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Team Dynamics – Property Management Round Table: Part 5

As a finale to Transform PM 2016 our four PM Directors were joined by Charles Tarbey, Fiona Blayney, Chris Gray, Richard Bray, Julie Davis and Neil Williams for an industry round table discussion on the future of property management and how to best serve the needs of property investors. The session was facilitated by Alister Maple-Brown of Rockend.

In this fifth video of our 8-part series, we discuss the performance profiles of the Transform teams, as conducted by Agent Dynamics, and why identifying one’s innate talent is beneficial for overall team performance.


Alister Maple-Brown: Moving on to people, I’ve heard some really amazing feedback about the work, Julie and Neil, that you’ve done with the businesses.

Adriana Dendrinos: I was going to bring Neil and Julie into this. I find what Charles is saying, with property management, I think they’re too much in the trenches and no-one’s looking for these opportunities. So it’s like “oh, we’ll get through this today, then we’ll … “, it’s like an afterthought. It’s not a dedicated task. I think trying to getting to get certain people to do certain things that they’re not naturally inclined to doing in property management doesn’t work either. Because they’ll put it on the back-burner, and I don’t want to do that.

Julie Davis: I think that’s really interesting because I think, particularly in PM, there’s such a high turnover of team members. So, there are some really simple processes that you can put in the beginning, in your recruitment process, that you’re going to have the right person in the right role. There’s also predictability of how that person is going to act and respond, but where do we match people that are going to bring the best value to your business? For them, that’s in how [they are] going to show up every day, doing something that is in their ‘flow’ – what we call ‘in the flow’ – where they add even more value.
It’s also communication within the team, that everybody understands within the team. You guys have experienced that through the profiling we’ve done so far, of what a difference that makes. Of course, that comes down to less turnover with your team, and keeping more profit in your business.

Philip Bell: I think something I’ve learned with property management teams now is that there are two different roles – one’s a property manager and the other one’s the person who brings the new business in, the BDM or whatever you want to call them. I can see the difference between the two people that are doing Transform with us.

Neil Williams: I think initially, the thing that was really heartening from our point of view was the acceptance of how quickly the guys took to it. They said, “Gee, there’s something in this, and there’s something we could do with it to help our business”.

Julie: As Neil said, the feedback we’ve got, it has been really incredible. But in that process of when you’re bringing on a new team member, is, “Let’s see, are they going to be matched to the position?” I think that’s really key, as a principal, it costs you so much money. When you have somebody come in – we talk about that three-month gap – if we’re recruiting through resumes and references. At that three-month gap is where you identify the real issues, if that person competency-wise is not up to the role. Or if you have somebody who’s very competent in the role but not in their flow – full pockets, empty heart – they will move on.

So it’s matching your profile to the role, and your passion to the industry. We found that in terms of profitability and team retention, it’s been an incredible tool to use that, to being it in and to teach within the teams, full understanding in terms of the de-brief of the profile, but then understanding each other within the team.

Fiona Blayney: Julie, did you find that when you’re doing those profiles, when you’re saying, “making sure we’re not putting the square peg in the round hole,” do you, because it could be seen that the business owners are tempting to put the square peg into the round hole, do you find that it’s the business owner or the leaders attempting to make that shuffle work? Or the person themselves thinking, initially, that “I need to fit into that round hole”?

Julie: Yeah, and this comes through not looking at it in terms of ‘they’ve just got to fulfil what that job role’s about’. As long as they can do that, they’ll fill it.

Philip: I’ve been guilty of both, I think. Since talking to these guys and having them profile the three of us, opened my eyes to look back at some of the staff that I’ve employed in the past. We’ve had people would have applied for a receptionist job and we’ve decided,”You’re way too good for that, we’ll put you in the property manager’s job”. We’ve been guilty of putting it in. I will say now that people just want a job sometimes, and they’ll think they’ll make it work. Sometimes just telling them is sometimes fine.

Julie: And actually having the profile, it identifies when people are going to get off track. Where they’re going to get off track. The predictability within your team, of what different profile and what they’re going to do. You know? That situation. I think knowing that – and we’ve worked with a few of you guys now in terms of bringing new team members on, and having a de-brief session around that. You’ve either decided, “Yes, they’re going to be a really good fit,” or they’re not. If you can save yourself that money in the beginning and go, “You know what, this person is not going to fit within the team dynamics and for that role,” and not put them on? It gives you the opportunity then to recruit a better person for that role, and delivering more value and more profit to your business.

Fiona: Would you guys all agree – we’ve had our whole business done as well, and obviously I’ve seen your profiles and your teams – but would you agree (for me) there was an element of surprise as to how accurate the profiles were? In terms of, not just myself, but certainly for each of you and then for the teams?

Trent Shorland: For me, they were what I expected. The benefit for me was actually them not just understanding them, but them understanding me as well. So I think that that part of it was excellent. I think the other part was then understanding what you do with each of those personalities. I think from our team of three, that’s been a huge benefit. So, to me, it was one of the best sessions I’ve ever been through.

Philip: It sort of helped link a lot of the other things that we learned, and I think that they learned. Kira (Bauerle) was, for me, the one that sort of surprised me a little bit on how it turned out. When you look at it, it’s exactly her. Because of that, I have no expectation on her being able to do another part of the job. She’s awesome at that bit, but her profile doesn’t let her do that bit.

Julie: I think that we’re brought up, like, “Oh no, we’ve got to improve on our weaknesses,” which it’s not. We’ve just got to bring our best game to the table, and do that exceptionally well. There’s going to be somebody else that’s going to fill that other piece of the pie.

Kelly-Ann Seaton: I think it’s good seeing what your team had [that] was their biggest challenge. Identifying that personally and then as a team, what their biggest challenges were. It made you understand why they weren’t performing in that spot.

Fiona: Yeah. And guiding them through the acceptance of what that is. The understanding of it, and that it’s not a failing, you know? It’s an innate flow element.

Julie: We’ve had a lot of fun working with everyone. It’s been really great.

Kelly-Ann: We enjoyed mapping the team together.

Julie: With the overflow? Yes, the graph.

Kelly-Ann: That was great. Just seeing where everybody’s at as one.

Julie: When you’re building different areas of your business, and having that overlay graph within each team is really valuable. Like, with your admin team, Adriana, and then the PM team…

Fiona: And looking at where the gap is in that team. “How are we going to actually plug that gap?” With my team, I called it ‘the canoe’. I said, “We’ve got all these people sitting, holding oars, but there are some people where there are oars that are completely empty. So we’re going to just keep going off track until we actually get the right people to sit in those particular [spots].

Julie: Also, it’s, “Where is the gap in your business?” That is going to ensure the whole client experience, that they have a really great experience. You might be selling really well, doing what we call the Steel-based things really well. But what, in terms of service delivery with the client, which can quite often be that whole gap, which is going to cause you to lose clients.

To find out more on the agent profiling process, view Julie and Neil’s coaching session with the Transform teams on team performance management.

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