Are you a business owner whose background is focused more on sales than marketing? Do you only have a minimal understanding of property management? You’re not alone, and that’s why Kasey McDonald founded a property management training academy that educates business owners.
Today, I am talking to Kasey about business development manager (BDM) growth and marketing strategies. She has 20 years of real estate experience, predominantly in property management. Kasey shows business owners how to set up and structure their property management businesses, as well as what is needed to in terms of BDM to focus on growth and profitability. She’s passionate about property management and wants to do what she can to improve the industry and other people’s businesses.
[03:30] Four Doors to Revenue: 1) Deals; 2) Doors; 3) Duration; 4) Dollars.
[04:23] BDM is not just about the landlord/investor, but retention with tenants; know importance of a service to consumers.
[07:10] Kasey’s education and coaching process focuses on a business’s vision around goals and targets for growth; need to have realistic KPIs for team members.
[09:30] Who is a BDM? Prospecting force in property management who has a mindset/skill set to grow rapidly and adapt to strategies.
[13:07] BDM Job Description: Prospecting to increase number of doors, and research quality and type of property; building different relationships with vendors.
[18:35] Other BDM responsibilities include marketing and understanding their market to be the local expert; you should know everything to pull in your target audience.
[20:00] BDMs should make and bank at least 10 connections per day to achieve 20 to 30 new doors a month – 50% conversion of becoming clients.
[21:36] Sales Pipeline Stages: Connections, follow ups, appraisal evaluation, research vs. decision, and conversion.
[26:12] Lead generation is challenging for salespeople; if they don’t have leads, they have to prospect and focus on generating leads by understanding their demographic.
[29:05] Batch tasks and use technology to make things easier; different technologies impact and reach different people in different ways.
[33:36] ABCs of being a BDM: Personality, attitude, and work ethic; need to be passionate and driven, have conversations, and overcome/negotiate objections.
[38:55] Focus on marketing and communication strategies that use video because email is becoming obsolete; text messaging, walking door-to-door, and flyers are still effective.
[46:25] Tenants tend to have a negative perception of landlords/managers because they don’t do maintenance or fix things; discuss your procedures/processes with tenants.
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Jason: All right, we are live. Welcome DoorGrow hackers to the DoorGrowShow, if you are a property management entrepreneur that wants to add doors, make a difference, increase your revenue, help others, impact lives and you are interested in growing your business and in 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 their 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 manager, and growth expert Jason Hull the founder of OpenPotion, GatherKudos, ThunderLocal, and of course DoorGrow.
Let’s get into the show. So today I’m hanging out with Kasey McDonald who is very far away from me at the present, I think. Where you at Kasey?
Kasey: I’m in Boston today.
Jason: You’re in Boston today? Okay. Well, you brought your accent which is super cool, with you. So, Kasey, we’re going to be talking today about BDM growth and marketing strategies, right?
Jason: So let’s start out by, give people a little bit of background. Who’s Kasey McDonald and why should they listen to Kasey McDonald? So tell us a little bit about you.
Kasey: Thanks very much for having me on the show Jason. So 20 years in real estate and predominately in property management. I have owned my own property management company about four years ago. I’ve got some experience there from business ownership. But originally started in reception role and worked my way through into property management and instantly into business development and then business ownership.
I kind of touched all different areas of the companies and now I’m also training and consulting. I’m absolutely passionate about property management and I want to just improve the industry and other people’s businesses.
Jason: Cool. So we’re in alignment there and so your bio says that you’ve helped people all across Australia and New Zealand and in the US. Tell us a little bit about what you do currently with property management businesses.
Kasey: Yeah, well with the property management training academy that I founded a couple of years ago, it was purely designed to educate the business owners who from my experience have certainly got more or a sales focused background and that generally the history of where they’ve come from and they don’t have a very good or little understanding of property management. I started the business to be able to educate the business owners around, well how they need to set up their property management businesses, what kind of stuff they need to have, how they should be structured.
As a part of that strategy, what kind of stuff in terms of BDM to focus on the growth side and more so around the profitability. It is not just about how many doors people are managing, it’s also about whether or not they’re generating the right level of income from those doors. So I’m passionate about making sure that their businesses are operating efficiently, but also profitable.
Jason: Yeah, I agree. So one of the concepts I’m really big on is what we call the four doors to revenue or the four Ds, the four DoorGrow multipliers. There’s these four numbers that if multiplied is equal the revenue and real quick, the number of deals you’re getting on or that you’re retaining so it’s deals. The second D is doors. How many doors per deal. If you can move that needle from a one on average to a two, you’ve doubled your revenue.
The next D duration, how long can you keep them on and retention is a big deal, big difference between like an accidental investor that’s one year and the 10 year buy-and-hold. So 10 times difference, that’s a big multiplier and then the last multiplier, the last D is dollars. Making sure that you’ve got a really good fee structure in place because yeah you’re right, it’s not just about doors. Let’s talk about BDMs and let’s talk about some of these BDM growth and marketing strategies. So what does it really take to be a BDM in the business do you think?
