As a property developer, it is important to understand sales and marketing; otherwise, your competitors will outclass you. But for those who win, they become revered icons and media legends. Think Gurner and Meriton.
Don’t even think about outsourcing these crucial elements. Your team needs leadership because without a strong captain to demand accountability, your project is doomed.
From experience and personal observations, it is no surprise that property developers with a sales background excel and continue to succeed in every economic climate. Here’s why:
They are outstanding leaders
The true mark of a great leader is when they can help ordinary people produce extraordinary results.
Property developers with a wealth of knowledge and experience in sales possess strong persuasion and negotiation skills, which empowers them to clearly, effectively, and easily communicate their vision to their sales team.
As a CEO, nobody can articulate your vision better than you. This is a non-negotiable because while you can do anything, you can’t do everything alone. If you want the best brand ambassadors to represent your business, then you must inspire them with your passion, vision, and mission at the minimum. Otherwise, how can you expect them to sell and respect you?
They immediately recognise BULLSH!T
Property developers with a background in sales have developed strong intuition for sniffing out imposters. Sadly, if you’ve never been in this driver seat yourself, then you will most likely accept mediocrity and excuses from your sales team without ever questioning their objections and challenges.
Your sales team will tell you that either the marketing doesn’t work, your products are overpriced, your competitor is better than you, you need more marketing budget and after listening to it with a violin, you might as well shut this down.
This scenario is impossible to happen to a brilliant developer in Sydney who leads and manages his team like the SEALs. An impressive 50% of their sales come from social media, email marketing, and Google Ads alone. His team gets more appointments from four-month-old leads than fresh ones. With the metrics he demands, he’s got everything covered and under control.
They know what buyers want
Property developers with a sales background possess Intellectual Property and deep buyer insights. By actively listening to buyers through the years, they have learned who they are, what they’re willing to pay a premium for, what they hate, what gets their heart pumping, and WHY. They don’t rely on hearsay and get coaxed to make decisions that don’t add tangible returns to their bottom line.
Indeed, knowledge is power. As Sun Tzu said in The Art of War, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”
One of the biggest mistakes that many property developers make is prioritising building a legacy over solving problems. They fail to recognise that addressing the underlying pain of their buyers is the only way they can ever hit the mark.
Properties are built by people for people and with a strategic and thoughtfully designed product, you can crush your competitors in a heartbeat. Take a look at Apple. With every release of an Apple Watch or an iPhone, consumers buy it freely and willingly because they know amateur products cannot compare. You cannot gimmick this iconic brand. Build products with the consumers in mind. Profits will follow.
Three ways to improve your sales skills immediately
✅ LEARN about the sales process
Demand learning the sales process from your team. Ask how they take their buyers on a journey from enquiry to a sale. Query the lead conversion gestation period, and the number of appointments they book daily, weekly, and monthly. Think wide, go narrow and the dominoes will fall.
And if you must know, the best property developers we work with do not outsource this crucial main sales function. They are extremely hands-on, meticulous, and relentless. They organise weekly huddles with their team and never ever miss attending one. Yes, even developers who are worth $100 million and I deeply respect this work ethic.
✅ ASK the quantitative, measurable, and manageable
Ask high-leverage questions that demand transparent answers where you know small changes can lead to big outcomes. Some of the questions you can ask daily, weekly, or monthly are:
- How many leads have you been allocated?
- How many phone calls have you made?
- How many appointments have you set?
✅ REFLECT on your experience as a property buyer
Most property developers are self-made zillionaires and have bought properties across different decades of their lives at graduating levels of luxury. Therefore, this priceless experience should offer profound insight, which empowers you to develop a customer-centric mindset. Go back to that moment and ask yourself:
- How did you feel when you saved your first $10,000 and had to hand it over as a deposit?
- What were your concerns when the economy around you was faltering like in 2008?
- What did you hope the sales executive did or didn’t do?
- What was the tipping point that helped you take the leap of faith and commit to buying your first property?
These are the million-dollar questions that can help sell your billion-dollar projects, so reflect deep and well.