A "severe shortage" of upcoming property management staff is likely to see pay rates spike, according to the director of a Melbourne-based real estate recruitment specialist.
Speaking with Real Estate Business, Mark Appleby of Buckmaster Hawkey claimed that principals in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane are finding it increasingly tough to fill property management positions.
“Last week we ran some figures," he said. "And in Melbourne, on one day, there were 386 jobs advertised that weren’t filled. In Sydney there were 285, and in Brisbane there was 110. And that’s just one day.
“What we’re seeing across the industry is that there is a severe shortage of property management staff. And principals are struggling to cope with this new reality that has dawned on them.”
Mr Appleby, a former property manager, believed that experienced property managers are leaving the industry after finding they can't progress beyond their current roles.
“Experienced property managers managing a rent roll know there is no progression if there is no one else coming up the ranks," he said. "That’s why the burnout rate for property managers is quite high.
“Once people hit a wall, they will lose interest pretty quickly … we need to reintroduce the career path of progression.
“Typically you’d start your career as the receptionist, and then move through the ranks to assistant property manager roles and leasing roles until you’ve got enough experience to manage your own portfolio.
“But each time you progress, you groom the person below you to take your role when you move up the ladder.”
He suggested that principals who have a thin supply of qualified people on the ground will have a tough time replacing staff who leave.
“Most principals are looking for experienced property managers because they don’t have the time or resources to train new people," he continued. "And that doesn’t help the current situation at all.
“They aren’t willing to entrust their multi-million dollar rent roll with someone straight out of TAFE, so these young people end up leaving the industry because they can’t get a foothold.”
Mr Appleby believed that if the industry doesn’t act, property manager pay rates will skyrocket as the business becomes more dependent on them.
Mr Appleby made a similar claim at the start of this year, which raised the ire of a number of industry professionals who questioned the ability of cash-strapped agencies to support higher wages.