Kasey: Well a BDM, it’s more of a sales focused and driven person in that regard. So although I still believe that they need to have definitely a level of understanding of property management, but do they have me to have done property management themselves? Maybe not, but they need to certainly understand the sales side of it. It’s about selling the service of the property management team in the business underneath them. I don’t think the BDM is there to sell themselves, it’s about the property managers and the team and the business overall.
From a BDM’s perspective, that was certainly an area where it was kind of just that natural transition for me as a property manager, sort of what you do next and that was the part that I took by stepping into that position. Sales I thought didn’t really come natural to me at the beginning but I think it actually does. It’s about having some really good skill set of knowing what service is and how important that is to the consumer and what I mean by the consumer, of course, is the tenant and the landlord. I don’t just think that being a BDM it’s not just about the landlord or the investor, it’s about the retention with your tenants as well.
Jason: So BDMs need to be somebody they can sell or has a bit of bite and drive to them. Somebody that’s willing to probably—I see them as somebody that needs to be willing to push past objections, they’re a little bit more naturally aggressive when it comes to follow up. they feel much more comfortable calling somebody, following up, whereas somebody that’s not driven or inclined towards that, they probably feel like they’re just bothering everybody all the time. They don’t want to be bothered. That’s probably not the right fit for somebody that’s going to be a BDM.
Kasey: Yeah, I absolutely agree. There are some property managers out there who I think certainly do have the skill strength to step into a BDM role but I do find that they’re probably through completely different characteristics and mindsets because there’s a part of nurturing that you need to have as a BDM as well that’s where the client retention phase comes into that. You certainly need to have that shock I suppose mentality of going out there and facing those objections and understanding what you need to do to overcome them and be certainly comfortable in that space to do so. Picking that phone up when you know that maybe that’s going to be your cold lead, but how do you then converse that lead into something that’s going to be warm or hot and understanding that strategy.
Jason: Yeah. This is one of the great failures I see in property management businesses is that they try to offload the sales piece. Maybe because they’re not good at it or maybe because they need to get out of that role in order to expand the business then you can kind of give that up. And then they bring in somebody that if they’re not naturally a salesperson, they bring in somebody like themselves that is not naturally a salesperson because usually, those personality types are quite different.
And so sometimes, if you have problems—process-oriented type of personality and they’re running the company and that’s why they got into property management because maybe they weren’t that sharp that was in real estate, closing and crashing deals and enjoyed the hunt. They might be turned off by that personality type. They might think, “Oh, that’s not me, that’s not the person I might want in the business.” and sometimes there’s that disconnect. So how do you help them kind of get past that sort of mindset that, “Hey, you need somebody but it might not be like you.”
Kasey: Yeah, I think it’s really important to look at the strategies of what actually is the role of the BDM and breaking that actual role down and I think that’s probably the first phase where I would start in the education and coaching process that I do with the business owners is understanding what the vision of their business is, so what are their goals and targets around that growth. It’s looking at where do they see themselves in six, 12 months, 18 months, two years time. How they actually worked out what the growth strategy is per month. What are the activities you need to be doing to achieve that growth outcome?
So everyone can say, “I would love to grow 20 a month.” But is it actually achievable in your marketplace to do so? So it’s about also having obviously realistic KPIs set in order for that person who’s underneath you to achieve that. And also understanding that a person isn’t you, so they’re going to deliver the service or talk about the phase structures and services of the property management team in a completely different way to how the business owner would. So it’s you sitting there and talking through maybe some of the dialogue around how you would share that service with those consumers and then allowing that person to determine their own dialogue and language around that.
Jason: So let’s mention what a BDM is because this is a term that’s really common in Australia but it’s not so common in the US. I think it means Business Development Manager, right?
Jason: The reason I think it’s brilliant that you use this phrase BDM in Australia and the reason why I think it’s being adopted in the US is because, if you mention sales at all it connected to properties in any way, the assumption is it’s associated with real estate and so it creates that confusion. So instead of being a property management salesperson, you’re BDM and so it’s kind of developed that way. Is that do you think why it kind of developed in Australia originally?
Kasey: Yeah. I think it was that in Australia, we were trying to determine what was the best way for us to be able to grow the business and it was always a property manager’s will to do so. And I think it was just small highlighting the fact that that person didn’t have the right mindset or the skills to be able to grow rapidly and I think by the introduction of the business development manager in Australia saw businesses grow quite quickly and adapting the same strategies as a typical realtor sales agent would be doing sorry.
It’s those prospecting force. It’s door knocking, pamphlet delivery, all of those different activities that if you look at a traditional sales role, I think regardless of what industry you’re in, typically sales is sales across any industry so what kind of activities you’re doing, you just adapt them to your particular marketplace and the industry that you’re in. I think it was more than we highlighted that we needed to grow. Obviously, in Australia, the asset value of having a property management business is in some areas three times the revenue value of that business.
