EPMEPM: Leadership

It’s time to change

The biggest challenge facing the property management industry is not understanding technology or coping with changing market conditions. It’s really about embracing the challenge of leadership, managing change and motivating our people.

The 2018 Voice of Australian Property Management Report revealed the best property management businesses are well led, have great career structures in place and encourage their teams to be more than just property administrators.

Yet only one in four property managers feel this way about their business; 28 per cent of property managers talk the industry down and 12 per cent are actively looking to leave the industry altogether.

Leadership is the ability to focus on your most valuable asset – people – despite the distractions of pressures on fees and increased competition from new tech trends.

Here are the elements we need to focus on as leaders in our businesses if we want our property management teams to perform at their best:

1 Give staff the tools they need to excel

A survey of property managers in the report showed 38 per cent said they did not have the tools and resources to do their work correctly.

If competitors offer better working conditions, staff are more likely to find leaving a more attractive option.

2 Invest in training and upskilling

Work environments that encourage learning and skills development find it easier to introduce new technology and make efficiency improvements.

Retaining good staff is about ensuring they have the tools to do their job properly and can see a future within the organisation.

3 Have structured career paths

Businesses that offer structured career paths made people feel more secure in their role and have a positive attitude toward the industry and their salary level.

4 Work on staff retention

The data shows the majority of those who work in property management have held their current job for less than two years, yet have more than six years’ experience.

Businesses with high turnover also have high onboarding and training costs and find it harder to deliver consistent service.

Retaining good staff is about ensuring they have the tools to do their job properly and can see a future within the organisation.

5 Pay staff well

Pay levels are only really an issue when other parts of the employee satisfaction equation outlined above are lacking.

Without career structures, tools and training, staff focus on the one thing left to them, which is the money.

This reveals that the more you try to save on not doing the structural work as a leader, the more you have to pay staff just to try and keep the wheels rolling on the wagon.

6 Set up sustainable processes that increase productivity

It’s impossible to set up sustainable processes if staff are constantly leaving, or increase productivity when remaining staff are burdened with additional workload.

When staffing is consistent and reliable it becomes easier to tackle productivity issues, which can directly improve your bottom line.

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Alister Maple-Brown

Alister Maple-Brown is the CEO of leading property management software provider Rockend. For more information visit rockend.com.au.