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More secrets to the $3M account manager

October 8, 2021 -  By

This is the second column in a series about the commercial landscape account manager (AM) role. In my last column, I made the mathematical case for a more efficient, better paid AM who can manage $3 million in business.

This goal is important for two reasons: First, you must retain high performers in a diminishing talent pool, and second, because the reduction in overhead that arises from having fewer AMs is key to net profits. These next few columns will focus on the strategies and best practices for developing the $3 million AM.

You may recall from my last column, that three factors drive the amount of total revenue any AM can handle.

These factors include:

  1. The number of properties they have;
  2. The way they allocate their time; and
  3. The availability of tools to manage the first two.

Number of properties under management

(Graphic: Kevin Kehoe)

(Graphic: Kevin Kehoe)

The table above shows the number of properties managed by an average AM, top 10 percent AM and the $3 million AM. What is really interesting is that the average annual contract size is consistent across the country. That means this statistic is almost a given constraint. We’d all like to have fewer larger properties to manage, but that reality is improbable. This means the $3 million AM must employ a service approach that treats properties differently, and that a degree of property service must be delegated elsewhere in your company.

I will get into this topic in detail in the next column.

Allocation of time among core activities

(Graphic: Kevin Kehoe)

(Graphic: Kevin Kehoe)

This next table shows core activities and time invested. It’s important to keep in mind that this table is an estimate based on years of observation versus factual measurements. That said, it’s clear that more time needs to be invested in preparation, anticipation, planning and organizing property and customer management approaches. Too many AMs are very busy and very unproductive because they are too reactionary in approach. This is due to a lack of delegation, training and, most critically, business management tools. This fact is frustrating for both the owner and the AM. I will cover this topic in a later column also.

Tools to manage the first two

The right tools always make the work easier and the quality better. It’s foolish to expect great results using inadequate tools. See below for a list of business management tools and technologies that are essential to managing all the work and service details on a property and for executing the work required in each of the core activities at least 25 percent more efficiently. These tools are the game-changers that can drive better property stewardship and AM efficiency in achieving$3 million in total dollars under management. I will share my thoughts on the best sources and priorities soon.

Essential AM Tools:

  • CRM — contact/property spec list
  • Photo/GPS property inventory tagging
  • Catalog/renewal presentation
  • Site audit tracking
  • Issues/request tracking
  • Measurement take-off documentation
  • Contract proposal management
  • Design/CAD
  • Service history tracking
  • Invoice payment tracking
  • Customer portal interface

Please check back for future articles where I’ll discuss the details of the strategies and best practices for developing $3 million account managers.

This article is tagged with , and posted in 1021, Business, From the Magazine

About the Author:

Kevin Kehoe, a longtime landscape industry consultant, is the founder of Aspire Software.

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