The property management industry has one of the highest staff and management turnover rates out of them all. With the role of property managers being so people-focused, high turnover is far from desirable as it reduces the opportunity for property managers and therefore management companies to form lasting business relationships with property owners, investors, and tenants.
For this reason, the lack of property management employee retention needs to be understood and addressed. Below are some explorative solutions that may help those in upper management positions understand their staff member’s needs and circumstances, helping to gain better employee retention.
Map out a career path from the start
With many property management companies offering a commission-based salary, the career can look initially appealing, especially to youngsters who are just breaking out onto the professional, money-earning scene. Earning commission means that the harder they work, the more they will earn, however many are unaware of the long-term career prospects a position as a property manager can offer them.
As their employee, it’s important to make sure your team of property managers understand the extent to which the career can take them but also how to get there. Some companies think that mapping out a career path for recruits will make them less likely to stay in the company, therefore taking up company resources and time only to move swiftly on. However, when you help your staff members realize their potential, you position yourself as a mentor and your company as an establishment that cares. Both of these aspects breed employee loyalty, therefore the retention of your property managers is likely to be a lot higher.
Cultivate a culture that brings the best out of your employees
Many employers and managers in positions of authority think that having the latest coffee machines and beanbags dotted around the office is what makes a great company culture. However, this is not at all the case.
Good company culture is tangible when employees are motivated to do the work for the benefit of the company and are not rattled by stress and anxiety at all hours of the day. Employers need to understand that individual members of the property management team will have different strengths from others.
If employers can cultivate a culture that brings out the best in their employees based on their proven strengths, the company’s success will manifest itself through the team’s top-performing results.
When employees are doing work they know they’re good at, this automatically motivates them which ultimately leads to greater customer satisfaction and stronger business relationship building. Having happy employees who are in client-facing positions for most of their day will positively impact the way customers view their property manager, but also the management company as a whole.
Learn what motivates your employees
If you’re in a position of authority at a property management company, you must become a mentor to those under you. Based on your position alone, you will already have others looking up to you, but earning their respect and creating a willingness to go above and beyond comes down to how you mentor your team of property managers.
Mapping out their career path is one thing, but there are several other steps you can take to become a great mentor. Speak openly to them about your past experiences, and make suggestions to them about how they can perform certain tasks differently to make their lives easier. The important thing with mentoring is to relay your experience and suggestions without demoralizing your workforce. You also have to allow a certain level of autonomy for your employees as this shows you trust them.
Let your employees be heard
New employees are usually from younger generations and - let's be honest - there are just new ways of doing things in modern times. Make the workplace a space where new suggestions are welcomed and genuinely considered as this will make employees feel like they have a voice in the workplace.
When employees feel heard, it creates a sense of comradery which is vital for team building and for establishing an environment where customer relations thrive. Let’s say one of your property managers has a difficult conversation with a client on the phone. Employees will build more resilience if they can speak up about their experience and ask for advice on how to handle similar situations in the future.
Prioritize physical and mental well-being
As property managers, staff members are often on call even after normal business hours. It can be incredibly draining to have to listen to customer complaints and handle property maintenance queries and difficult legal property matters on a day-to-day basis. Owing to the time-consuming nature of the job, employers need to understand that many managers give up time with their families and loved ones for the sake of client satisfaction.
If an organization can ensure their property managers are getting the rest and care they need to function optimally, they can be less concerned about work-related issues such as burnout and career-induced depression.
Provide the necessary resources for growth
There are several options for companies to ensure their staff members grow in their careers. One of them is offering developmental workshops and courses for employees to grow in their field. Aside from being a mentor and hearing out your employees when they need to be, extra career development will also establish loyalty within the company.
Many cases of high management turnover are the result of employees feeling like they cannot progress any further in their careers or within the company. If employers are willing to offer up the resources to allow staff development, there is a greater chance they will remain with the company.
The mundane tasks of property management can also take up a lot of time, and often disallow managers to do the work that will earn them a commission. Providing resources that automate tasks such as setting up viewing schedules, invoicing, and document control can free up a lot of the property manager’s time, allowing them to get on with the aspects of the job they enjoy.
Host regular employee appreciation events
Aside from money and food, appreciation is the biggest motivator for humans. Another reason property management employee retention is so severely lacking is that staff members do not feel appreciated by their clients and sometimes by the company by which they are employed. It’s not up to the clients to make sure property managers feel appreciated, but rather the responsibility of the employer.
Monthly work gatherings that highlight good performances, progressions, and outstanding contributions are hugely beneficial to property managers. Some also suggest getting your team together outside of the office space as a means of team building and adding an element of fun to the appreciation session.
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