Bobby’s blog: 10 steps for greater property management sales

Bobby Russo
Bobby Russo | 6 min. read

Published on January 20, 2014

I’m often asked how I transition from a 25-year career in national corporate sales to selling property management services. After about the 100th time hearing that question, my go-to answer, in my silent voice, is “you just do!” However, I’m older and wiser these days, and maybe this question deserves a better answer.

So what can you do to grow your property management sales? Here are the 10 steps I follow to achieve property management sales success:

Step One: Wake up, look at your family, tell them you love them, and get out of the house and go to work – you have a busy day. If you don’t have a family, turn the TV off – you still have a busy day.

Step Two: Grasp one very basic and mostly overlooked concept in sales: A sales goal without a sales plan is a sales wish. (My little brother taught me that.) It’s one thing to say you want to have 150 homes under management, but it’s quite another to sit down and write a plan that outlines daily activities, establishes your targets, and sets out steps to get in front of property owners and associations and present your value proposition (aka why they should do business with you).

Step Three: Stop panicking. I’m going to help you with the plan.

Step Four: Discover how big the rental market in your area is. My father has been an international sales leader for nearly half a century, but he has a degree in math. He was able to use math as a basis for sales planning. I simply call it sales science.

There are two key definitions you need to become familiar with: Total Available Market (TAM) and Total Obtainable Market (TOM)

Here is how they work: Total Available Market is how you define where you want to get your business from. For our company we have chosen the Eastern Maricopa and Western Pinal Counties of Arizona.

Now, once you know your market size (let’s say for easy math it’s 100,000 homes), you have to figure out your Total Obtainable Market, which is the number of rental homes or units in the area. Here’s how it looks:

Total Available Market of 100,000 homes x Total Obtainable Market (in this case, 1% of homes) = 1,000 homes

Once you know your Total Obtainable Market, you have a bogey, and now you can write your sales plan.

Step Five: Figure out what the money looks like. Once you have determined your TOM (in this case 1,000 homes), figure out what that is worth in dollars. Remember this is obtainable market, not the actual number of homes you’re going to close (remember, you have competitors). If 1,000 homes is your obtainable market, it’s also the obtainable market for your competitors. Take a look at how many of those homes you can actually close. Again the math makes it simple:

  1. 1,000 TOM x 15% sales goal = 150 homes
  2. 150 homes x $65 monthly management fee = $9,750 monthly income (less other fees)

Step Six: You have to develop your core value proposition, and you have to believe in it so much that you will sing it to the gods. I’ve discussed several aspects of developing a value proposition for all sides of your business in prior blogs, so I won’t repeat myself. Keep in mind, you have to put this in writing so you can discuss it with your prospects, customers, vendors, and employees it will also be part of your sales plan.

Step Seven: Develop your go-to-market strategy. This is nothing more than a simple list of your daily activities that you will use to go after these customers. In addition to putting these in my sales plan, I also create tasks in Buildium to remind me of what I need to do each day to grow my business.

Here are some examples of daily activities:

  1. Create a one-page advertisement to distribute to local realtors, handyman services, painters, title companies, etc.
  2. Deliver the one-page advertisement to local realtors, handyman services, painters, title companies, etc.
  3. Ask current customers for referrals. Rental owners know other rental owners and sometimes never think to refer you.
  4. Set meetings with HOA community managers and present your company. Many HOA managers would love to refer a strong property manager inside their community that will help with their own goals of maintaining the community standards. If you have in your value proposition the commitment to maintaining homes, these people will love you.
  5. Get to know local homeowner insurance companies. Most companies require a rental owner to modify their policy to state its use as a rental. This is a great referral source This is all basic Sales 101 stuff: Get in front of strong referral sources, and make sure they understand your value proposition, which is why it needs to be in writing. Always remember the most basic sales strategy: Ask for the order.

Step Eight: Review your progress. You’ve worked very hard, if you followed the steps. Let’s review what you’ve accomplished:

  1. Conducted market research
  2. Determined your target market
  3. Calculated your potential market share
  4. Calculated the value of those potential customers
  5. Committed to your company’s value proposition
  6. Determined which activities reach your end game
  7. Set a daily schedule for each activity

Now, take a look at the above list — only this time it is now the table of contents for your sales plan:

  1. Executive summary and market data
  2. Future customer identification
  3. Expected market share
  4. Pro-forma financial statement
  5. Value proposition and sales presentation
  6. Sales activities goal and territory assignments

Step Nine: Simply wrap all this information up into a written sales plan that you use as a barometer to measure your success. Remember, If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Refer to the plan periodically and see what works, and every couple of months ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What should I continue doing?
  2. What should I start doing?
  3. What should I never, ever do again?

Modify your plan as needed, and move on with your activities — or in the case of question 3, don’t move on.

Step Ten: Go home. You worked hard. Spend time with your family or play a video game.

Sales can be an exact science. If you do the right research and have the right numbers, then you just put your daily tasks together and run with it – BUT it must be in writing so you can measure it. Otherwise you have a sales wish.

What’s your sales approach? Please leave a comment and join the discussion.

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Bobby Russo

Bobby Russo is the Co-Owner of Ace Mulligan Homes in Pinal County, Arizona.

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