good at helping people figure out how can we make this easy, not painful, and help destroy those lies that your brain’s telling you that people are going to be mean to you, people are going to feel uncomfortable, people are going to reject you, or whatever it is your brains trying to scare you and tell you that’s true. Those are stories.
You can either keep those stories, or you can get results, but you can’t have both. You can’t keep these stories that are holding you back from doing sales or being successful at sales. Then also try and offload the sales. Train somebody else that doesn’t know how to do it when you aren’t in a state of integrity or know how to do it yourself. Let’s get you great at it. It’s not that hard to do.
I really believe sales is all about creating trust. It’s being real with people. It’s caring about other people that have been so caught up in your own head, worried about what you think, what you sound like and look like, how they’re perceiving you, and/ all that uncomfortable stuff. You really just need to start getting out of yourself, focusing on other people, and caring about other people. I can help you make that shift.
Hopefully this is helpful for those of you that are considering getting a BDM, thinking it’s some gateway to freedom and success. You aren’t ready for that gateway of freedom or success until you have all the ducks in a row to be able to really support this person so that if they are good, they’re actually going to stay. Because if they’re good and you don’t give them the support they need, they’re going to be out of there. I hear a lot of people complain about BDMs and fire BDMs. When I really dig deeper and ask questions, it wasn’t probably the BDM’s fault.
They sounded like a typical effective, probably good salesperson who just wasn’t given the proper support, wasn’t given the leads, wasn’t given the attention, wasn’t given the scripts, and wasn’t given the knowledge of how to go out and create a business. They were expected to just magically figure it all out without any real guidance.
Property management is a different industry than a lot of industries. Just because somebody was successful in sales in another industry doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily be successful in this. It means they have the capacity, but they also need guidance. If you don’t have the guidance to give, reach out, and let’s get this figured out for you.
Anyway, I hope this is helpful for those that have BDMs that aren’t really performing up to speed or you haven’t really gotten up to speed in your own role as a BDM. Until next time to our mutual growth. Bye, everyone.