Every time I say the word growth to a principal, their ears prick up. I come across very few principals who aren’t excited about the prospects for growth, however, I do come across many principals who have accepted the ‘status quo’ and believe that it is all too hard. They then become discouraged about this exciting opportunity and nothing happens.
In most cases, growth requires an injection of cash into the business. In an attempt to offset this, the principal often opts to give the business development team members small portfolios to manage. There are several red flags that become apparent with this. The first being the effectiveness of splitting a team member between two roles, and the second being the natural priorities of the individuals in them.
Let’s look at the characteristics of these two roles. The property manager is generally procedural focused and lean more towards the ongoing client management role. They often prefer a fixed salary and a more rigid work style. The business developer is usually sales orientated and self-driven. They are motivated by the ‘success and reward’ cycle and prefer to be unlimited in earning potential, opting for a high commission component.
If a property manager is allocated business development responsibilities, you’ll often find that their property management duties will get preference over writing new business. This will reduce the amount of time the property manager allocates to growth, and growth will suffer.
In the case of a business developer, writing new business will take priority over any property management duties they have, and your existing clients will suffer. In the latter scenario, you will often find that the obligation to do property management tasks, will hinder the business developers opportunity to succeed. This will almost always, lead to separation from the agency.
Generally, as a rule, if you are committing to growth for the agency, allocate a dedicated resource to both the property management and business development roles. Do not hybrid the two across each other and expect the best from your team. This may have a short term benefit to your cash-flow but will be a huge disadvantage on your agencies growth prospects. Ensure that your business development team are freed up to do what they do best, drive growth for the agency.