Property managers are system focussed and are more often than not, salary based employees. They lean more towards being in a stable and supportive environment that allows them consistency and routine. Business developers are sales based. They are usually driven by the sales cycle with reward and recognition being their primary focus. They are generally not happy if they are not writing new business and being remunerated for it.
What this means is that, the property management team is happiest when they have a set workload that offers consistency, and they would generally push back on a stream of new managements coming into the business, in effect, creating more work for them for no extra pay. With two very different cultures inside one business, how do you handle the divide between the two teams, that inevitably have to work very close together.
There are two ways to look at this. The first by looking at the tasks that a new business team member is doing. I’m a big advocate that the new business process doesn’t finish until the renter has signed the lease and moved into the property. The new business team would generate the lead, secure the new management, list the property for rent, show the property, process the application, seek owner approval, do the ingoing condition report and induct the new renter. Once this is done, the new business file is then handed to the property manager which results in minimum workload for them, reducing the friction that new business creates. I just heard a number of screams when I mentioned all those property management tasks being done by the new business team. How you address that is covered in a different blog unfortunately, so you may have take my word on that for now.
The second way to look at the problem is to consider the culture of the two teams. The growth team is a sales team and as such should probably be treated as one. They would be more aligned with your sales culture than your property management culture. In fact, promotion of data integration between sales and property management relies on the connection between the growth team and the property sales team. With this in mind, I would consider sitting the growth team with your property sales team. They should be training on the same content, they should be attending the same meetings, reporting sales or new business targets, and they should be promoting sales enquiry leads as their own, to follow up and build relationships with potential new investors.
The dynamics between the property management team and the growth team are such that their is no point forcing them to work together just because they are both part of property management. The growth team has a defined sales culture and is driven by the thrill and chase of capturing new business, something that only creates friction with the property management team. Treat your growth team as a sales team. Sit them in your sales pit and train them as you do sales people. Leave the property managers to do what they do best.