EPMEPM: Leadership

What property managers can learn from great entrepreneurs

It’s easy to think that captains of industry and key thoughtleaders are somehow different to us – superhuman even. But the only true difference between us and them is an attitude to learning, as Natalie Hastings explains.

Inspirational quotes from famous entrepreneurs and the thought-leaders we admire might add flavour to our daily Instagram trawl, but placing great people on a pedestal can be counter-productive. Instead of adopting their wisdom we hold it apart from ourselves.

Whether we use their smarts to improve the daily operations of our real estate businesses or to create a product that disrupts an industry doesn’t matter; what does matter is that we do more than scroll past their advice on social media, and work out ways to implement their wisdom in our daily life.

Here are four pieces of advice from popular leaders that reflect on the qualities leading property managers enjoy.

1. “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” Barack Obama

Great property managers are excellent team builders. They collaborate with their colleagues, consider trades and their support system an important part of their success, and understand they need to work with their tenants and landlords as opposed to for them. Property managers hear daily feedback directly from clients and are gifted with the opportunity to make real changes to the way their departments undertake customer service. With the right support, they can take action and participate in the project of making a whole real estate practice a better place.

2.  “Shutting down discussion is self-defeating and impedes progress. We need to talk and listen and debate and refute and instruct and learn and evolve.” Sheryl Sandberg

Great property managers are honest and open with their team. It takes bravery to have difficult conversations with all the stakeholders in a property manager’s world, from their principal to the distressed tenant who’s behind on rent. Honesty, listening and clear communication are the hallmarks of a terrific property manager. Instead of hiding behind emails or not addressing issues, get frank and enjoy the clarity of true conversation and problem-solving.

It takes bravery to have difficult conversations with all the stakeholders in a property manager’s world.

3. “If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” Steve Jobs

Great property managers have a vision. Property management rarely has the glitter and perceived glamour of sales. It’s a caring role that supports two parties in achieving their goals – financial security and domestic security. It’s a vision and a distinct purpose to serve that great property managers share; they’re never pushed towards excellence.

4. “Founding a company is hard. Most of it isn’t smooth. You’ll have to make very hard decisions. You have to fire a few people. Therefore, if you don’t believe in your mission, giving up is easy.” Mark Zuckerberg

Great property managers are great decision-makers. This doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes – the longer they’re in practice, the more readily they’ll agree that mistakes are a part of making decisions. Property managers who know their role inside out have the confidence and support to make decisions on behalf of their clients – after all, that’s what they’re employed to do. Whilst they might occasionally be rattled by circumstances or the outcome of a decision, their ‘never quit’ attitude means they don’t beat themselves up – they just get on with the job.

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Natalie Hastings

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