It’s actually quite a good asset for you to have by having a property management business. So the more properties you have on to management, obviously the better income or the better wealth you’re going to generate out of that when you retire.
Jason: Right. Answer me this about Australia. The term BDM, is that a common phrase in other industries in Australia?
Jason: It is? Okay. Some people are aware of it in the US but it’s not very common here as a phrase. “I’m a BDM.” there’s a lot of people who’ll be saying, “What does that mean?” so I think that if we still get a little bit of that in the US but we’ve naturally gravitated towards that term BDM or that acronym because there’s that challenge of distinguishing it from sales in real estate which is very different. So a BDM in property management.
Kasey: Yeah, we have others that say client service manager. They might look at something around a customer service perspective because they’ll focus their position around the retention of the portfolio. Yes, they’re still looking at the growth side of it but that would slightly have a different variation to the BDM title because that person might also undertake different tasks for that business as well.
Jason: Yeah, I mean the retention side is a whole different category in the functions of a business retention is a whole different category. That’s very different than the sales side of things. So a lot of that focuses on providing really good service and customer service, so that’s interesting. So let’s get into the job description of a BDM. So let’s start with the role, how do you define the role of a BDM? What is their job?
Kasey: Well, their job specifically is to increase the number of doors on the management of course. So it is also looking at the quality and the type of property that you consider in bringing on. So that would be the first place in the education phase of bringing the BDM on, it’s certainly looking at your market and understanding the different types of property and researching to understand of course the clientele that you want to bring on.
I’m a big believer that not all business is good business. So you need to make sure it’s the right kind of business for you. it’s educating your BDM and your property management team around that, what kind of stuff do we want, what’s the quality of it, are we looking into different up price bracket as well that we only want to bring on that type of property. So that would be the first key area. The main area or main task activity for the BDM is prospecting.
They have to be willing to certainly pick to find out. They can’t be afraid of that and be willing to do those face-to-face appointments. It could be in a platform exactly like we’re doing today Jason as well. It doesn’t always have to be over the phone or meeting them personally. I use this all the time with clients that I had in different countries or in different states.
It’s a people business so people want to feel comfortable with you and sometimes you can’t be relatable in an email or on the phone sometimes, so we’re doing it in this form. At least I get to see your face and put a face to the name as well. That’s certainly really important. Regardless of whether you’re prospecting or not, I think it’s a strategy people can adapt and adapt to.
I think it’s just breaking down really what the activities and tasks are. A lot of what I do is I say to that business owner, “Okay, you’ve got a very good sales business here, let’s pinpoint what your key salesperson is doing, they might be writing $1 million.” So what is it that they do every day, what does their day look like and let’s duplicated that and make it more around property management. So if they’ve got their ideal day or week planned out, I like to speak with that particular salesperson and then just slightly change those activities around obviously the PM side of the business.
Jason: Okay. So we’ve got the role, we’ve got the responsibilities and so what do they really – what are some of the responsibilities that they—kind of the daily tasks that would encompass their day. What are the responsibilities that they’re responsible for?
Kasey: Putting obviously prospecting aside, I think that’s one that we all know that they have to do. There is, of course, building those different relationships. A big task for a BDM is to actually get out a networking community. It doesn’t mean that you have to be involved in BNI chapters or Chamber of Commerce and all those types of things, but adopt a similar philosophy to what those kinds of forums has brought into play. That’s something that I did when I had my business. The BNI chapter didn’t work for me in my area because I was in a small town.
So I thought well I can still use the same philosophy and I’ve built the relationships with my vendors so I’ve had my electrician and plumbers and handyman and used to actually get them into the business and invite them in, so they understood what we did and I wanted to understand more so around their business as well and I helped promote them. So they used to become my biggest referrers of clients.
Jason: If I had vendors in Australia?
Kasey: So they’ll be your contractors or tradespeople, your maintenance team. What I did that was a little differently was I had a quarterly catch up with them and would just chat with them with a few beers and stuff on a Friday afternoon. But actually, talk to them around how is the real estate market going as well. So it would be a little bit educational for them because they may not have had an investment property or if they did, you’d be talking to them around why we’d be the agency of choice for them.
As a part of that conversation where you’re also working in other people’s homes and it may be properties that we don’t manage or maybe we need to sell those properties. So they would actually then refer me to people that may not have even meddled with and might not have been in my database purely because of that. My biggest referrer was my electrician. He used to send me a minimum of five names a month.
Kasey: It was barely a cost-effective exercise to put on a bit of a barbecue and a few beers for them every now and again.
Jason: Yeah I love it. I love the idea of vendor prospecting. That’s great.
Kasey: I think it’s about working with your community in a different way. If you’ve got a really cool little cafe or coffee shop near office make, have some of your appointments down there at that coffee shop. Obviously, with technology, we can be doing these types of meetings there but also you can then on share that you’re at that cafe through social media, invite your clients to come along as well. Give your landlord and tenant clients vouchers for that coffee shop so it starts getting people around into the community as well. I think it’s just kind of thinking outside of the box with some of the strategies and really it’s about talking to people and building the relationship.
