PROPERTY MANAGEMENT is a career that is rich with options. Where will you go next? Virginia Brookes outlines the possibilities for the years ahead.
LEASING OR PROPERTY OFFICER
You’ve landed your first role in property management and you’re learning the ropes. This is your first real chance to see where your strengths lie and what you enjoy.
Do you relish the administration and problem-solving part of the business, which includes processing repairs, working through sometimes problematic situations and building solid, long-term relationships with your clients? Or do you prefer the sales side of property management, where you are out and about showing properties, negotiating leases and inducting tenants into their new homes?
If you enjoy the relationship-building, administration and problem-solving parts of property management, then you are sure to head down the property manager’s career path. If you enjoy the sales side it looks like a career in leasing or even business development is the right path for you; this can also set you up for a career in real estate sales.
You will need to spend a good year as a property officer learning the ropes before you are ready to step into a junior property manager’s role. This period will see you working under the guidance of a senior property manager, generally managing a smaller portfolio so you can learn on the job.
Once you’ve become more familiar with the legalities of property management and have mastered the skills of multitasking and prioritising, you are ready to take on the task of a larger portfolio without so much guidance. In time you will grow into a property manager and then eventually a senior property manager, where you will have a larger portfolio, more responsibility and perhaps even a junior under your wing to train and mentor.
This is the highest you can go in property management before taking on a larger team-leader role in a corporate – or you may decide you want to go into business on your own. Bear in mind, though, that a department head isn’t just a senior property manager who has been running portfolios for a long time.
A true department head understands the compliance and financial issues of property management and is able to set KPIs around all parts of the business, including growth. You will also be required to train and mentor staff whilst having the resilience to deal with any escalated issues that come into the department.
This is generally a very well-paid position that can earn you an income well into six figures, so if you are serious about your property management career I suggest doing lots of internal and external training, learning as much as you can from seniors along the way.
LEASING AND NEW BUSINESS
If you chose to stay on the path of leasing and new business, a similar career path to property management is on offer.
Once you have mastered the art of leasing or business development there are many larger agencies that have Head of Leasing or Head of Growth roles. Here you will be responsible for the growth and development of this side of the business. Again, you will understand all compliance and financial issues, and have a demonstrated ability to train and mentor staff to ensure profitability and growth for the department.
Whatever path you choose in property management, you can guarantee you will be able to build yourself a solid, personally rewarding and financially stable career. Work hard, constantly upskill and put yourself out there – the sky’s your limit!