EPMEPM: Productivity

How to get your property management team in peak performance

When it comes to getting the most from your property management department, the humble performance review should sit right at the top of the to-do list for principals heading into 2019. Kasey McDonald looks at why reviews are so important for staff growth.

It may seem like an outdated process to some, but conducting regular performance reviews across the property management department is a sure-fire way to motivate and reward your staff while driving the bottom line.

WHY DO AN ANNUAL PERFORMANCE REVIEW?

Clarity

A performance review can be a great opportunity to get some one-on-one feedback from your employees and understand what their aspirations are. It’s a great communication process and should, in my opinion, never be seen as an opportunity by employers to crack the whip on staff. Ask them what they want to achieve in the next 12 months and work together to merge overall company goals with those of the employees.

Performance/KPIS

Taking the above goals into consideration should help create some achievable performance-based KPIs. This process is also great for recognising performance strengths and weaknesses, and may identify gaps where more training is required.

Job Satisfaction

Some principals make the mistake of making the performance review an intimidating process for the employee. Let your staff know they are welcome to speak up about challenges they may be having in their role and work together on solutions to move forward in those areas. Your property managers should see their performance review as a time to shine, show you what they are worth and be remunerated or appreciated for their efforts.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that over a third of employees quit their jobs because they don’t feel appreciated or don’t feel that their efforts are being rewarded. Performance reviews are a great way to ensure your employees are heard and their performances are acknowledged.

POINTS TO CONSIDER WHEN CONDUCTING A REVIEW

Time

Take the time to prepare for your employees’ reviews and stagger them so they get the time and focus they deserve. There’s nothing worse than conducting a review and not fully understanding your staff member’s role.

Follow-up

Once the review is over, give yourself a one-week follow-up timeline where you can review and give feedback to the property manager, and start to implement any changes or amendments. Don’t fall into the trap of conducting the review then not following it up.

Some examples of measurable KPIs you can use in your performance reviews are:

  • The number of properties that are lost off the rent roll each year. This should sit at no more than 10 per cent of your portfolio size
  • The vacancy or occupied percentage. This should be around 98 per cent occupancy
  • The number of tenants who pay their rent on time. This should be around 99 per cent
  • The completion of routine inspections and issuing of reports
  • Communication. This includes returning phone calls and emails within two hours (based on research conducted with consumers, this benchmark is what the client is expecting).

Remember, an engaging performance review process in a workplace can certainly help create great office culture. It’s also a good way for principals to make their employees feel they’re being heard, which can have a positive effect on performance and bottom line.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I DO A PERFORMANCE REVIEW?

When I owned and operated my own agency, I conducted my performance reviews based on the experience of the staff member and the time they’d been with the company, but I would always set a minimum of one per year regardless.

For employees who are more senior, and have been with the company and in their role for more than three years, I’d conduct one annually. For employees who are new to their role, I’d set them six-monthly for the first two to three years as a general guide.

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