Jason: So what other responsibilities might the BDM have besides doing the networking, doing this prospecting stuff, what other things should be listed on their job description do you think?
Kasey: I definitely think that marketing plays a big part in what the BDM does. They don’t need to be a professional photographer it’s not what I’m meaning by utilizing the term marketing but it’s about understanding the market that they’re actually in. So it’s when they’re talking about the services that you’re offering as a property management company is what is the rental market like in that particular area. How long is it going to take until we find a suitable tenant? What are the vacancy periods. What is the average or median rent prices in the area?
When you are conducting that valuation for your clients, you sound like the local expert. You know everything, you know if there’s other developments going on. From a marketing perspective, I think it starts there and then it’s looking at the demographics of where or who the people are in your neighborhood.
So if you’re thinking or this property might suit this type of person, then we need to consider the way in which when marketing that property to suit those people. It’s about trying to pull in the correct audience as well. It’s not something the BDM might know to do straight away, but it’s certainly a skill set that they should know or what to know more about.
Jason: So let’s get into the results that are expected of a BDM. So what are the results, what should be listed on the job description about the results for a BDM? What are they expected to accomplish?
Kasey: Well if I’ll talk about the prospecting side of it first and if I’m just talking around calls the coaching clients that I work with, they’re expected to make a connection and that is to bank a minimum of 10 connections per day. So sometimes that could mean that you might make 50 telephone calls in order to just actually make 10 connections. If they are making those 10 connections consistently every single day, then they would be achieving anywhere between 20 and 30 new doors a month and that’s just by doing that one activity.
Jason: Got it, okay. And so one of the biggest expectations would be 10 connections a day. What other expected results or accomplishments would be required?
Kasey: As a part of that as well obviously in regards to how many appraisals or evaluations you’re actually doing with your client. So in order to achieve that 20 and if we’re looking at probably I would say an average would be a 50% conversion. We’ve got some clients recently doing 80% to 90% conversion but if we’re looking at being realistic and I think it’s fair to say that 50% is very realistic.
Jason: You’re saying 50% conversion of those that they’re doing appraisal evaluations for?
Jason: Okay, are becoming clients?
Kasey: Are becoming clients, yes.
Jason: So let’s take a quick step back. So what do you feel like are the stages of the sales pipeline that a BDM should be aware of then? So we’ve got, if they’re doing 10 connections a day and they’ve got this initial—and then what would the next step be appraisal evaluations?
Kasey: Yes. Let’s just say we’ve had a call into the business so that’s obviously your first connection. They are asking for information regarding your services. So then that next connection would be that information going out to them and then the follow up call. So big activity for a BDM is the follow ups. So that’s where the nurturing comes into play in building that relationship. I would suggest that that would be a 24-hour process of those. So within that 24 hours, you should have touched that person three times and then continue that process.
It depends obviously on the cycle of that client as to whether or not they’re in the position that within those 24 hours to actually be making a decision or is it that this is just something that’s new to them and they’re thinking about it. so that’s probably the first question that we need to ask is, “Are you ready to make a decision now or is this just some research in the information you’re obtaining?” if they’re a client that’s ready to make a decision, you should be able to convert them within the first 30 days of you having that first conversation.
Jason: Okay, got it. so maybe there’s the first connection, the cold interaction, the calling, whatever you want to call it, then maybe the info packet or video or content that you get out to them, then a follow up within 24 hours and then hopefully, that’s pushed towards maybe an appraisal evaluation and then probably some follow up to see if you can convert them and close the deal?
Kasey: Yes, absolutely. As a part of the dialogue that I suggest is that it’s around when would you like me to get back to you? When’s a really good time for me to give you a call back to continue talking through the process. And I think it’s important to ask that because then you also are addressing any needs or you’re listing to the client in regards to what they’re wanting from you as well.
So they might be saying, “Look, you may call in seven days.” whatever it might be. so actually I think it’s really important to honor that, don’t call them back in three days if they said, “Can you call me in seven days?” and I think sometimes, that’s where we can go wrong as a BDM because we might go in too hard and really push it and I think that’s where we then can lose the business so it’s just understanding and agent and client is completely different.
I’ve had people walk in the door and they said, “We’re ready to sign right now, we actually don’t care what the fees and charges are, we’re just so unhappy and we need to find a new property management team.”
Jason: That’s great.
Kasey: Yeah, it would be great if that happens every day but it doesn’t. I think it’s about understanding the cycle of where that investor client’s at.
Jason: Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. One of things I teach clients when I teach sales is that they should set a follow up expectation. My goal is always in sales to schedule the next interaction if at all possible. I’ll try to push to schedule it and say, “Hey, when do you think you’ll be able to watch this or get through this?” or whatever they need to do and they’ll tell me, you know, if they say Wednesday, I’ll say, “Great, would it be cool if we set up a call Thursday to connect?” so I try to schedule that interaction and then if they’re like, “Well, I don’t know. I’m not sure what my…” And they’re not willing to commit to a time then I’ll say, “Well how about I just try reaching out maybe Friday or something like this.”
