One of the pivotal roles in any rent roll is the property manager.
Typically, the property manager role is relatively temporary, and seen as a fairly junior role. It is not uncommon for the receptionist to move into a property management role as they become familiar with the processes and system in place in the agency.
It is also quite common for these employees to be younger and more ambitious – which means they are easily tempted into roles with better pay and more responsibility. To put it plainly – they are easily poached by other agencies.
What this means in terms of a rent roll sale or purchase, is a level of instability for the landlords as the transition occurs.
Part of the issue is the recruitment process whereby employees are recruited based on ‘hard skills’ such as experience and expertise in software and systems – all easily teachable, and not soft skills – the ability to negotiate the different needs of often opposing parties, organise and manage multiple trades and locations – and all without becoming stressed!
In my experience, some of the best property managers – have come from outside the real estate industry.
They have vast experience in the soft skills and are easily trained in the day to day tasks required by an agency. These people often have come from areas such as
• Project Management in other industries
They are often looking for flexibility in working hours – many are also parents with school aged children – and, surprisingly, less stress! The potential to manage their own time and person to person nature of the work makes property management an attractive option.
For an agency looking to sell their rent-roll, the efficiency and stability of their property managers can make the proposal even more attractive. When agency staff are part of the deal, knowing the property managers are keen to stay on and continue the relationships they have built up with landlords, tenants and the local trades creates smooth continuity and consistency and increases landlord retention rates.
Next time you are looking for property manager, look outside the industry for people with the right soft-skills, who are looking for a stable role in the organization and not looking for stepping stones to something else, somewhere else.
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