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Underpaid PMs have themselves to blame

30 September 2014 Michael Crawford

Chances are if you are a knowledgeable but underpaid property manager you may have only yourself to blame.

Estate agents, business development managers and property managers all agree that if you are new in the game, good principals will pump the new PM with enough training to make them an earner as quickly as possible.

Many PM coaches believe the good ones are worth their weight in gold and will have a salary to match. However, in true real estate terms, it's all about location, location, location.

Real Estate Career Developers general manager Daniel Gonsalves said basically a property management department works through a percentage of the rent, and the location you are working is related to the salary you would receive as a property manager.


Mr Gonsalves said with property managers you get what you pay for, but the good ones are worth their weight in gold.

“There is a range of stuff that comes into it but the key differentiator is the ability to communicate and not hide behind emails – a good property manager can communicate well and is super organised, which is probably the key skill,” Mr Gonsalves said.

“On the flip side, the poor ones are the people not tackling things well and sweeping problems under the carpet, who sometimes don’t have the skill to deal with situations – there’s a lot of problem solving and difficult conversations and poor project managers may tend to shy away from them.

“You know quickly if you have the skill set to make it in property management, BDM or sales because people who like processes make it in property management roles, whereas sales tend to be the ones with the flair, who are good at building relationships and are driven by commissions. Property managers like salary security and commissions don’t come into it, whereas sales staff are hungry for it.”

Spokesperson for BDMcoach Deniz Yusuf said a good approach when dealing with listings agents, which may eventually apply with property managers, is that everyone is on the same base salary and workers can achieve additional pay through performance.

Mr Yusuf said with leasing agents if a lease is broken, a bad tenant chosen or the office has to send out termination notices, then that typically shows in their salary.

“You could work in an office, sign up 100 managements all at one per cent and instead of a bonus when you sign up, it should be based on an annual average income the properties generate. In areas with high rents you can sign up 10 property management contracts worth $1,000,” he said.

Spokesperson for BDM academy Tara Bradbury said what property managers are paid all comes down to the principal’s perspective and in her experience, most people approach property managers with a flat fee and then move on. Ms Bradbury said an entrepreneurial property manager could start their own portfolio and then sell onto a business.

Underpaid PMs have themselves to blame
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