The jury is out on how much blame property managers must accept for the poor public perception of the real estate industry.
Real estate agents placed third-last in an annual Roy Morgan survey of 30 professions, with only 9 per cent of the 598 survey respondents saying agents scored highly for ethics and honesty.
True Property director Michael Catalano told Residential Property Manager that property managers should not be grouped in with sales agents as an untrusted profession.
“In my opinion, you can’t compare a salesperson to a property manager – they are chalk and cheese,” Mr Catalano said.
“Property managers need a different business ethic than a salesperson because PMs deal with clients for a longer period of time.”
Mr Catalano said property managers are more trustworthy than sales agents because they are charged with managing people’s investments.
“You are usually dealing with a client from anywhere from six months up to a few good years, whereas a salesperson just wants to get the business, sell the property and move on.
“I am sure they care about burning bridges along the way, but property managers care a lot more.”
However, Ireviloution managing director Jo-Anne Oliveri said sales agents are actually doing much better when it comes to gaining trust, loyalty and respect from clients.
Ms Oliveri told Residential Property Manager that PMs would do a better job of winning trust if they received more training.
“Property managers require more training than sales consultants as there is so much more involved in what they have to deliver and achieve on behalf of their clients and the company they work for.”
Ms Oliveri said property management will continue to achieve little respect until it learns to be more responsive to clients and to understand their objectives.
“This is easily changed, however, and that's what excites me. I truly believe that property management could rise above the ranks to be a very trusted and respected service.”
Meanwhile, the Roy Morgan survey saw nurses top this year’s ranking with a score of 92 per cent, followed by doctors and pharmacists on 84 per cent.
Bank managers placed 14th with 34 per cent, lawyers placed 15th with 31 per cent, state MPs placed 23rd with 14 per cent and federal MPs placed 25th with 13 per cent.
The list was rounded out by advertising people with 5 per cent and car salesmen with 4 per cent.
[Related: Trust in agents drops]