“I Need a Property Manager Right Now!”
I have lost count of the times I have received phone calls from principals in a panic saying “Darren, my property manager has resigned and I need an experienced property manager now!” My answer is usually the same:
“It is very difficult to find one that is experienced and who will not damage your rental department!”
Sadly, I am also aware of instances where principals have employed property managers after previously being warned that they are negligent performers and even worse, that they have been caught in fraudulent behaviour! The principals are aware of what has occurred, and they still employ these people because of their desperation to get someone who is experienced!
It is important to understand that just because someone has experience, it does not mean that they have developed good work habits, or skills and competencies required to perform the role well.
Competent Property Managers are hard to come by!
Competent property managers are hard to come by and the reasons are not difficult to understand:
- The overall demands of the job;
- Principals not showing care and concern (highly sales focussed);
- Low salary which is not compatible with the demands of the job;
- A heavy workload with too many properties to manage;
- The long hours required with after hours and weekend work/phone calls; and
- The attractiveness of better work conditions and pay elsewhere.
This all contributes to an exodus of good property managers leaving our industry. They have simply had enough!
Consider Training Inexperienced Staff
Instead of the biggest criteria for employment being experienced, I suggest to principals to consider employing inexperienced staff. However, to do this, the following must be considered:
1. Procedures/Policies and Checklists – Each major procedure in property management can be recorded in writing. By spending time recording each step, each form and letter used in the procedure, you will have a written path, plan and method for a new person to follow.
2. Accountability and Training – getting to know your department and how it functions means that you know what property managers need to be doing to be performing their roles competently. Knowing the role sufficiently means that you are able to train another person using your written procedures.
Constructing procedures and policies can be done the hard way or the easy way. The hard way is to create procedures from the ground up, which could take anywhere between 300 to 400 hours of your time in order to come up with something of any real efficacy.
A Better Way!
A better and easier way is to purchase an already constructed set of procedures and policies and tailor them to suit your business. This will prove to be the best for time and resource efficiency.
The result is that you are not hamstrung by having to employ experienced property managers when your current person resigns. You can afford to train a new person using a set of written procedures and step-by-step methods.
Without this, it can take 3, 6, 9 or 12 months to bring a person up to speed. However, if you invest in the implementation of procedures and policies it can take 3,6,9 to 12 DAYS to train someone! The investment and implementation work will definitely pay off!
Choosing not to have procedures and policies has another downside. Having to employ only experienced property managers means that they are now demanding higher salaries than ever before. Therefore, implementing procedures in your department is definitely the cheaper alternative.
By planning now to put into place procedures and accountability you will create option availability when a staff member does resign. You can choose to employ experienced, or inexperienced.
Don’t leave it too late. Your department deserves better!