Habits to master for a successful career in property management

What does it take to be a successful property manager in a field where many professionals feel overloaded and burned out? As a matter of fact, 62% of property managers are dissatisfied with their jobs according to the Australian Residential Property Management Industry Remuneration Survey.  

While workplace satisfaction also depends on the particular policies your company practices, today we’re going to focus on how you personally can organise your workload better and approach your job more systematically. 

To help you become more confident in your work and more adept at juggling the many responsibilities that property managers have on their plate, we decided to list some of the habits of highly successful property managers. 


Being an early bird

We know, most people don’t really enjoy waking up with the roosters, especially in the cold days of the year. 

Why is waking up early beneficial?

Earlybirds tend to be more proactive and productive, as they have enough time in the morning to come to their senses, drink coffee, run through emails, take a shower, meditate, or maybe even work out a bit. 

A biological study shows that this is true. People who wake up early tend to have a stronger feeling of control over their lives, and better problem management. This results in lower stress perception, and a stronger immune system. Many successful CEOs and politicians practice this habit, so why not you as well? There are some online tools to help you track your sleeping cycles so you get the best possible rest.

Having a systematic approach…to everything

Having a systematic approach to work helps you get the most efficient results with less energy. Property managers usually juggle multiple types of tasks at work, so everything that can be put in a system should be, as that will shorten the time you need to cover all your bases. 

Streamlining the communication

Sending the same email over and over again? Create a template. Gmail and Outlook both have these options. This will save you a lot of time and energy and will ensure consistency in your written communication. 

Another way to organise your communication is to use property management software. When you need to perform a specific task, you can simply use a preloaded template. 

Playbooks and procedures – become a task-binder master

Yes, this may seem like something that a boring person does, but it is actually quite the opposite. Why repeat the same mistakes? Why let new teammates take the long road when you can collect your knowledge and create step-by-step playbooks and standardise procedures? This kind of documentation helps you move forward to bigger goals, as you will spend less time searching and wondering how to do something you haven’t done in a long time. 

Some of the procedures you can systematise are tenant inductions, or you can create checklists for common inspections and their documentation. Besides knowing how to do something, it’s important to be aware of how not to do it. It’s not a bad idea to involve ‘common mistakes’ sections to remind yourself and warn others how things could go wrong.  

In case you decide to take this step, make sure you save your files in an easy-to-access and reliable location, like Google Drive for example, which allows you to open access for others in your team who may need it. 

Alternative approaches to work systematisation

In case you haven’t yet developed a functional system, take some time to do your research, and perhaps give soft skills training a chance. There are many alternative and modern approaches to time management on the internet, so why not give it a go?

Setting realistic and measurable goals

The first step to creating goals is setting a long-term one. What do I want to achieve in one/three/five years? A good goal should be measurable and in accordance with reality. The best way to do this is to use the context, action, timeframe, results scheme. This means that for each goal you should: 

  • Assess your current reality: challenges, resources, knowledge, opportunities;
  • Think about the necessary actions you need to take. You may divide them into smaller steps if needed;
  • Define exact dates when the actions will happen; 
  • Specify what the exact results of your actions should be. 

Another useful method is the SMART goal setting system. It helps you develop specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely goals. Long-term strategies are always more useful but need to be combined with short-term steps and actions. 

Successful property managers not only set and define goals and steps that will lead them towards results but they also consistently follow-through. 

Accepting changes

We are aware that many people don’t like changes in their work environment. You just got used to doing accounting in excel sheets, now somebody introduces a new software. Familiar things make us feel confident and comfortable. Fortunately or unfortunately, the world is changing, and it’s changing faster than ever, and every successful person needs to embrace these changes to prevent staying behind. 

We recommend that you occasionally assess whether your technology is current and whether there’s something better and more efficient on the market, read about emerging trends in the industry, and keep up to date with new technology that might affect (and improve) the way you work. 

You may add some virtual and augmented reality tours through properties, internal and external 3D models of homes, or other types of innovative and interactive visuals that can help you build a positive brand presence. 

Also, if you already haven’t, consider switching to a cloud-based property management software, as it will save you time and make you more efficient and professional. 

Constant learning 

Just like accepting changes, constant learning is another key to success. Some of the ways of staying tuned are: 

Another thing you can do to find out how you are progressing in your business is to ask your clients about their satisfaction, or what they think could be improved. Good communication is one of the best ways to ensure that your landlords are happy.  

Taking care of yourself

The last, but certainly not the least important habit is nurturing yourself. All the previously-mentioned habits are there to decrease the amount of stress in your workplace, but if you are still feeling stressed and overwhelmed, you may be disrupting your work-life balance. 

This is a quite common issue with property managers, as their job is truly demanding, but in order to become successful at work, you need to take your mind off of it for some time every day. Taking care of your emotional and physical wellbeing is just as important as upgrading your professional and personal skills. 

Some of the activities that can help improve your overall well-being include:

  • Physical activity: running, walking, yoga, or whatever makes you drain out bad energy and improve your physical strength and condition;
  • Conversations and activities with family and/or friends;
  • Reading relaxing novels;
  • Treating your body and mind with relaxing baths or massages;
  • If things are going rough and you feel like you can’t establish an emotional balance, psychotherapy should be kept as an open option.

We hope this article has given you some insight into how you can manage your workload better and establish success as a property manager. You might also be interested in our article on How to be a successful property manager in a challenging market.


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