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Next generation property management: Paving the way for a sustainable and scaleable future

The property management industry is evolving rapidly, driven by advances in technology, a growing emphasis on business sustainability, and the need for agile and efficient team structures.

To stay ahead and remain viable and profitable, property management companies must have the courage to employ green and then invest in grooming and growth, and leverage technology to enhance productivity, reduce overheads, and build trust and respect among clients.

Here’s how the next generation of property management can achieve these goals.

The rising costs of salaries in property management are becoming a significant concern for businesses in the industry.

As wages increase, companies face higher overheads, which can impact their profitability and operational efficiency.

Concurrently, the industry is experiencing a slide in management fees, driven by competitive market pressures and clients’ increasing demand for cost-effective services and results.

This double-edged challenge compels property management companies to seek innovative solutions to maintain their competitive edge and ensure sustainable growth.

One of the most promising strategies is the integration of technology to streamline operations and enhance productivity.

By adopting advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and workflow automation, property management companies can reduce their reliance on human labour for routine and repetitive tasks, thereby minimising salary-related expenses and boosting overall efficiency.

AI and workflow automation offer transformative potential for property management, enabling property management companies to increase the capacity of each team member and focus on more strategic activities.

AI-powered tools can handle initial inquiries from tenants and prospective clients, provide round-the-clock customer support, and manage mundane administrative tasks with minimal human intervention.

This not only reduces the need for a large workforce but also allows team members to concentrate on high-value tasks that require client connection and interaction, human judgment, and creativity.

With the additional removal or reduction of other ancillary fees, property management firms are further pressured to find efficiencies and reduce costs.

Consequently, businesses can reduce overhead costs, increase productivity, and create a more resilient and scalable operation by understanding how technology and team work together.

By leveraging technology to perform minutia tasks, property management firms can enhance their service quality, improve customer satisfaction, and stay ahead in a competitive market while navigating the financial pressures of declining fees and rising labour costs.

In this three-part article, we will explore the crucial elements that ensure your property management business remains viable, relevant, and profitable in today’s competitive landscape.

We will delve into the next generation property management approach, starting with the team —discussing how to employ green talent, then grow and groom them to foster a dynamic workforce.

Next, we will examine team structure, providing insights on adjusting and aligning roles as your business scales and grows.

Finally, we will highlight the transformative role of technology in decreasing overheads, improving productivity, and building client love, trust, and respect for your brand.

These three elements are indispensable for sustaining success in the evolving property management industry.

How to employ green, then grow and groom, and why this is the way to go

Hiring new employees who have never worked in a specific role before, often referred to as ‘green’ hires, presents both challenges and opportunities.

These individuals bring fresh perspectives and a willingness to learn, but they require careful grooming and growth to ensure they align with company culture and contribute effectively.

This article outlines a structured approach to nurturing these green hires through grooming and growing.

Recruiting a green property management team starts with identifying passionate, trainable candidates through internships and entry-level positions.

Groom them with a comprehensive onboarding program, combining hands-on training, mentorship, and continuous education on industry trends and technologies.

Encourage professional growth by providing opportunities for advanced certifications, regular performance reviews, and clear career progression paths.

Foster a supportive work culture that emphasises teamwork, open communication, and recognition of achievements.

Implementing these strategies will help develop a knowledgeable, motivated team capable of effectively managing properties and adapting to the evolving demands of property management.

Nurturing novices: A guide to cultivating green talent in the workplace

Bringing fresh faces into the fold can invigorate any team, but when those faces are entirely new to the professional landscape, the task of integration becomes an art form.

Green team members are those who have never worked in a particular role before.

While they offer enthusiasm and untapped potential, they require a strategic approach to grooming and growing to ensure they align with company culture and thrive in their new roles.

Grooming: The foundation for success

Grooming green team members involves laying down the groundwork that will shape their understanding of the company’s values, standards, and client expectations.

This foundational stage is crucial in helping these new hires feel integrated and prepared to meet the company’s and clients’ needs.

Comprehensive onboarding

New hires are introduced not only to their roles but also to the essence of the company.

They learn about its mission, vision, and core values.

Such orientation fosters a sense of belonging and sets the stage for a productive journey ahead.

Mentorship and buddy systems

Pairing green hires with seasoned mentors serves as a guiding light.

Mentors embody the company’s ethos and provide invaluable insights, answering questions, and demonstrating desired behaviours.

Additionally, a buddy system facilitates social integration and aids in navigating day-to-day tasks.

Role-specific training

Tailored training programs are crafted to equip green team members with the skills and knowledge essential to their roles.

Through hands-on experiences, shadowing, and real-world scenarios, they gain practical insights into their responsibilities.

Regular feedback and performance reviews

Continuous feedback loops are established to help green hires adjust and improve.

Through structured performance reviews, progress is assessed, and goals are set to ensure alignment with organisational objectives.

Growing: Cultivating a business and service mindset

Once the foundational grooming is in place, the focus shifts to nurturing the growth of green hires, shaping their mindset towards achieving business goals and delivering exceptional customer service.

Professional development opportunities

Opportunities for growth abound, from advanced training programs to participation in industry conferences and workshops.

Encouraging external learning broadens horizons and brings fresh perspectives to the table.

Encouraging a growth mindset

Nurturing a culture of curiosity and continuous learning empowers green team members to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth.

By venturing outside their comfort zones, they expand their skill sets and contribute to their personal and professional development.

Aligning with business goals:

Green hires are brought into the fold of organisational objectives, actively participating in goal-setting processes.

Through training in business fundamentals and strategic thinking, they gain a deeper understanding of the company’s mission and their role within it.

Fostering customer-centric thinking

Central to their growth journey is the cultivation of a customer-centric mindset.

Green team members learn to value client feedback and strive for excellence in service delivery.

Workshops focused on customer service best practices provide practical tools for exceeding client expectations.

Recognition and rewards

Acknowledging achievements, big and small, is pivotal for motivating employees and reinforcing desired behaviours within a company.

While traditional incentive programs often rely on monetary rewards, it’s important to think innovatively and consider individual motivations to boost productivity and meet business goals effectively.

Creative incentives can include wellness rewards such as a day off or a spa treatment voucher, experiential rewards like tickets to events or team outings, opportunities for professional development such as funding for education or mentorship, flexible work arrangements, and social recognition through peer-to-peer commendation or public acknowledgment.

By offering diverse incentives tailored to the unique preferences of employees, organisations can foster a culture of appreciation, empowerment, and continual growth, ultimately enhancing both employee satisfaction and business success.

Incentives play a crucial role in driving motivation, productivity, and employee engagement.

By expanding beyond traditional monetary rewards and embracing creative incentives tailored to individual motivations, organisations can foster a culture of appreciation, empowerment, and continuous growth.

Ultimately, these initiatives not only contribute to business success but also enhance the overall well-being and satisfaction of employees.

Next week I’ll bring you Part 2 on team structure.

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Jo-Anne Oliveri

Jo-Anne Oliveri, CIPS, TRC, Founder and Managing Director of property management business solutions company ireviloution intelligence. She is an international real estate identity who has trained over 500 agencies and thousands of agency owners and property managers worldwide. Visit ireviloution.com to find out more.