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Building psychological safety for property managers

By Anne Crarey
27 February 2024 | 11 minute read
anne crarey little real estate reb ljr9ph

Property managers often find themselves between a rock and a hard place. There is a delicate balance of managing the interests of landlords with the often competing needs of tenants. It’s no wonder that we often find property managers feeling the pressure and we’ve seen increasing rates of burnout in the industry.

A recent report by MRI Software found one in four Australian property managers wanted to leave their jobs, with 53 per cent citing mental health as their biggest challenge due to their inability to switch off from the stresses of the job.

As employers and leaders, we can do better when it comes to creating workplaces that promote psychological and physical safety for our staff.

A key part of this is providing comprehensive training and extending support for wellbeing, including flexible working options and development opportunities.

Last year, Little Real Estate decided to shift the focus on how we approach learning and development and put a renewed focus on embedding a culture of psychological safety, agility and diversity of thinking.

Particularly post-COVID it became clear to us how important the welfare and mental health of our staff is and we were determined to find better ways to support them.

Every leader at the company has now undergone mental health first aid training to be able to safely support team members when needed. It has taught them the warning signs to look out for and what to do if they think somebody is struggling or needs extra support. The real estate industry is inherently stressful and the better we can manage that, the more we can support our people and provide a quality service to our clients.

We’ve also run resilience training, which includes techniques for stress management and emotional regulation, while a care calendar has also been introduced to allow our team to incorporate wellness strategies into their daily lives. The self-defence classes that run under this have been particularly popular, especially for property managers to minimise the risks they face when out in the field.


By taking a holistic approach to health and wellness, we’ve been able to ensure our teams remain engaged and perform at their peak. We’re determined to continue to expand and grow from our wellness program, but so far we’re encouraged with the results. A recent survey of our 250-member team showed 85 per cent of our employees express satisfaction with their personal growth and development and 84 per cent are actively engaged at work.

There’s room for the industry to do this as a whole and support each other when it comes to the psychological safety of staff. Unless we continue to implement new strategies and be prepared to change, we risk having an industry marred by high staff turnover and inexperience. Our staff are our greatest asset and they’re the key to having a successful and robust agency, but first we need to make sure they feel safe to do their jobs properly.

Anne Crarey is the executive general manager of property services at Little Real Estate.

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