And so I set a follow up expectation would be okay and I get permission, “Would it be okay then if I just maybe follow up with you next week?” or something along these lines and then you can put that in your CRM and you can mark that, all right I get to follow up on this day. You’re right, you’re honoring them, you’re allowing them to choose into this. So back to the expectations for doing maybe 10 connections a day. How many appraisal evaluations do you think that would be roughly a month maybe then? That would be an expected accomplishment?
Kasey: Yes. If they’re signing 20 on average and I’d say that a fairly good BDM should be the expectation that that should be a KPI goal. If they’re a very good BDM at a minimum, they should be doing 20 a month.
Jason: Twenty deals or 20 evaluations?
Kasey: Twenty deals a month. So then if we break that down, they should in order to obviously get a success rate of that 50%, they would need to be doing 40 evaluations a month. So that’s two a day.
Jason: Yeah, I love it. One of the big challenges for salespeople is lead generation. so if they don’t have leads coming in and they have to then go shift towards doing the prospecting in generating the leads, they’re not really able to operate in their full role as a salesperson because they’re doing some of the foundational stuff to generate business which we’ve talked a little bit about so if that’s the case, what’s sort of the expectation there for them if they don’t have leads or opportunities coming in? Would that be to do the networking and the prospecting?
Kasey: Yes, absolutely. I think it’s really important that it’s broken down and that it’s looking at focusing around—it could just be through a key task. It could be five key tasks but I think it’s focusing on what’s going to work in your area and I found the different BDMs completely different things work for them in their particular marketplace. As you know, video certainly is playing a big part now and across social media. It’s because if we’re considering where the new investors are coming in from and of course that’s how millennials that are coming through and that’s what they’re looking for, that’s how they interact.
It’s just understanding that demographic around what is their prospecting activities. But as I suggested before is, sit with the really top salesperson that you know or top realtor and say, “What is it that you do every day? Talk me through how many calls do you make. Do you do them in block out times?” I’ve got one particular client who does a block out time three times a day and focuses on calls. They do over 45 minutes and so the 45-minute call in the morning might be focusing on purely their follow ups.
It’s warm leads. They know that they’ve either done an appraisal evaluation before or they’ve had that kind of connection before. So the dialogue or the conversation across those calls that they’re making in that 45 minutes is kind of all the same. Then they will get on to be doing other activities. So it might be that then they go, “Okay, well now I need to market these two properties I just listed. I need to work on my scripting and eccentric and get that sorted. Finish that task and move on to the next task.
They then do around lunchtime, they do another 45-minute call session and they might just purely focus on this brand new leads in. so instead of them mixing up their calls and speaking to one person that they spoke to about that appraisal and then going to the next call where it’s a total cold lead, they’re keeping their call connects the same so the dialogue is the same and they’re are achieving better results by doing that. That was just something we’ve highlighted with them and they were able to sort of go from 10 to 12 new management’s a month and they just had a record month of 33.
Jason: Yeah, so that’s the time hack and it’s something that I teach clients also it’s that, it’s important to batch tasks. So batching tasks batching things together where you’re doing the same thing over and over again makes a lot more sense and it could be as simple as like all the pills that I take and supplements that I take, I fill up a pill case once a week and that way I can just take everything that I need at the right time and it’s super easy because otherwise, if going to get pill bottles or supplements or figuring out what I need, it takes me far more time than to do it once.
Batch that task in bulk and do it that way. same thing with my kids with homework, I found if they were given homework in advance, if I can convince them to do their homework in batch like let’s do the whole week’s homework and it took maybe an hour to crank it out it’s far easier than trying to have battles with them every single day to do their homework for this like 15 to 30-minute task. So I love the idea of batching tasks.
Kasey: Just to continue that question with one extra thing is, I think that we probably or don’t use our salesrooms as well as we could and we’ve got technology tools there. sometimes we are only using 30% or 40% of them and they’ve got functionalities in there that can keep some of these prospecting a momentum happening for you behind the scenes so that you can focus on those face-to-face conversations that you need to be having or doing more appraisals and valuations opposed to group campaigns going out and you’re sitting there thinking, what could I write in them and spending your time doing that. Look at what your CRM has in place and preplan for that. Have a day once a month that that’s what your focus is and you get your whole month planned out as well.
Jason: Yeah. A lot of CRMs aren’t used very well by salespeople and part of it is because if you are the right personality type that enjoys doing sales, you’re generally also not the type that loves doing note taking and tracking things and filling out spreadsheets, it’s not generally the same personality profile. I find it’s really important to make sure you have the CRM that gets out of the way of the salesperson and allows them to do their job instead of having lots of screens, lots of clicks and being really difficult for them to enter and do stuff.
Kasey: Absolutely. You should be there to enhance what they do, not make it harder.
