“Even though my salespeople are in competition with each other, there is a definite team culture. This doesn’t apply in my Property Management Department and try as I may, I cannot engender a company team spirit into the entire team.”
Does this sound like your property management team?
Teamwork is a joint action by two or more people, in which each person contributes with different skills and expresses his or her individual interests and opinions to the unity and efficiency of the group in order to achieve common goals. This does not mean that the individual is no longer important; however, it does mean that effective and efficient teamwork goes beyond individual accomplishments. The most effective teamwork is produced when all the individuals involved harmonize their contributions and work towards a common goal.
In order for teamwork to succeed one must be a team-player. A team-player is one who subordinates personal aspirations and works in a coordinated effort with other members of a group, or team, in striving for a common goal. Businesses and other organizations often go to the effort of coordinating team building events in an attempt to get people to work as a team rather than as individuals.
As teams grow larger, the skills and methods that people require grow as more ideas are expressed freely. Managers must use these to create or maintain a spirit of teamwork change. The intimacy of a small group is lost, and the opportunity for misinformation and disruptive rumours grow.
In the majority of real estate companies across the country there are two teams; the sales team and the property management team and generally, the administrative support staff fall into the latter. In many instances, it’s as if there are two completely separate and totally different company cultures and this problem is generally exacerbated by the fact that the company’s principal is often more closely aligned to the sales team.
The ‘Them and Us’ syndrome is a reality within many companies with the members of the property management team believing that they are treated like the poor relations. Theirs is an environment where maintaining a harmonious and mutually beneficial long-term relationship with clients and customers is their core objective – they are process driven. Salespeople are normally the complete reverse. There is an environment where quickly developing a trusting relationship with either a prospective vendor or purchaser is of paramount importance but that relationship generally only lasts the duration of the property’s sale – they are results driven.
Another major problem affecting teamwork in a property management environment is that due to the endemic high turnover of staff, the team is rarely stabilized and this causes great difficulty in achieving a situation where all are working in harmony towards a common goal. Despite this fact, there is a very definite need to develop a team culture within a property management department with some of the objectives for team building being:
- Improving communication within the team and within the company
- Making the workplace more enjoyable for everyone
- Motivating the team toward a common goal
- Getting to know each other better
- Helping the team to learn more about themselves (their strengths, weaknesses and personality styles) so that they come to realise who’s the best person to handle a particular role within the team.
- Identifying and utilizing the strengths of the individual team members
- Improving the team’s overall productivity