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Pod structure boosts PM career progression

27 March 2015 Elyse Perrau

A leading PM who advocates pod over portfolio for office structure says it gives PMs career progression and accountability, but it has its challenges.

A leading PM who advocates pod over portfolio for office structure says it gives PMs career progression and accountability, but it has its challenges.

LJ Hooker Parramatta senior property manager Justin Spencer said switching from portfolio to pod structure was the greatest outcome for the office’s 2000-strong rent roll.

The business is split up into four pods, with each consisting of one senior PM, one PM and a property officer who is shared with another pod, he told Residential Property Manager.

Mr Spencer said the best aspect of a pod structure is the career progression opportunities.

“In a portfolio structure you come from a property officer role and you sink or swim – you are on your own and you have to manage everything,” he said.

“Pod structure changes the mould – you come from a property officer where you do your routines … but there is an opportunity to become a PM, and it is not sink or swim because you have the support of the senior PM.”

Mr Spencer said the office has had three property officers move to PM roles in the past few years.

“There is progression there, so in theory there is no reason for them to leave, which gives us longevity of staff.”

He said working closely with someone else in a pod structure also means nothing can be hidden.

“If you have a work colleague who is asking ‘what is going on with this?’, you are so much more obliged to just do it.

“It is even good from a business owner’s perspective, because they know now that we are not just being accountable to them, but to each other.”

However, Mr Spencer said it was initially tough to change from portfolio to pod structure.

“Communication was the hardest one to get used to – knowing who is up to what and where,” he said. Diary notes became a very important communication tracker.

“In theory, yes, you should keep diary notes, but it became more prominent once two people handled the same property.

“If you talk to someone, you'd better put a note in there otherwise your head is on the chopping block.”

[Related: PMs pulling big numbers]

Pod structure boosts PM career progression
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