EPMEPM: HR and Recruitment

Losing It: Perspective and the Property Manager

Being a property manager sometimes feels like being in the eye of the storm – buffeted around by other people’s demands and in a state of constant reaction. This is particularly true when we move into peak periods of client demand. Natalie Hastings looks at the best ways to stay calm and maintain perspective.

Times of stress and demand, such as the start of each new year and the close of each financial year, can take their toll, both psychologically and physically, on even the most experienced of property managers. Choosing to power on without time for recuperation can quickly lead to serious illness and depression – all of which take you out of your team for much longer than a week off!

If they want to avoid becoming a casualty of burnout, it’s critical that property managers take measures to maintain their sense of perspective and prioritise their health.

Here are some ideas for maintaining perspective and prioritising your own wellness – ensuring you can continue to do the job you love for years to come!

You are not your job. Rinse and repeat. You are not your job.

Having healthy boundaries around your job and your responsibilities promotes an enhanced sense of wellbeing for property managers. Some of us become sucked into a vortex of racing to fix everyone’s problems all of the time, answering business phones well into the evening instead of enjoying family or leisure time, worrying compulsively about unresolved maintenance issues in their own time – in short, believing that they’re responsible for everyone else’s happiness.

This is a one-way trip to burnout for caring personalities (in other words, most of the people who work in property management!)Understand the boundaries of your role in both time and responsibility. You cannot make every landlord happy and every tenant content. You can’t force landlords to make necessary changes to their property, any more than you can compel tenants to transfer funds to the trust account.

Landlords and tenants are responsible for their own happiness: you are the helpful expert working to negotiate good outcomes for both parties. As we well know, this isn’t always possible. So don’t grind your teeth late into the night over it. Make your own time your own time and exert influence within your professional boundaries.

There are times when things can get pretty stressful in your property management role. If you are constantly subjected to undue stress – powering through with the assistance of coffee, cigarettes or wine to pump you up or calm you down – you’re at risk of not only poor health, but sub-optimal decision-making.

Choosing to power on without time for recuperation can quickly lead to serious illness and depression.

If you start to feel panic rising or stress amping your heart rate, create strategies and space for calm. Take five or ten minutes and focus on yourself, removing yourself from the situation at hand. There are many apps you can use to help you relax and refocus. Here are some of our favourites:

  • Headspace
    A beginner’s guide to meditation, Headspace offers a full menu of meditation offerings – everything from performance enhancing through to sleep meditation and stress management. There’s even an SOS mini-meditation for those ‘I see red’ moments!
  • Omvana
    A great one for meditation newbies, Omvana offers several free ‘starter’ meditations which can both calm you and help you focus on your day with purpose. Choose from a variety of peaceful or gently motivating soundtracks to ‘mix’ your own meditation.
    Happy teams are productive teams. Remember – whilst you are property managers, you are also much more than property managers! You’re bookworms, gourmets, Kardashian fans, parents, pet lovers, runners, volunteers… the list of interests outside of real estate within your team right now is likely mind-boggling.Connect and promote wellness as a group by choosing to participate in team activities that stretch your minds (and maybe your bodies, too!). Ideas for connection and balance you can undertake in your office include:
  • Desk yoga
    Keep your bodies limber with gentle ‘desk yoga’ exercises of an afternoon! Look up YouTuber ‘Yoga with Adriene’ for a variety of gentle stretches that are both amusing to perform and energising.
  • Dance it out
    Wheel away the office chairs: it’s time for a dance-off! Is there one lunchtime or afternoon a week when your team could dance it out, enjoying a giggle and raising your heart rate? We recommend office dance-offs to YouTuber ‘The Fitness Marshall’ for maximum stress relief.
  • Book club
    Engage with the book lovers in your business by holding a bi-monthly book club. Choose something accessible and enjoyable, and take yourselves out for afternoon tea and a ‘deep and meaningful’ discussion about the book. New ideas inspire and connect – try it!

Maintaining perspective – and prioritising your wellness – is an important part of being an effective property manager. Whilst it might feel tough to put yourself first, it’s the only way to continue enjoying your role in real estate and your life outside it!

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Natalie Hastings

Natalie Hastings is the Managing Director of Hastings + Co. For more information, visit hastingsandco.com.au.