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Property management still 'stepping stone' to sales

22 July 2014 Elyse Perrau

A Real Estate Business Awards winning property manager has said people entering the profession of property management still view it as a temporary job leading into sales.

Recently winning the REB Award for Property Manager of the Year (metropolitan), Metro Property Management director Leah Calnan said, in a recent course she was running, a lady explained she was starting in property management because “it is a stepping stone for sales”.

“I found it quite amusing that 20 years has passed and people still have that perception of property management and they don’t see it as a career,” she told Residential Property Manager.

“Maybe that resembles why there is such a turnover in people within the industry, why there is a lack of training, why the pay is often so poor [and] maybe it is why there is such little respect for property managers out there,” she added.

In relation to principals placing more emphasis on the property management department of their business, Ms Calnan said they are more aware but the percentage is still “really low”.

“I still hear the terminology ‘we will get the girl at the front desk to manage the properties’, so there is a lack of training,” she said.

“You don’t see people go to training and maybe that is for two reasons - people don’t want to pay for their own training, or directors don’t see the value of paying to train their staff.

“Unfortunately, quite often that is where the churn is, because somebody comes out of doing some courses, has all the enthusiasm in the world, goes and works in one of those businesses, gets burnt, doesn’t last 12 months and potentially the industry has lost somebody who could have created a 10-year career in property management,” she added.

Ms Calnan said principals need to look outside the square for their property manager candidates, and they need to “stop just trying to fill the gaps”.

“Property management is about customer service, so look for people who have a background in customer service or hospitality, then train them in property management because it is not that hard,” she said.

“I would hope that maybe my profile encourages people to see that property management is an opportunity for a career and you can do good things with it.”  

Property management still 'stepping stone' to sales
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