Successful property management is more about dealing with people than real estate, an industry executive believes.
Leah Calnan, director of Metro Property Management, told the PPM National Property Management Conference that property managers spend less time dealing with homes than with clients, colleagues and tradespeople.
“Perhaps ‘team management’ should be called ‘leadership management’, because that’s what we all want,” Ms Calnan said. “We all crave this ability to connect with people.”
Ms Calnan said leading by example is one of the most effective forms of staff management.
“Don’t be afraid to sit and help the staff because, as a leader, they expect to see you do those things,” she said.
Giving feedback is also important in creating a well-functioning team, according to Ms Calnan: “Praise in public, reprimand in private. I learnt really early on the ways that you need to give praise, but you also need to learn how to give negative feedback.
“Be approachable. I run an open-door office in my business, which sometimes kills me. But I know that my team sees me as being approachable for the good stuff and the bad, because if you don’t have that, you don’t have leadership.”
Ms Calnan also noted the importance of being attentive, even if it means having to juggle work.
“When somebody wants to tell me something, I need to stop doing my emails, I need to look up from my computer, I need to not answer my phone and I need to give them my full attention,” she said.
The final advice Ms Calnan offered is “monkey see, monkey do”.
“People follow the way you dress, people follow your behaviour and people follow your professionalism,” she said. “So think about that from a leadership point of view and be aware of it.”