Jason: So my favorite CRM that was built by sales teams that do high call volume and stuff like that is Close.io and that’s what we use internally and it has the phone call like the phone built into the system and the calls go right into it. So we can listen to our sales team’s calls. It immediately has a box where we can put in the notes and it’s made for people that are doing outbound or inbound phone based or communication calls. We’ve also found that text message is really a big deal.
A lot of people won’t answer their phones nowadays, they don’t listen to voicemail. So even though it has a cool feature to do voicemail drop, like people aren’t really listening to this. So we found text message to be really effective. leveraging text message so we will often call somebody or leave a voicemail to get them to get back to us if we aren’t able to reach them but then we’ll also text them and send them an email. So we’ll text them and say, “Hey, we just sent you an email. I wasn’t able to reach you by phone.” that sort of thing.
Different things impact different people. Different things will reach a different person in a different way. Most people are very appreciative that they’re interested. Natalie’s asking, “What CRM?” we use Close.io and that’s the website address, Close.io. one of the best CRMs that we’ve seen in the property management industry that’s built for property management is LeadSimple and a lot of property management clients that we have use LeadSimple and they’re trying to focus a little bit more on the systemizing and the automation and the email drips and that sort of thing.
I’m a big fan of creating connection. I love that you give your metric or your KPI as the number of connections that you’re having because connection is what people are craving nowadays in the society and we need it and connection is far different than just sending them an email.
Jason: So I like that idea. So let’s get into like the requirements. what are the cold like—their minimum requirements for somebody to get into this job role in the job description, like you need to know how to do A, B, C, and D.
Kasey: I’ll absolutely touch on the fact that you need to have those sales strengths. You need to be passionate and driven in that regard. You need to not be afraid of picking that phone up or having conversations with people. You said it right before that generally, that person with that nature is potentially not that great with administration work. If you’re in a property management role now and you’re finding that you’re struggling from that point of view, maybe your particular mindset is more shifted to a sales type position or it might be that your focus is on administration.
So, therefore, property management is probably more the role for you. So I think it’s looking at the actual skill strengths. You got to be able to negotiate, I think that’s the biggest thing as well and just overcoming those objections because we are going to get faced with them as a BDM. Probably more so than you will as a property manager because they want to talk to about your phase, they want to talk about why do I have to use or do this maintenance, why can’t I just do certain things myself.
So it’s about education around that. so that’s where I think it’s important that the BDM understands property management but they may not have specifically done the role themselves, but spend the time to educate yourself around what it is that your PM team are doing every single day so that then you can effectively overcome those objections and negotiate through that.
Jason: So there might be something that comes with training as they’re being on-boarded into this role. so as far like actual requirements, I think in most states in the United States, there is like a legal requirement that if you’re going to be talking about fees, you’re going to be doing this, you have to have like a real estate license or something along these lines. That’s not the case in every state.
But I think also it might be other requirements that they might be looking for. They need to probably be able to let you use and leverage technology yes that might be a basic level of requirement and I don’t know, there probably isn’t any sort of educational background that they have to have. I mean it sounds like it’s a lot more of a personality based instead of the right profile.
Kasey: Absolutely. I think that personality, their attitude and their work ethic because a BDM role is not nine to five and I’m not suggesting that property management isn’t either. However, if we do that role as a property manager effectively, it certainly can be. But BDMs role may require you to have to do a presentation at seven in the morning because your client is in a different state on a different time zone. So you need to accommodate around the fact that there may be additional hours that is required for you to get the deals done.
Again, it’s talking top those key or top salespeople within the industry and saying, “Well, talk me through your day and really, I want to know what it is that you do every day. What are the consistencies in the activities that you’re doing.” because I think again that’s really important and then from that, researching to see if there’s somebody that you may know in a different industry and I’m very big on finding someone who is customer service focused. Their focus is really around the client’s needs and wants and it can be finding that from a completely different industry.
I find retail or hospitality sectors because they are having that client interaction and face-to-face all of the time. If you see somebody who is offering that really good customer service, why not just approach them with a business card and say, “Have you ever thought about getting into real estate? Have you ever thought about doing what is a business development role?” which yes it is a sales role for property management but it’s not the same as you actually selling real estate. Just having a chat to them and say, “Why don’t you come and talk to us because we potentially might have a position because you have the right type of personality and attitude that we’re looking for.”
Jason: So what are your thoughts on sourcing from the real estate industry? Because in the US, there’s a lot of people that get the real estate licenses in a lot of areas, it’s not very hard to do. A lot of them don’t have a book of business, they’re struggling and then a lot of them Peter out or get out of that industry of business. They just don’t do it. If they have the right personality profile though for sales but they just don’t have a book of business, it seems to me that that might also be a good candidate, potential candidate for a BDM role.
Kasey: Absolutely. we do find that does occur in Australia as well especially sometimes when you’re in a market environment where it’s a little tough, in regards to selling real estate, it’s not that they’re not successful as a salesperson, it’s just that the market is really tough and it might be just over saturated so then they tend to look at a role similar to that. So they’re still selling, it’s just that they’re now selling a service opposed to selling a home.
