Just like tenant selection, if we do not thoroughly check applications we could be stuck with a bad choice. Get the recruitment process wrong and you can get a property manager that will damage your business and reputation.
So, whether you are employing experienced or non-experienced staff, here are ten power keys for you to consider:
1. Use an employment application form – Would you ever allow a prospective tenant to apply for a property without submitting an application form? Of course not, so for the very same benefits we should require a prospective property manager to complete an employment application form. The employment application form asks for all things relevant pertaining to the position, for example, details of their experience, how long in former roles, outside education, details on their skills, and questions probing on attributes required for the role. A good application form allows you to gather relevant information you want to know, instead of receiving a cover letter with the information they want you to know! If you would like a sample employment application form, you may email me for one.
2. Show me the money! – I see many property management vacancy ads and most miss a crucial factor; remuneration! In a day when good property managers are hard to come by, simply advertising a position is not good enough! You need to come up with a higher than average income package and then advertise it, otherwise, they will be likely to pass your advert by and not apply. Getting your advert right will maximise your chance of the right people applying!
3. Watch restrictive adverts – In a day when the positions available vastly outnumber the supply of experienced property managers, getting a property manager with all of your requirements can be difficult, if not fanciful. For example, insisting that they have five years experience, that they know extensively end of month procedures, have a thorough knowledge of trust accounting, have extensive knowledge of your Acme PM Trust Account program, could result with no-one applying for the role. State what is your ‘preference’, not what is ‘essential’, to have a better chance of getting a range of people applying for your position.
4. Experience does not equal competence! – Unfortunately, as most principals are sales orientated, they have never chosen to really focus on property management, leading to neglected departments familiar with chaos and crisis. The people who work in these departments are untrained, surviving by their own instincts, with trial and error as their guide, developing bad habits that are never corrected. When they change positions, they take their bad habits with them and the mistaken belief they know how to perform well, resulting in a large portion of experienced property managers unable to competently perform their role. Just because a property manager is experienced, it does not mean that they are competent! Instead, we must focus on looking for the attributes on which to base our employment decision (see our article – Why PM Experience Does Not Guarantee Competence).
5. Focus on Attributes – The eight key attributes of a property manager are positive attitude, customer service focus, time and task management, communication and conflict resolution, accuracy and attention to detail, computer skills, initiative and problem solving, and a professional manner and presentation. These are the key ingredients required in a professional property manager. Therefore, when interviewing, we must use effective questions to allow us to see their true colours within these attributes. This allows us to move away from basing our decision solely on experience.
Click here for part two for the remaining keys.