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How successful BDMs are like chameleons

By Cristel Stenhouse
10 March 2017 | 11 minute read

BDMs of 2017, let’s get real for a moment. Business development managers convene with prospective clients of various backgrounds, socio-economic standings and cultures. Adaptability is key.

It is almost impossible to completely align yourself with everyone you meet. However, the new generation of business development managers need to ensure they are capable of being chameleons.

Gone are the days when you can find one thing in common and relive this to build rapport – consumers want more!

Basically, think of your everyday relationships with those close to you – the basic principles that you utilise to ensure that you keep friendships, because this is similar to the needs of the new era of property investors. I am not talking about the smaller majority of big time developers, I am talking about the everyday mum and dad investor.

They want you to:

Be relatable
They want to know that you are on the same page as them. We have all had those conversations where your attentiveness is at a minimum, because simply you don’t care for the topics being discussed; as a BDM you need to learn to care and be actively interested. Just because the topic doesn’t interest you, it is clearly something the prospect values – or they wouldn’t discuss it.

Be open to learning and actively listening.

Be the expert
They want to be assured that they are listing with the best agent. As time goes on, I find there are less comparisons on fees, and a greater focus on listing with the agent they feel is the local expert, and will care for the property.

Have power within knowledge
We all know that knowledge is power, but they want reassurance that you have the answers to assist them through the process.

Be an avid listener
Most BDM’s love to talk – let’s be honest it would be a pretty hard job for someone who struggled to hold a conversation; but we need to learn to listen. Let them talk, listen to their story – understand why they have an investment and what they want from it. Do you know their motivation for having the investment? Ask the questions – but let them answer you.

Yes, this means the listing appointment may take longer, but by the end of it you should understand and appreciate why they have the property, what they plan to do with the money that it generates – whether this be short term or long term. This will give you the best insight into them, their life and what they really want.

Have a working relationship with them
They want a working relationship with you; this means a high level of communication. they want to be able to discuss their situation and what they need/want from their investment. They want to feel that as well as a business relationship, there is a level of mutual respect.

"Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him, and to let him know that you trust him." - Booker T. Washington

They want to feel a level of trust within the relationship that works both ways. If they merely wanted any agent – they would walk into an agency and just sign on.

Remember, whilst ensuring you adhere to all of these items, it is of the utmost importance that you find the answers to the questions, build your relationships, display knowledge, allow and open the gates for trust - all whilst being a chameleon and aligning yourself with their values.



Cristel Stenhouse

Cristel Stenhouse

Throughout her 13 years in real estate, Cristel has demonstrated sheer drive and determination to get the best results.

As a fully licensed estate agent, Cristel has proven herself to be an expert across all facets of property management, working as a property manager, department manager as well as vast experience in trust accounting and leasing.

As business development manager within her property management team, Cristel displays leadership, commitment and a strong work ethic every day which assists her in helping owners meet their expectations.

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