Jason: Yeah, right. I like it. Let’s shift gears and get just in the marketing strategies. So what are some marketing strategies? I love the idea of the vendor prospecting. So what are some other marketing strategies that maybe a BDM could focus on?
Kasey: I think that with technology, the way that it is and it certainly is obviously changing and advancing every day, things are probably happening now that we don’t even know about. But I think video is absolutely playing a big part and certainly the push through social media but I think that it’s where the industry is getting too. I think that email is going to start to become a little obsolete in regards to that communication platform.
I certainly agree that text messaging is still having a very good effect features. they can check it on their phone, depending on what the message is, it’s their choice to call you back at that time or you’re still delivering that message, it’s a lot easier for them to read that and then continue on with their work than it is to stop and answer the phone. With the video, you can have the same message. I just used to do little video messages where some of them were prerecorded because it could be the same message.
But some were just where you grab my mobile phone and just say, “Hi, it’s Kasey here and I really appreciate your time today,” over the phone, “it’s just a lovely opportunity to chat with your and we look forward to helping you with your investment needs.” Thirty seconds, send it as a text message on your phone, as a video. Just a different way of obviously utilizing communication.
Secondly to that, I think it’s then looking at how you’re branding yourself as a BDM and of course in the business and the team. By that, I mean doing different types of videos where it could be not just about what property you’ve got for rent or what you may have just rented or what’s available at the time with your company. But looking at different of contents around—what is it that an investor to look for when their purchasing a property. What should they be looking for when trying to source the property manager.
Then, also looking at your tenants, because I just think that they are an untapped resource, and it’s certainly a big conversation in Australia at the moment, because one in three Australians are tenants, but one in three of those, if you break that down again, are rentvestors, so they actually a tenant and they’re renting a property but they got an investment property. So they don’t live in their principal place of residence.
That’s a big thing in Australia, so I’m not too sure whether or not you would find a lot of tenants here and they own property as well, but it’s certainly a conversation that you can have. I’m not sure why we don’t have those conversations more because we can. We get an application form that shows you where that person has previously lived. If they’ve been renting from a rent for owner, why aren’t we calling that owner as a prospect to say, “That tenant is not going to be moving out, have you thought about professional property management, opposed to doing it yourself?”
Jason: So prospecting previous owners on tenant applications.
Kasey: Tenant applications, yeah. That’s kind of looking at the tenant’s side of it is, talking to your tenants around that, asking them that question. “Do you own an investment property? Do you know anyone that does?” And then looking at their application to see where they’ve come from in the past and making a call to those people to say, “Well now your property is going to be vacant.” And they’re going to be moving out. “I’d love to chat to you about how we can help.”
Jason: Yeah, I love it. That’s smart. Any other marketing strategies or ideas for BDMs that they could take away?
Kasey: Yeah. I know that it’s probably a little old school and it’s probably been down quite a bit. I found that it was very successful for myself as a BDM and it’s still continuing to be, but it’s the door hangers or we’ll call it Australia where you just list it in and you just list flyer. In Australia, we’re able to actually caught a flyer into the specific mailbox. I try to coach that it be done a little differently. I think that it should be something we’d hang on a door put in the mailbox, but I think that it’s kind of adapting a little bit of the door knocking process and giving these flyers.
So it’s about getting information. On that flyer, it should contain information around not just the property you’ve currently got now but what else has been happening in that market or in that street, in that particular area. You might have rented 10 properties in the last month and they will achieve these types of rental figures. Start to give the people in the area some education around what the market’s doing as well.
I introduce that as one of my first activities. I did that because I wanted to get out and meet people and I found that by me doing so and me walking them around and I did it actually on the weekends when you find that people would be out and about more and those types of things. I got to meet them and they’d say, “Oh wow, you’ve rented that probably already, Kasey. How much did it lease for?” “We got 4,500 week or 1,600 a month for that,” “Oh great, well we’re thinking, I’ll be the selling or renting, ‘would you mind having a look at our house?'”
I used to do lots of appraisals on Saturday just by quickly going in for five minutes and talking to these people in their home, having a quick look around and then giving them a basic evaluation of where I think it seats in the market. But that was a lead I never would have got if I didn’t walk that street.
Jason: Yeah, so just getting out walking.
Kasey: It might be a bit old school but I still sort of find that it works and then share that stuff through as well now through the videos. The older stuff works because we still have that demographic of clients that are baby boomers, eugenics etcetera. But now with the millennials coming in, they’re all about the video and the instant messaging. Think about that strategy as well and deliver the same message but just across all the different types of platforms that you can communicate with.
