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How to get the best out of your BDM

By tara-bradbury
24 July 2014 | 11 minute read

TaraSMLCalling all principals with BDMs and those who are thinking of employing one! Have you considered what activities your BDM should be doing as part of the role?

Blogger: Tara Bradbury, founder and mentor, BDM Academy

The last thing you want as a principal is to have your BDM sitting in the office waiting for the calls to come in. You need to ensure they are focused on income-producing activities and not wasting time in areas that can be completed by another staff member.

A BDM should be out of the office 80 per cent of the time, networking, building relationships, meeting with new landlords, promoting the office by doing presentations, completing rental appraisals, and presenting management agreements. The other 20 per cent should be spent handling paperwork, adding new contacts to the database and following up prospective landlords.

The secret to becoming a successful BDM and securing new business has a lot to do with the persistence of the person. It is vital you form a stronger relationship with your prospective landlord, answer all their questions and their concerns. Below are five areas I have seen during my training career. And principals, if you are not aware of your BDM’s day-to-day duties it can become very detrimental to the growth of the property management department.

  1. BDMs fear being seen as pushy salespeople and, of course, we all know the landlords do not want to be hassled. If you make contact once a week and give value-added information, you are not being pushy. 
  2. BDMs have a tendancy to forget and fall into the trap of telling themselves they are too busy to follow up. They will generally write it down that they need to call someone for a follow-up conversation. Then unfortunately let other property management issues get in the way and that follow-up call for the important lead becomes missed business.
  3. BDMs assume if they don’t get a yes in the beginning then the prospective landlord isn’t interested. From my personal experience, I worked with a particular landlord for 18 months and finally converted him when he decided he was fed up with poor communication.
  4. BDMs assume the prospective landlord will call them back. I hear so many BDMs raving about how well they did during the listing presentation. Then I ask them when the last time they spoke to the client was and they can’t remember. Have a task system in place where you follow up your hot contacts on a regular basis.
  5. BDMs don’t understand the power of persistence and don’t appreciate having a detailed follow-up system. Once you start to build a large group of hot contacts, having detailed notes makes the follow-up calls so much easier.

You should always put yourself in your customer's shoes and focus on these three questions:

  • What's going on for them in their lives?
  • What are their fears and concerns about renting out an investment property?
  • What's holding them back from making the decision to go with your agency?

In closing, the best way to check your BDM is on track is to ask them to provide you with a detailed plan. Make sure the tasks and appointments are income-producing activities and follow up with them the next day to see how successful they were.




founder and mentor, BDM Academy

Tara commenced work as a trainee property manager following high school and after gaining valuable knowledge and experience became the business development manager at Wide Bay Prestige Properties.

Tara is dynamic, highly motivated and has a strong passion for business development. She has a very strong understanding and appreciates the importance of growth in the property management department.

Tara’s major accomplishments include successfully securing 268 listings in one financial year and signing 30 new rental listings in one month.

In 2012, Tara won an all-expenses paid trip to Hamilton, New Zealand and spoke on a BDM panel at the REINZ National Conference.

Tara has previously spoken at the 2011 PPM National Conference about building your property management department and has written articles for the Property Management Journal and Real Estate Jobs Search, providing helpful tips for BDMs.
In 2013, Tara started the BDM Academy and has been contracted to consult for a variety companies throughout Australia and New Zealand. Tara’s vast wealth of knowledge in property management growth is sure to interest real estate principals who are looking to grow their most valuable asset and income stream, their rental roll.



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