“My people don’t just need training; they need someone who they can refer to with the experience in day to day property management – that’s something I just don’t have. I also need someone who can analyse the performance of the Department and can point out to me actions I must take to improve its operations.”
Today’s managers of Property Management Departments are generally expected to control many facets of the Department’s activities, including:
- Human resource management – position analysis, recruitment, and hiring staff for appropriate positions;
- Operations management – ensuring compliance with the Department’s legislative responsibilities and the day to day control of the various property management processes;
- Strategic management – taking a proactive role in determining goals and targets for the immediate and medium term future and ensuring there are sufficient resources to achieve those goals;
- Marketing management – responsibility for marketing the Department’s services and overseeing the marketing of individual properties on behalf of clients;
- Financial management –responsibility for the Department’s trust accounting and reporting processes; and
- Information technology management – overseeing the accuracy of the property management database and the use of other programs used in the Department’s operations
Very few of us are born with the natural attributes that would cover all of these management responsibilities. Management Courses are offered by various educational providers such as the Australian Institute of Management who attempt to provide course participants with basic management skills but it would be almost impossible to cover them all.
Mentoring is normally used to groom team members deemed to have the potential to move up into more responsible or management roles. The property manager (protégé) is paired with a person with management experience for a series of career-coaching interactions. A mentor does not have to be a manager or principal to facilitate the process and in many cases, it is preferable to have someone from outside the company provide the interaction needed.
As the bottom line becomes far more important in times of economic challenge, businesses are turning to consultants to assist with the overall control and support for their property management department. This is a much more cost effective way of keeping on track and goal focussed and often negates the need for a department manager.
Advances in technology such as remote server access allow many of us to work from wherever we can log onto a computer. This same technology allows a consultant timely access to provide full reports for the principal whilst keeping the team on track with their Key Performance Indicators at an affordable hourly rate.