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Poor strategy leads to PM frustration

12 November 2013 Brendan Wong

Poor strategy in an agency is the reason property managers experience frustration in their career, according to a leading property management expert.

Managing director of Apmasphere Ben White said he believed careers and business opportunities in property management are limitless, but they are dependent on the agencies’ strategies.

Speaking at the Wealth Conference held over the weekend at the Gold Coast, he explained that effective strategies were the key to any successful business, but despite its importance, there was a lack of targeted discussion on strategic thinking.

“The definition I favour is that it’s a deliberate search for a plan of action, where the point is for the company to develop a competitive advantage and to sustain it over the long term,” he said.


“My belief is strategy impacts on the entire team. It’s not something a business owner goes away for a weekend and comes back with, saying ‘I’ve come back with a strategy and this is what we’re going to do’.

“History shows that doesn’t work. Strategy doesn’t also happen spontaneously. One person can’t do it by themselves; strategy is the connection that joins everyone in the team because it is the roadmap the business is going to face ... it matches the ambitions of the principal and it will also impact every single person’s career.”

Mr White said a misalignment of objectives is the reason people become unhappy with the direction of their careers.

“You can’t build a career without knowing what the strategy is because you might have a career but your aspirations for your career may not match the aspirations of the principal, and if that doesn’t happen, then you misalign and you’ll be frustrated,” he said.

When executed well, good strategies created a team, a foundation, a culture and opportunities for everyone.

He identified four core strategies a business could adopt:

  1. Hyper-growth: the whole agency has a single-minded gambit for growth
  2. Machine: the agency has a clear view on how it should run and ways to seek improvement
  3. Run lean: the agency is focused on efficiency and profitability
  4. Other priorities: the agency utilises a solid team to manage the property management division, allowing the principal to focus on other areas of the business  

Mr White said the choice of strategy needed to be made on an assessment of an agency’s existing capabilities and a comparison to the capabilities needed for success. Personal preferences and ambitions were a major part of this. 

“Everyone in the team needs to be involved in the process because it affects everybody. If you want to recruit the best people for your strategy then make sure the team is included, make sure you have a culture that supports it and then you express it to people,” he said.

Poor strategy leads to PM frustration
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