Why the average property manager stays in the job only 9 months

Intro

Any people-related job is difficult. It consumes a lot of energy, as people crave constant and total engagement, especially if they are paying for it. Property managers are an employee category that faces this kind of stress on a daily scale, as they mediate communication between tenants, owners, and suppliers, but perform many other tasks as well. 

In Australia, the estimated stay of a property manager in one company is only nine months. That is a very short period of time to stay in an important working position, and constant changes in the workforce may cause losses to the company. Knowing why property managers leave could help prevent this. Here is a list of most common reasons why property managers leave. 

Feeling underpaid

Property managers in Australia believe that their work-pay ratio is disturbed. According to a survey conducted in 2015, 62,3% of the respondents assessed their remuneration as inadequate, and 37,3% said that their responsibilities exceed their pay grade. 

Five years later, the property manager salary is still significantly lower than other industries’ management in Australia. On the other hand, this can be a stressful position, as their responsibilities include day-to-day communication with clients and customers, processing evictions, supervising and coordinating maintenance, communicating with banks, and ensuring compliance with law regulations. 

What can be done to prevent this

Having this data in mind, certain steps can be taken to prevent this feeling of underappreciation. 

First of all, incentives, bonuses, raises, and extra days off are always welcome and appreciated. But, there is also non-financial support regarding the salary. Having an honest and open conversation about finances and paychecks with their superior can help property managers better understand how their salaries fit in the company’s overall compensation structure. 

Stress at work and burn-out syndrome

Property managers often have to work long hours, skip lunch breaks, attend different activities outside working hours, or receive calls from sometimes overly demanding clients on weekends. This kind of chaotic and unpredictable schedule creates an unhealthy work-life balance, which can be risky for both mental and physical health. 

This branch of work is female-dominated, and for women who are mothers and have children, a disorganised workplace and unpredictable working hours can cause stress and chaos. 

Excessive and prolonged stress pushes people towards a burn-out. The burn-out syndrome makes people feel emotionally drained, empty or overwhelmed, and as time goes by, their natural stress-coping mechanisms begin to collapse. This further spills over both their work performance and family and social life. 

What can be done to prevent this

Property managers can’t be saved from all stressors which characterize their workplace. But, some things can be done to mitigate and handle the perceived stress more constructively. 

Employers can inform their clients to the very detail about customer support policies in the company, before signing the agreement. This way they can try to make sure that there will be fewer violations, for the sake of their property managers’ health. 

A lot of stress in this branch can originate from inconsistent education and training at work. Agencies that hire property managers should pay attention to their employees staying professionally up-to-date. That’s what conferences or seminars are for. 

By using standardised checklists and procedures, companies can develop better time management practices and identify where supplementary training is needed. Property managers can do this by themselves as well, and shouldn’t be afraid to ask for additional education or seminars, especially if some topic is of special interest to them.

The best burn-out prevention, besides lowering the amount of work, is meaningful social interactions. Once a week, or once a month, employers can organize either individual conversations with property managers or collective conversations about issues they’re facing and provide additional support. 

Company culture 

Jobs are not just about doing things and getting paid. Company culture is the overall personality of the company and it matters to employees because it shapes the way they feel at work. 

Bad workplace environment, unsolved issues between coworkers, lack of respect from the boss, or shortage of inclusivity can all influence whether the property managers feel welcome and fit in the company. If their values and needs are in discordance with the company’s code, that may cause trouble and dissatisfaction. 

What can be done to prevent this

In case there is a chance to talk to the superiors, maybe this could help. If the company has a letterbox for anonymous reporting of anything that’s bothering the employees, why not try it? This way the superiors may find out about issues their employees face.

At the initial interview, employers can make a cultural fit assessment by handing out a questionnaire to assess the cultural fit between the company and the candidate.

Old and ineffective working systems

When a company is still using ‘good old ways of doing business’ it can be difficult for property managers to switch from what is now regular, high-tech life, to some old, manual, and inefficient system. Not being able to get the job done, or working five times harder when it is not necessary can cause serious frustrations. 

What can be done to prevent this

Investment in technology! This may seem like a shock to the company’s financial plan, but it can actually save money and energy. Investing in cloud property management software can save 40-45%% of the property manager’s time on manual tasks.  

Workplace Satisfaction

Workplace satisfaction is the overall perception of the employee of the workplace. It is related to every individual aspect of the job, like the role they have, the nature of the work, the office environment, security at work which can relate to bullying or bothering at a workplace, or physical safety, and supervision (mentoring). 

The measure of work satisfaction combines everything mentioned in the article so far, and more. If the workers don’t find the job challenging and enriching, if they go home unhappy because they’ll have to get up the next day and go through the same routine, they are probably very unsatisfied. 

What can be done to prevent this

Workplace satisfaction can be assessed with reliable questionnaires or through simple interviews and engaging conversations. Being able to say your own opinion is often gratifying on its own, as well as when the employer shows interest in the employees’ career goals, life plans and other important things that influence how they feel at work. 

Summary

The property manager’s job is truly a difficult one, as it requires multitasking and the development of job-related hard-skills, but also requires the application of soft-skills and constant improvement. The reasons why property managers leave companies are usually property manager salary, burn-out and stress, inadequate or incompatible company culture, old and ineffective working system, and lack of satisfaction at work. 

To make sure their employees feel happy at work, companies need to provide a pleasant and safe environment, and care about their employees’. Achieving a work-life balance, additional education, open communication, and many other things can be done to prevent dissatisfaction at work, and restore the state of wellbeing. 

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