EPMEPM: HR and Recruitment

A Good Property Management Temp is Hard to Find

Currently, the average life span of a Property Manager is nine months, causing a constant headache for a principal with an average rent roll of approximately 500 properties employing 3 portfolio Property Managers. Three Property Managers, all of whom have four weeks annual leave per year meaning that as the business owner, you need to cover 12 weeks holidays. The solution, “Bring in the Temp!”

The thought of utilising a temping agency scares a lot of Principals but more so it scares the Property Manager going on leave. In most occasions you will find the Property Manager would prefer to have their work escalate and return from leave busier than ever than to have a temp come in for a week and make things worse.

Larger offices will have a ‘floater’. A floater is exactly that. They cover the holidays, are familiar with clients, staff and procedures but the down side is they are another full time wage that many offices simply cannot afford.
Hiring a temp does not have to be scary if you employ a specialised agency to source a temp for you. Most Property Management recruitment agencies will focus purely on permanent staff but some may also provide temporary assignments.

There are generally three types of Property Management temps:

  • The temp who comes in and decides to change all your systems and procedures
  • The temp who will answer the phone but does little more
  • The professional temp.

Part of my role as Director of Real Strategix is to find the the right professional temp for my clients! A person might look great on paper, however, once they are in the role – they can often turn into a number 1 or a number 2 temp!

If you are sourcing a temp, there are a few ways to find out if the temp agency has completed an appropriate candidate review.

Ask the agency if they have placed this candidate before and if so, for how long. If it was only a couple of days, make sure that you request a verbal report on the person and ask if you can call the office which utilised them. (they may not allow this due to privacy restrictions, in which case you could ask the agency if the office could call you)

If the appointment was for an extended period, a good question to ask is whether the candidate was offered a full time role when their temp contract ended….this obviously confirms that they are a good worker.
Ask the agency if this temp is covered under their Professional Indemnity Insurance and if not, hang up the phone!

Remember that you are the client and the temp agency is technically applying for a job….ask the agency if they personally would allow this candidate to work in their offices….if they stutter or stumble then you do not want this candidate working in your office.

A temp in QLD (Real Strategix only specialises In QLD temping so I cannot comment on specifics for other states) is allowed to be contracted to an agency for no longer than 30 days at a time. Even though some may prefer a Property Management Temp who has actually held current registration previously, this is not a requirement, the reason being that a ‘temp’ is not employed under your workplace employment agreement. However, temps are NOT allowed to perform the following duties of a registered Property Manager:

  • Inspections (leasing, exits or routines)
  • They cannot sign the following: RTA forms, any Agreements and/or trust account receipts.
  • They cannot make a final decision on tenancy applications or major maintenance approval without obtaining approval from either the landlord affected or a Property Manager.

With that being said there is still a great deal that a Property Management Temp can assist with such as:

  • Phone calls, emails, fax enquiries
  • Arrears and maintenance
  • Landlord, tradesperson and tenant liaison
  • Tenancy documentation (renewals, bond increases, lease or vacating preparation)
  • Tenancy Application checks & bond finalisation

Basically, treat your temp as you would anyone working in your agency who does not have a current registration. If you would like any additional information on employing a temp at your agency please get in touch!

Lauren is the Owner/Director of Real Strategix and provides Property Management consulting and temporary recruitment to the Real Estate industry. 

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