A property manager’s main role is as a tenant concierge. Their job is multi-faceted but breaks down to the following:
- Maintaining a safe and profitable asset.
- Maintaining every lease and ensuring each and every tenant’s satisfaction.
- Maintaining accurate budgets for the building owners.
When you sell a project to a property manager, they may have to sell that project to at least three other stakeholders. The first would be the capital budgeting folks. Then you have the building’s engineers who need to be brought on-board so they don't block the technology as something too dangerous or difficult to implement. Then you have 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 efficiency 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, many property managers are on pins and needles hoping they’ve accurately forecasted their utility budget. If you befriend property managers and frame yourself as a solution to that problem (perhaps by helping them forecast their operating expense budgets more reliably), they would be more likely to become an internal champion and lobby management to engage your services. After all, you’re helping them keep their career goals in order.
Another thing you could do is help them write their proposals. Property managers often lack the skills and/or time to write compelling proposals. Help them with that vital task and they’ll look like a hero at their next management meeting.
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.