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Open letter to principal from PM

By Karen Herbert
04 October 2016 | 10 minute read
letterbox peek inside

A property management industry insider gives the inside scoop on why PMs leave agencies and what principals are doing wrong. 

A letter to the principal

“If you would lead, I would stay”, PM.

I remember the first time I walked into your sparkling office. The vibe was one of excitement and exhilaration.

A friendly face escorted me into your trophy room, filled with shiny awards and photos of happy people being handed a key to their new home.

And there you were, rather preened, wearing an Armani suit, some animal-skinned shoes and smelling divine.

I became entranced as I sat and listened to your vision for the company, your promise of what was yet to come.

It sounded so exciting, I wanted to be a part of it.


Nervously, I inquired about your procedures and support systems and you allayed my fears, assuring me that everything I needed would be provided.

You hired, I accepted.

I awoke from my reverie halfway through the morning of my first day, with a slap.

Back to the real world. Realising the condition of the portfolio I had been given to manage, I soon understood there was little or no procedures in place, nor support for me in my new role.

I was battered by a constant barrage of phone calls from angry clients every day.

I stayed though, because I remembered your vision.

I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to make you proud.

I remember you coming by my desk one Friday afternoon to see how I was doing. I summoned up the courage to voice some of my concerns about the condition of my portfolio.

You nodded empathetically and said, “Let’s sit down and discuss further next week”.

Sadly, next week never came, did it?

The sound of the bells and whistles continued to resonate throughout the office as your sales team won trophy after trophy.

Everyone was friendly enough, so why did I feel like an outsider?

I continued to pick myself up every day and head back into my world of mayhem and putting out fires.

I looked to you for guidance. I wanted you to lead.

The days were long now, what day is it?

I became grumpy, disillusioned.

Maybe, this role was not for me.

The days grew longer.

There were not so many fires to extinguish now, but I seemed to be out of energy.

Tired and stressed, I did’t seem to care much anymore about being a part of your vision.

Then one day, I found the courage to leave.

I reflected on the last six months spent in your employ.

Your shine became tarnished.

Your promises, left empty.

Your trophies, merely silver pots gathering dust, meant nothing in my world.

But you didn’t know my world nor did you want to know about it.

I wonder then, why you created my world.

“If you’d had led, I would have stayed.”

Your PM

PS: Far too many property managers are burnt-out and lost to the industry due to insufficient or inadequate management by their superiors.


Karen Herbert

Karen Herbert

Karen Herbert is the director of Property Management Rescue. 

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