Jason: Yeah. I like the idea of doing more guerrilla marketing tactics or going old school. I think that’s especially relevant here in the US because there’s so little awareness about property management. I love the idea of after you’ve just leased or listed properties to go out canvassing the neighborhood and knocking doors and then just handing them a brochure, handing themselves and mentioning what’s been going on in that area. I think it’s brilliant. “Here’s the typical rental price in your neighborhood and here’s what properties are going for,” and stuff like that.
Kasey: It’s also having that conversation to say, “Hi Jason, we’ve just had the person move into number three, please call us anytime if there’s any issues.” So you sort of—stuff as well, you’re putting yourself out there as a professional company. Unfortunately, property management doesn’t have the nicest name and it doesn’t I think matter where we are but we wanted to. We want the community and the neighborhoods to know that we are there to help.
I think it’s just by showing that you are in that area expert, that you’ve got some care and empathy as well in what you do. And people start to warm to you, then that’s when you’ll be that first one to call for them because they’ll go, “Oh, that girl that walks around all the time is where we get those slides from.” they’re going to call you as soon as they’ve just made a decision in regards to their real estate needs.
Jason: So, tenants in general, have a negative perception often of like landlords or people that are managing a property for them. But in Australia, I would imagine that property management has probably a better reputation than they do here in the US because they almost have no reputation in a lot of markets. So they don’t know and then out of those that do, there’s a lot of struggling property management companies here in the US and so they create a really negative perception. So in Australia, because there’s so many rental properties that are professionally managed, are property managers viewed with some level of respect in the industry?
Kasey: Yes we are, we are still a little second cousin to sales. it certainly is creeping up there in Australia but we are at about 85% to 90% professionally managed whereas I know that it’s the opposite here and I think that’s where we’ve worked really hard by improving the name property management in Australia is because of that because it is more so the statistic side that it’s professionally managed.
I think the way tenants get disgruntled is around that landlord that won’t do that maintenance and won’t fix things. It generally is around maintenance and then they start to obviously sell the nasty things through the social media platforms. It’s the education process I think that we’ve gotten right with our tenants as well in Australia is taking that time to actually sit with them at the beginning of that tenancy process and talk them through, these are the procedures here and this is how we operate and this is what’s expected of you as a tenant and in return, this is what you’re going to get back from us. I think that’s something that we do very well which is, how we’ve started to increase the reputation.
Jason: I love it. That’s somewhere we want to get here in the US. I think property managers should be viewed as people that are managing investment portfolios. They’re managing people’s biggest investments. That’s our vision at DoorGrow, to see if we can shift people’s perspective in the US and beyond towards that. Kasey, these are all really super helpful ideas. I appreciate you coming on the show and sharing so much with us. How can people get in touch with you if they want to learn more about what you do and tell us a little bit about the stuff that you do?
Kasey: Yeah, so I’ve got the Property Management Training Academy. So the website is pmtacademy.com.au, you can email me at email@example.com. I offer coaching and consulting service. I’ve also got a suite of resources templates as well. So if you’re wanting to improve some of your systems and procedures as well, I’ve got everything pre-done for you, very detailed checklist and workflows that can just help you start to implement better processes in the way in which you perform as a property management company. But I can also help you through that. I’m happy for anyone today who certainly are listening Jason, if they would like a 30-minute free consultation, they just need to email me and I’m happy to certainly have a chat with their company and what it is that I might be able to do to help them and that’s absolutely complementary for anyone who’s listened today.
Jason: Great, what’s your email address again?
Kasey: It’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason: Perfect. All right Kasey, thanks so much for coming on the show.
Kasey: Thanks very much for having me.
Jason: We will keep an eye on you. Have an awesome day and what time is it over there?
Kasey: Boston, 2 o’clock.
Jason: What time is it in Australia?
Kasey: What time is it in Australia, it’s about [4:00] AM I think.
Jason: Oh my goodness.
Jason: Okay, cool. Kasey, awesome to have you on the show and we’ll be talking again soon.
Kasey: Right. Thanks very much, enjoy the rest of the day everyone.
Jason: All right. So great having Kasey on some really great ideas for BDM growth and marketing strategies. So if you are new to the show, please like and subscribe and share. We would really appreciate that, it helps us here at DoorGrow and make a difference and impact the property management community. We believe that a rising tide raises all ships. If you can level up the competition in your market that you compete with, it actually helps the entire industry which helps us get more towards those Australian numbers where they have 85% to 90% as Kasey was saying, professionally managed.
Part of that problem here in the US is we just don’t have enough cloud and attention and a positive perception. If we can shift that tide, those that are able to build the category of property management in the US, they’re the ones are going to have the most success. So help and build those companies around you. I believe in collaboration over competition. That’s what the industry needs right now.
So if you are a believer in that, then make sure you are inside our Facebook group which is DoorGrow Club, doorgrowclub.com. You can get to that by going to doorgrowclub.com and then make sure you are aware of our conference. We’re doing a conference here coming up shortly and it is doorgrowlive.com. So make sure you get your tickets. This will be an annual event that we’re doing each year. We excited about that and thanks everybody for tuning in and listening to the DoorGrow Show. Bye, everyone.