What does the Modern Property Manager actually do today?

The 2020 Property Manager

Property Managers can’t hide behind email and text messages anymore. Digitisation and offshoring have changed the role. Property Managers are now key revenue generators. Their job is to be relationship builders and experts.

Industry authority, Joel Davis says, “We have to unlock different revenue income streams. We have to maximise the revenue for the properties that we already manage. We have to take advantage of the ones we have already got.”

In his office, Joel says, “Maintenance is a department of it’s own. We have offshore for administrative work. Then we have a field services team, who are responsible for entry condition reports, vacate inspections, routine inspections, open homes, and ad-hoc appointments such as bank valuations. And then we have our property managers, who are really responsible for the relationship with tenants and the owner.”

In 2020, a Property Manager has to:

  • Overcome objections on a regular basis
  • Sell taking a price reduction
  • Sell approving a good quality tenant, with a dog
  • Sell doing the maintenance on a property in order to be able to attract a better quality of tenants to the property
  • Use a sales engine to sell a property when the time comes
  • Sell using mortgage brokers because business generates revenue off the back of that when they do
  • Keep in touch with landlords about active online listings and give them feedback about the campaign, and the number of people that have been through open homes. They have to be aware of market conditions such as vacancy rates, stock levels, median rent and recently achieved prices in the area, not just advertised prices.

Property Managers therefore have to be on the phone for longer and naturally interact with people and find out more about them than other people do.

A great Property Manager for example, knows how to deliver the good news and the bad. Joel says, “You can actually develop a stronger relationship off the back of bad news more than you do with positive news sometimes. Property Managers are a little bit like insurance, to a degree. You really need them when things go badly. When things are going well and everything’s on track, and everyone’s doing what they should do, it’s actually a relatively easy job. When we have the opportunity to have those difficult conversations, we need to spend the time. We need to make sure that we have them. And we need to make sure that we never ever, ever avoid them.”

A great Property Manager sees the lease renewal phone call as an opportunity. They will share the vacancy rate, the stock in the suburb, as well as the surrounding suburbs, the median rent that has been achieved for that type of dwelling and the achieved prices for properties that are similar to that property within the geographical area. By doing this Joel says, “owners appreciate the fact that we’re not giving them a gut feeling piece of advice. We’re making sure that the advice that we give is supported by data and that’s really critical.”

Joel wants Property Managers who are:

  • Upbeat
  • Positive
  • Friendly
  • Talkers who enjoy the client satisfaction role.

He says, “One thing I really have learned is that not everybody’s good at that. Even if they are good at it, they may not enjoy it. And if they don’t enjoy it, it’s not sustainable long term.”

A Property Manager, Ellen who works with Joel, has a vacancy rate across the portfolio of 309 properties of zero per cent. She has brilliant relationships with her owners. Joel says, “her job is to make sure that she’s got time to have the in depth conversations around educating owners that they may need a price reduction, and they shouldn’t accept an average application. Or they should actually drop the rate by five percent, target a different affordability price bracket, and get a fresh enquiry and a better quality application because the number one concern should be quality of the tenants moving in to your property, not the price that the property achieves.”

Joel says, no longer do Property Managers work on agony, they “work on relationships and really make sure they establish themselves as the experts that they are in their field.”