A property manager’s main role is being a tenant concierge. Their job is multi-faceted; however, it basically involves the following:
- Maintaining a safe and profitable asset.
- Maintaining every lease and the tenants’ satisfaction.
- Maintaining accurate budgets for the building owners.
When you sell a project to a property manager they have to sell that project to at least three other stakeholders. One concerns the capital budget to raise the money. The second is the building’s engineers so they don't block or veto the technology as something too dangerous or difficult to handle. The third is the tenants themselves. All in all, the property manager has a tough hill to climb.
My philosophy would be to help property managers get more of what they already consider to be their goal. An energy upgrade could be an amenity to brag about when they talk to potential tenants. The upgrade could also make tenants happier, minimizing their comfort issues and other complaints. These, among other things, are what need to be emphasized when you talk to property managers about your offerings.
Other factors play a role in how you approach them. For example, most property managers are always on pins and needles for having accurately forecasted their energy budgets. If you befriend property managers and frame yourself as a solution to that problem (perhaps in the form of allowing them to forecast their operating expense budgets more reliably), they would be more likely to lobby for your services and become an internal champion. After all, you’re helping them keep their career goals in order.
Another thing you can do is help them write their proposals. Property managers aren’t hired for their writing skills and are often too busy to write a compelling proposal. If you take care of that for them, you can give them a vital tool they’ll need when they go to their next meeting. It will make them look like the hero.
The most successful sales almost always involve planning and collaboration. With property managers, it’s imperative to be on their side and show them the way. By helping to ensure their success, you’ll help to ensure your own.