Staff in the Property Management arena is difficult one. There is no “easing” into the job - when you start is it like a bit hit in the face of all tasks that need to be done simultaneously, all the things you need to know and big expectation from all stake holders is quite overwhelming. It looks like chaos but to an experienced Property Manager they seem to waltz through knowing when to pull what ball out of the air and work on it. And for the most part, by the end of the week
For most Sales Agents - they look at us and say… that is just way too hard - you will never see me in Property Management
I have heard so many Agencies say they have Property Management because they kept being asked for it so they ended up doing it - by default - but the downside to this is that is treated as “other priority” - they put a property manager in the corner and say sort it. When this happens - you end up with a whole department that has no support, are not heard and under a lot of stress as no thought has been put into systems, processes, career progression, training - just “don’t cost me money”
For those businesses that see Property Management as an industry and career - do so much better. When Property Management is taken seriously, staff retention is much better.
There is a lot of abuse from many of the stakeholders that property managers shoulder. And if there is no psychological safety in the workplace - staff soon start questioning why I am I doing this. Then there is - I am sure it is the same in any other agency - as there is far too much industry memes about how bad property management is - so Property Managers have two choices - they stay where they are unhappy because “why would move to do the more of the same - I may as well stay with the *^&^%& that I know” or they start and look outside the industry and low and behold they get paid more to put up with less
So now we are drilling down on wages - and we are well and truly underpaid for what we do. And the industry needs a big shakeup and get off the “this is what we have always charged” and “I need to compete with joe blow down the road” - it is time for us to understand what we actually do and charge accordingly. I quite often ask landlords - 'Do you drink takeaway coffee? Daily?" which we all know most people do now days - or “what do pay to keep your car on the road” or “what does a woman pay to keep her hair manicured annually” some very basis things - but surprisingly most people pay a barista the same money they pay a Property Manager to manage their $1mil asset 24/7. It is so important that all staff know the numbers. Know how much a landlord is paying annually each year to put it into perspective. To know the breakeven point so understands when they absolutely cannot discount fees to get the business that ends up costing the company to manage both financially as well as sanity.
But I will go on even further. On a recent industry catch up over this issue, I was really surprised that many on the forum complained about the cost of bringing a newbie into the fold. Ie The requirement and cost of getting a licence. To be honest, I was quite disappointed. Tell me how much a plumber pays to get licenced? And they charge a call out fee on every job.
COVID saw me spending my time doing some university study - as I wanted to make the business I work in better. And I remember every time I started a new course, I thought - this would be so beneficial for every property manager. A subject of law, a subject in finance, a subject in the real estate cycle - and need I say I subject or 5 in psychology. Bringing a trainee onto the job whilst you are trying juggle a lot of balls adds a lot of pressure to everyone in the team. If you start training before you need the staff member (which is ideal) then there is financial pressure due to our low management fees.
Staff need to come to the industry much better equipped. There does need to be better training in order to start the job. The training does not need to be Sales Centric - as we all know most of the Licence and CPD points is.
If staff are given the right training and right tools, are shown trust and support and given space to be able to unload the stress that comes with the job so their mental health is taken care of then retention is going to be better. Most property managers know what they have to do so a lot more autonomy needs to be given to them as well.
But most of all - psychological in the workplace is paramount