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PMs at risk of burning out

25 September 2014 Elyse Perrau

If proper training structures are not in place property managers are at risk of becoming burnt out from the daily pressures that dominate their work, warn industry experts.

Property Management HQ director Kelley-Ann Seaton said she does believe it is easy to burn out in the property management profession.

“I think this industry can be difficult because owners and tenants are possibly suffering stress and property managers have to deal with that directly,” she told Residential Property Manager.

“I asked some of my staff and they say that yes, PMs can burn out.


"They do find it difficult to turn off after work since they have work mobiles with emails on them, so it’s hard for them to resist the urge to have a sneak peek after hours or at weekends,” she added.

Mrs Seaton said a few said they switch from work mode to personal mode in the car trip on the way home, by either having a very quiet trip home, or totally the opposite by playing loud music to create a new zone. 

“I feel if staff aren’t given enough training or support they can burn out, and if they manage too many properties they could burn out,” she said.

Mrs Seaton said Annie Gregg, a former real estate trainer, suggested 15 years ago you "put your heart in the fridge when you get to work and don’t forget to take it out and put it back in your body before you go home".

“I think she was relating to not taking things too personally, by leaving your heart in the fridge it allows you to not get too connected, other than on a professional level,” she said. 

“I think she’s right - it’s something I have never forgotten and I do tell my staff.”

Also speaking to Residential Property Manager, Realmark corporate director of property management Sara Young said they have a high retention of staff, with the longest serving 22 years and, on average, PMs staying for between four and five years.

“One of the things we do is a lot of emotional intelligence training, because you can have all the tangible skills in the world but we have noticed that property managers need emotional intelligence training to deal with all the conflict and to be able to leave the stresses at the door when they go home at night,” she said.

“We do emotional intelligence training about three times a year, and we often include our admin staff as well because they are the first point of call if someone is aggressive."

Mrs Young said it is also important to have the support of your principals.

“I have seen a lot of property managers in the past from different agencies where they haven’t had the support of a principal or manager who understands the stresses with property management and that sees them burn out a lot quicker,” she said. 

PMs at risk of burning out
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