The Australasian Residential Property Management Conference (ARPM) kicked off yesterday with a whole host of speakers sharing tools and insights for property managers and principals. Here are ten great takeaways from Day 2.
10. Fake reviews = fake news and they’re bad for your business
REA Group’s Nigel Dalton says businesses don’t know enough about where their reviews are coming from. He doesn’t mean who’s leaving them; he means that, if someone asks Alexa who the best property manager is, what reviews does Alexa use? For example, Apple doesn’t take into consideration Google reviews, or Facebook, so if you ask Siri the same question the response will be based on Yelp reviews. How many offices have Yelp reviews? Not many, and therein lies the issue. You also can’t fake reviews to combat bad ones – especially as crackdowns into the legitimacy of reviews become commonplace. Nigel also spoke about how Uber has made us too comfortable with rating people, and spoke about how close we already are to a Black Mirror-esque universe where our rating affects where we live.
9. We need to rethink how we look at mistakes
In property management if you’re not making mistakes then you’re not learning, and often a mistake can be fixed with a new, or altered, process. But if you’re hiding your mistakes, or you’re not letting your team or co-workers make mistakes, then you’ll never find those processes which can be fixed or improved. Kylie Maxwell of LJ Hooker Queanbeyan says we need to change how we think about mistakes and become comfortable with them. You need to make sure you educate everyone, both in your business and when dealing with your clients, and that also requires honesty. Educate your clients in the processes and don’t be scared to set up boundaries – that gives you and your team freedom to do your jobs.
8. PMs now are very different from PMs 10 years ago
It’s fair to say that things are very different now in a lot of businesses, but property management especially has seen massive market and technology changes. PMs need very different skills now, says Emma Slape of Turner Real Estate. Property management is now more valued, but there’s less profits, so PMs need to be more diverse and streamlined in their processes. There’s also more support and organisation for PMs now, and it’s being supported more as a career path as opposed to a stepping stone into sales. While this is good for PMs, it also puts more pressure on them and requires more from them to be, and continue to be, successful. What’s important, says Emma, is working as a team in your office – including combining sales and property management teams.
7. Don’t get upset by people or situations; both are powerless without your reaction
There’s no point getting upset by people or situations, because it’s that reaction which gives them control. Whether you’re dealing with clients or co-workers, you need to remove the emotion from the process – or else you’re the one escalating. Kylie Maxwell says that you need to be switched on to be able to handle these situations, which is why you need to give yourself enough time to recharge at the end of the day. “Nothing happens after 6 pm,” she says, so you shouldn’t be working then. The evening is yours: take it, recharge, bring that energy back into work the next day. And remember that you need to respect both your clients and your co-workers.
6. Channel your inner salesperson
“Everyone can and should be a leader, regardless of your position or title. Everyone in your office can lead and inspire,” says Clarke & Humel’s Ashlea Merlo. The way you find that is by taking control of your business, your clients and your week. Ditch the ideal week if it doesn’t work for you – or break it down and make it more customer-centric. The only way for PMs to overcome the landlords who want to self-manage – and there will always be landlords who want to self-manage – is to channel their inner salesperson and start tackling the role differently. Ashlea says you need to put strategy into your listing presentation. Look at your business and find the failures or faults, because your competitor will have already found them. Instead of selling features, which don’t always make sense or are not easily understood, translate them into benefits for the landlord.
5. Identify your emotional wake, and improve it if need be
What feelings do you leave behind you each day? Expert coach Colin James says this is your emotional wake – and something you need to be aware of. The future of work is under major disruption, and if you’re not aware of yourself and being your best self then you’ll fall to the tightening conditions. Every day is opening night – there isn’t a test run. No one really knows what’s going on; we need to stay light and have humour, because that’s the only way to get through. “Jump into the future, jump into professionalism, jump into your career, be the best you can,” said Colin.
4. Be serious about change
A lot of ARPM 18 focused on change, and Emma Slape said PMs need to be very serious about it. Building and embracing success involves accepting change. For a team this means finding the people that fit. being honest about the problems and how they need to change. accepting feedback from those around you and turning that into change, and expecting roadblocks. But the most important thing about change, said Emma, is that you identify what’s good in your business first and don’t change that. Find what makes you good at what you do and make sure that stays the same, because that’s the essence of you and your business. Another important factor is to involve everyone in your company in the change – make sure they know what’s going on and can opt to be a part of it. This will make them feel connected to both the business and their work, and help make them protectors of the new processes.
3. Talk about your problems – not your feelings
“You can’t solve a feeling; you can solve a problem. Your feelings are irrelevant to business,” says Sam Nokes, Head of Department at Jellis Craig. One way to remove your feelings from the business is to stop being stressed about stress and focusing on failure. Failure and stress will both come – there’s nothing you can do about that. But if you’re going to spend your time fearing and worrying about them then you’re wasting energy and emotion which has no place there. Instead, shift the focus. Find the strengths, and channel your focus there. Accept the past and fight for the future – and if you involve the whole team in that fight, and the changes, then they’ll feel like they’re working towards something and they’ll have more pride in both the work they do, and the business in general. “You need to be comfortable being uncomfortable – that’s how you succeed. You have to be OK with going into a situation and not knowing the outcome,” says Sam. Nobody likes feeling stupid, but you need to start understanding that sometimes you won’t have 100 per cent control and that’s OK.
2. Identify what type of worker you are, and what types you have in your team
There’s a scale between lone wolves and people who thrive in teams. You need both in your team, but they work very differently. Expert coach Colin James says alongside knowing how you, or your team, works better (together or alone), people can also be categorised into either hard workers or laissez-faire workers. Hard workers thrive with routine, projects with clear milestones, lists and tasks which are set at the beginning of the day. They carry the stress for the rest of the team. On the other side of the coin, laissez-faire workers leave everything to the last minute but turn out excellent results under pressure. You need both in your team to be successful, and they actually work best together, says Colin, because if you have too many of the same type you’ll end up with conflict.
1. Something is only impossible if you know it is
Sharing his incredible life story of being lost in the Amazon, Yossi Ghinsberg said that nothing is impossible if you don’t know that. Naive people, he said, have the best dreams because they don’t know they’re unachievable. This means they always try. Yossi also said that people show their strength when they’re tested, and when the competition is at its strongest that’s when you see how fierce people can be. And if we’re all at our best then we rise up together, and nobody has to fall down.