Property management can be a tough industry to work in, especially for those who aren’t properly supported by their offices. Here’s how you can set your office up to better retain your top staff.
Property managers will no doubt agree that while they love their job, it is demanding, stressful and sometimes thankless. You can go from problem to complaint, with very little relief. Because of this and the intrinsic nature of the role, top property managers often burn out or lose that vital passion that makes them good at their job.
After speaking to many colleagues about this and what we can do as an industry to support property managers, I have identified some areas business owners and the industry can implement to help us hold on to our talented property managers.
Job Share – Managing job share situations can be problematic but the beauty of property management is that it’s highly process orientated. Businesses that have best in breed software systems and clearly defined processes are often the most efficient. Having a system for all tasks, and being able to monitor the progress and outcome of those tasks, removes a manager’s concerns about ensuring their team is performing and nothing is missed. If you set your business up this way, it is easier to have multiple people proficiently completing a role. Job share is a highly desirable avenue for many people, not just for those who have children.
Flexible hours – Property management can be task-oriented. You may wish to allocate someone to do your routine inspections. That person could work three days a week from 10am to 2pm. They are a fully-fledged member of your team, however, they become your inspection expert and simply focus on perfecting that area of your business. As long as you have clearly defined targets on how many inspections need to be completed in the allotted time and are specific about the company standard, you can confidently allocate this task.
Virtual Assistants – Free up your property managers by allocating a VA to support their administration duties. VAs can act as a cost-effective way of alleviating a lot of the repetitive admin that your property manager needs to do. If job share doesn’t work for you but your top property manager only wants to work four days a week, why not give them some support during the week so it is possible for them to still do their role in four days.
Working from home – With the ubiquity of high-speed, cheap internet, the growing number of cloud-based systems and free applications like Google Docs, it can be advantageous to give people the option to work from home without any drop in productivity. At Rent360, we count on the fact that our property managers are mobile and often work from home. Being mobile gives them the flexibility and confidence that they can be on call for an emergency but still run their family life and save significant time not having to battle peak hour traffic. Work-life balance is integral to our business model and by offering that, we find our property managers provide an exceptional service and are much happier.
Corinne Mansour is a perfect example of a near loss to the property management. After being in the industry for almost two decades, she left to have her children. When she later wanted to return to work, she found that there were no part-time options for her nor could she find a business that would work around her family situation.
“I think the industry has not yet caught up with the modern world on this issue. There are lots of progressive real estate businesses out there, but when it comes to offering different options to suit the individual, the real estate industry is sadly lacking the courage to try other options,” she said.
Corinne subsequently opened her own business, Corinne Mansour Property Management, to stay in the industry, but, she is the exception, not the rule, on this as others simply turn to alternate industries.
It can be argued that the popularity of a flexible working environment is here to stay as it offers the potential for productivity gains and greater levels of employee engagement which both boost a company’s bottom line while also offering benefits to the industry. If your business is struggling to attract or keep the right people, one of the above options could be your answer.