This week, I ran a training webinar for new starters to the property management industry, giving them as many tips and secrets I could think of for a successful career – from my own 11 years in the industry. It really got me thinking back to when I started in the real estate game.
Like most of us who are working in property management, I never really grew up thinking – “I want to be a property manager when I grow up”. I am not sure I even knew what a property manager was! After high school, while many of my friends were heading off to uni, I was feeling a bit lost as to what I wanted to do for my “career”, and as cruisy as it was working at the local video store, I knew I wanted something more.
By chance, I grew an interest in real estate, and after overhearing a conversation on a bus one day from a girl who had gone for an interview at a real estate agency, I called my mum and said, "Mum, I think I am going to do real estate." I proceeded to go for the same job the girl on the bus had talked about, and made it down to the final two candidates. Sadly, they chose the other candidate, for their experience, so I decided to go and get more knowledge and skills.
One Real Estate Diploma at TAFE later, I found myself bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, working as a property officer, getting to go out on my own to show properties, send out my own letters, talk to all these new people, preparing big, important lease documents. And actually enjoying it!
Do you remember that first excitement you experienced when you started working in property? Before we got a little bit jaded and a little bit cynical?
Over the years and over several property management roles, both here and overseas, I found myself in charge of other young and eager team members, ready to learn and soak it all in. From my knowledge and experience, I asked myself – am I able to provide these newbies with an exciting and engaging start to property management? Was I patient, understanding, encouraging and motivating?
After some reflection this week, I looked back at how I felt as a new starter, and from the perspective of the leader, I thought of a few points I felt helped nurture those newbies to success. So whether you’re hiring, in charge or a team, or even just training a new person, take these tips on board.
- Have empathy and patience - Put yourself in their shoes. Remember what it was like to be in their seat and remember, they don’t know everything you know, or have all of the skills you do.
- Have a clear plan and set clear expectations - People find security in structure. Ensure you plan their induction and training plans. Assist them to plan their days and weeks, and provide them with what your expectations are of them and what’s needed from them to perform to company standards and levels.
- “Do as I say, not as I do” - This saying always confused me! A manager is asking you to do things one way, but does things another way themselves. As a manager, if you are not going to comply with the method you are teaching, you either need to explain the justifications and reasons why (so they don’t try short-cuts and make mistakes) or start doing things the way you expect them to be done.... monkey see, monkey do.
- Make it fun, have a laugh - There is no denying there will be tough days. On those tough days, instead of letting your stress reflect back onto them, find ways to have a laugh and show them not to take it too seriously.
- Create a learning environment - If you want your newbies to keep learning and improving, you need to as well. Seek out opportunities to learn together and improve as a team.
- Let them innovate - These new starters will be buzzing with ideas on faster and better ways to do things. Encourage them to bring their ideas to the table. You may just be pleasantly surprised with what they come up with.