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 it’s too hard. They 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 BDMs small portfolios to manage. There are several red flags 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 the two roles. The PM is generally procedural focused and leans 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 PM is allocated business development responsibilities, you’ll often find their duties get preference over signing new business. This reduces the amount of time the PM allocates to growth. So growth suffers.
In the case of a business developer, writing new business takes priority over any PM duties they have and your existing clients suffer. In the latter scenario, you will often find the obligation to do property management tasks will hinder the business developer’s opportunity to succeed. This almost always leads to separation from the agency.
Generally, as a rule, if you’re committing to growth for the agency, allocate a dedicated resource to both the property management and business development roles. Don’t create a hybrid of the two roles and still 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 agency’s growth prospects.
Ensure your business development team are freed up to do what they do best - driving growth for your agency.