If we were to define "Senior Property Manager"?


(Warren Rapson) #1

I deal with many staff across many businesses and in my time, I cannot tell you what a “Senior Property Manager” is or does by definition.

I also know that low wages are a challenge in our industry.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could reward those with the right experience with a higher wage and or industry recognition? And wouldn’t it be great if future employers could identify such experience by a defined title (or equivalent) of “Senior Property Manager”?

A don’t believe there is a definition. I think there should be and if there was, how would you define it?


(Ashley Giles) #2

Interesting question Warren (by the way, welcome to the forums!) I think that this would vary based on your structure. @adam has worked on a high performance team structure which allows for promotion and growth to a senior relationship manager, with more experience and a higher pay.

The key here is that the senior is leveraged by cheaper labour, allowing the business to still maintain its wage to income ratios. Love to hear other thoughts too.


(Adam Hooley) #3

Hi @warren and welcome to the LPMA community forums. You breach an interesting question and a space I have been working in for many years. Have you read the book “Building Blocks” by Ben White? It will help you with this. With tongue in cheek, I usually refer to a senior property manager as ‘old’. I don’t see it any other way by definition. They usually end up as senior PM’s because they have been with the business the longest, not because they are the best at their job or know the most. In Ben’s book, he defines a career path from property associate, property manager to property management executive, where the PME’s role is to train and mentor the team below them. They only earn this role by ticking off the requirements for the PA and PM roles. @ashley.giles is correct. This structure allows for entry level PMs at low salaries to offset the PMEs on higher salaries.


(Ashley Giles) #4

Just a note, the books are free with your membership, if you dont have them let me know and we can arrange to post some out! I am not a reader, but these have been invaluable to my business in Auckland I cannot recommend them enough, (and I am not just saying that because their Author is my Boss!) :grin:


(Colleen Sutherland) #5

I have the book here somewhere but just don’t have spare time. Does it come in audio? Hahaha


(Ashley Giles) #6

It should! With the southing sounds of @ben reading it… It would be part of a premium membership as getting Ben to read to you comes with a higher fee… I have checked!


(Ashley Giles) #7

@mfurlong welcome to the forums! You do a lot of work with clients in this space, what are your thoughts on this topic…


(Michael Furlong) #8

Excellent question and would have to agree with the points put forward-

Different regions have different criteria I have found ( anecdotally) for example in the outer areas / regional of Melb - there is a tendency for the PM to climb the totem pole by simply staying in the job longer. In an environment where there is much less staff turnover, this has massive impacts for the career development of younger staff that are keen to progress. The Senior needs to die before anyone else can move up. Very much a pyramid structure.

Closer to town the turnover is much higher. Senior Managers lack people management skills,which really is a core component of the role.

Just as many lack business skills. But this goes for some business owners also.

The industry is lacking an identity of being “Professional” instead of being a service. A core minimum requirement for a senior PM I think should be at least fully licensed


(Ben White) #9

@Colleen @ashley.giles or I could just leave a few very long voicemails


(Adam Hooley) #10

I think you are spot on @mfurlong. As the property management industry is seen as more a professional industry we will attract more professionals. These professional will be chasing career opportunities which will force out a more formal framework for career progression.


(Warren Rapson) #11

Soooo… if you had to, how would you define it?

  • x years expereince as x position?
  • and/or, in charge of a team??

(Adam Hooley) #12

@warren for me, it wouldn’t be either. Whether one uses Ben Whites books as a starting point or created their own, I would create a framework that broke up everything a property manager needs to learn over their career including customer facing and leadership. Once they were competent in every item, they then would be a senior property manager. There may be a natural alignment between the items you mentioned e.g. it could take 3 years to get to this stage or they might be managing X team members by then also. Just my take.


(Ashley Giles) #13

I would say to this also, there is a difference in “Senior PM” to the outside world, and to you own team also. What I mean by that is that customers loved being looked after by a “Senior Property Manager” in fact ,why would we ever promote that they are not being looked after by a Senior… Just food for thought in an interesting discussion… But, to the outside world their contacts need to look as experienced, professional and qualified as possible!