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RPM poll: Long-term PMs 'not the norm'

10 December 2014 Elyse Perrau

According to Residential Property Manager’s latest poll, a whopping 31 per cent of respondents have been in their property management position for 10-plus years. We asked industry leaders for their thoughts on the figures, with interesting responses.

The Residential Property Manager straw poll asked readers to tell us the longest time they had held a PM job for.

Surprisingly, the choice of less than two years in a PM job bottomed out, with a total of 15.5 per cent.

Next was more than two years (21 per cent), followed by more than five years (27.7 per cent), and finally 10-plus (31.1 per cent).


Real+ managing director Fiona Blayney highlighted research from demographer Mark McCrindle that suggests the average school-leaver of today will have 17 jobs across five industries in their lifetime, with an average tenure of three years and seven months.

“Keeping this in mind, the results of the RPM Poll are not reflective of social norms,” Ms Blayney told Residential Property Manager.

“Perhaps there is a little too much hype about there being a ‘problem’ with retention, and more a case that resignations are a reality. People move on, it’s a fact of life. They move for many reasons, and if the McCrindle figures are anything to go by, it will be often,” she added.

Leading Property Managers of Australia director Darren Hunter said he believes the straw poll results reflect those that are attracted to expert information, and PMs that have 'learning' on their radar.

“This represents the top 10 per cent of property managers ... these are your career PMs, being your audience,” Mr Hunter told Residential Property Manager.

“However, I feel it doesn't represent the overall industry or the 'bottom' 90 per cent, where the turnover rates of staff is far higher – on average, one to two years. In the NT, where turnover rates are even higher, six months in the job can be seen as 'normal'.

“A lot of these people (in the 90 per cent) would be 'too busy' to read, learn and grow in their careers, nor would they have the motivation to do this. A lot are just in survival mode,” he added.

Mr Hunter said PM retention has been a problem for a very long time.

“Provided we continue to have rental departments driven and led by 'sales focussed' principals, things are unable to change when the captain of the ship isn't at the helm for significant time frames focusing on the growth and health of their 'other business',” he said.

“This would be the case for more than 50 per cent of rental departments in Australia.”

Also speaking to Residential Property Manager, LJ Hooker Cessnock general manager Mellissa Gibson said she believes the poll results reflect the readers of Residential Property Manager.

“I have been doing property management myself for over 14 years. I have one property manager employed with me that is coming up to her 10th year next year,” she said.

“You need to be passionate about your career choice and be true to yourself. Not everyone is cut out for property management, or real estate, for that matter.”  

RPM poll: Long-term PMs 'not the norm'
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