BEST PRACTICEElite AgentEPM: HR and Recruitment

How to help your property management department flex

Without a doubt, the number 1 concern we hear in our consulting business is around staff – where to find them, how to train them, and how to manage them.

And these pleas are not for naught.

The reason this is the number 1 concern of businesses all around the country is because there is a genuine challenge in our industry to find and keep amazing property managers, while providing them a fulfilling place to work.

Staff no longer want to come to work, get paid and leave.

From our experience, businesses don’t want this either.

They want people who are as passionate about their agency and goals as they are themselves. 

According to a Harvard Business Review study from 2018, nine out of 10 employees were willing to trade a percentage of their lifetime salary for more meaningful work.

However, in a more recent study reviewed in an article by Psychology Today, the salary sacrifice for meaning, is more like 50/50 and kicks in for some after reaching a salary threshold. 

On top of the meaning challenge, businesses are faced with an experience shortage, or equally a budget deficit to pay for the talent they want in their teams.

An experienced property manager earns far more that what the same businesses were paying five years ago.

It goes without saying, this varies depending on state, region and agency.

However, does paying more, really get you the talent you’re after?

Not always, no. 

But never fear, answers to all of these questions are available.

Let’s break it down, shall we?

Where to find talent 

A great property manager might be hard to find, but remember, you can teach skill, you can’t always teach attitude.

That means you can look anywhere for your next amazing property manager, even the local bank, grocery store, hairdresser, or bar.

If they have great customer service skills, and a can-do attitude, the remaining skills can be taught (more about that to come).

Additionally, a huge untapped resource is the part-time employment pool.

The amount of insanely dedicated, loyal, brilliant property managers you could pass up because they want to work part-time, or flexible hours, is vast.

If you’re stuck in a Monday to Saturday, 9am-5pm box, then you’re missing out on significant experience, and talent.  

How to train them

Yes, we hear you.

Getting a green property manager up to speed on how to do their job, use all your software, speak confidently and professionally with your landlord and owner clients, keep on top of the never-ending workload and do it all while having a good time, is often a steep learning curve.

Most businesses do not have the time or resources to facilitate the training required for a new starter.

Equally, some ‘experienced’ property managers might start with you, only for you to realise, they were not trained well at their last agency.

Remember our friend the Eisenhower Matrix?

Do now, do later, delegate or delete.

This is definitely a delegate area.

Formal training for property managers by a professional, is key to developing great staff who, because they understand and can manage their workload, they remain happier in their roles for longer! 

How to manage them

You might want to delegate this too, huh?

Great leadership is the third, but not-so-final, challenge of staffing your business.

Providing a really clear set of expectations for your team will help with ongoing management of their roles.

Examples of this could be an induction checklist at the beginning of employment, KPI trackers for general tasks and duties, regular one-on-ones to identify any challenges or career progression goals for the team member. 

And failing that, yes – you can totally delegate part of this to an awesome consultant – just saying!

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Samantha Xerri

Samantha Xerri has 20 years' experience in the property industry and is in Client Services at Real+.