How to Grow Your Property Management Company

Loretta Morgan
Loretta Morgan | 14 min. read
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Published on January 6, 2014

You’ve chosen a career in property management, and you’re passionate about what you do. Maybe you’ve started a property management company. Now you want to be one of the best and to grow your property management business.

But how? This post will give you the tips and advice to get you there. Click a link below to skip to any section:

Get a Track Record, Get Experience

A key aspect to becoming a great property manager is simple: Do more.

How can you do that? Be eager to learn — and learn from the best. Research your leading property managers, what do they do, how do they do it. What have they done to get to where they are today? I have become a leading property manager through watching and learning from leaders in my field. I keep journals of everything I learn.

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Go Above the Call of Duty

One of the ways I have been able to learn is to search for ways in which I can learn without seeking financial reward. This way may not be for everyone, but it has helped me a great deal.

Completing my work for my employers and continually doing more has been my motto. Always asking if I can do more, helping out in other areas, filling in for other roles when someone is on holidays or where someone needs help gives you fantastic opportunities to grow and learn. Property management for me has been a career of choice, and because I love it so much I am willing to do whatever it takes to learn everything I can whenever I can. Sometimes that has meant not getting paid additional hours or getting paid for more responsibility. I was eager to get the education, so I was more than happy to do it this way.

Do more than what is asked or expected. Your clients will love you for it, and your employer will see you as a shining star and as a result will give you more responsibility. I’ve found that by giving more, you gain more.

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Become an Authority in Your Field

How do you do this?  There are so many ways.  For me it has been watching, listening, and learning. Attend industry forums and meetings. Become involved in industry bodies and groups.

This is a way to network, build respect, get to know leaders in your field, and develop your skills and knowledge. You need to be seen. You need in the middle of the action. Be patient and consistent to earn your stripes. This stuff doesn’t happen overnight, but if you are consistently doing the things you need to do, it will all happen.

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Read, Research, Watch, and Become

A big part of my week involves researching online publications, industry magazines, videos, blogs, and industry information (see How to Find Property Management News You Can Use), but it also involves looking outside my field for ideas and information. Often what others are doing outside our industry can give you ideas to bring into your industry.

This is really important if you want to have a point of difference. Don’t be afraid to do things a little different and bring in new ways of doing things. This will also grab the attention of others and push you to the top of your industry.  You must make sure it is adding value, though.

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Leverage Social Media

I covered this topic in more detail in my post “Growing Your Property Management Business through Social Media”, but I’ll highlight some of the key points here.

First, use all the leading social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest) and use them regularly. Start writing about what matters to you in your industry and what you believe your target market and ideal client would want to know. Make sure you are adding value here also. Post often. Don’t post the same things on all of the sites, though. Make sure you are posting the same message but in a way that suits the site you’re posting for. Comment on other posts from leading property managers or sites regularly too — this will get your name out there, and if you are making helpful comments, others in your industry will notice. This gets you seen and could lead to other opportunities in your field.

Be sure to stay positive in your posts and don’t get involved in any trash talk. This is never good for business or your reputation.

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Unleash Your Creative Spirit

Don’t be afraid to be creative. In this competitive world, you need to be creative and innovative. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s great to look to other industries or even countries to see what you can bring into your industry. Be careful here not to be seen as incompetent, though. I have seen some people do some silly stuff, and it doesn’t work. It might temporarily have interest and traction, but you want people to trust you and respect what you are doing, not to think you’re just seeking attention.

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Give More to Your Clients and Community

I get great leverage by providing free information to my community on topics they may not know about or even just misunderstand. Why not write a regular column or blog giving free information on property management topics?

Sure, there are plenty of property management educators out there blogging and posting for other brokers and property managers, but there aren’t many that post for the public. Most of my blogs are on topics such as water usage, lease renewals, and inspections. I have written columns in local magazines and papers, blog regularly, and write letters, flyers, and posts all on things that the public would want help with.

Try to see it from the public’s eyes. What would they want or need to know to make informed decisions? You will then become the go-to agent because you gave them the knowledge they needed. You can use the information you have collected in your journals (see the tip mentioned above) to write this content.

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Find and Listen to Good Mentors

Surround yourself with great mentors and create your mastermind team. I have five mentors I am working with at the moment — two are in the industry and the rest are not. These people are all highly regarded in each of their fields and all give me great help, push me, keep me focused, and give me awesome ideas. All of them have a different skill set that they bring to me to develop my skills.

If you set yourself a goal and get the right mentors around you who will push you and are also locked in on your vision, there will be no stopping you. Don’t skimp on the costs — you get what you pay for, and you will need to invest in your career. I am always happy to pay handsomely for the assistance of my mentors. (How To Find a Good Mentor and 5 Simple But Strategic Steps For Finding a Good Mentor provide some great tips for finding good mentors.)

At first when I didn’t have a lot of money, I researched online, listened to many audio books, subscribed to everything I could online, and read industry magazines self-help books (I still do this today).  As I built momentum and my skills and knowledge grew, the right mentors showed up and I was (and am) happy to pay the cost involved to get the right people to help me.

Some of my mentors are Jo-Anne Oliveri from ireviloution intelligenceBron WatsonRex Urwin, and Bianca Aiono. I’m not much of a reader, but I love audio books. Some of the audio books that I’ve read recently are The Millionaire Real Estate Agent: It’s Not About the Money…It’s About Being the Best You Can Be!, The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Awaken the Giant Within, Crush It!, and The Law of Success.

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Get Noticed Using Awards

Enter all the awards you can, even if they are not industry awards. Look to enter business awards, business person awards, and industry awards as well. Make sure you spend the time on writing the submissions and scrub up on your interview skills. The Property Management Association, for example, gives out a series of awards for property managers every year.

Most awards are judged by written and interview responses, so really make sure you are great at both. If not, get some help getting great at it.  Even go to previous winners and finalists to get some tips and ideas. Really tell the story of yourself and your uniqueness and how you are awesome at what you do. If you struggle with this, try to write it from a third person — that way you are looking at you, and the words will flow.

Entering awards also gives you the opportunity to really assess where you are in your career, what you are a great at, and also what needs work and how to do it better. To write great submissions, write from the heart and interview from the heart.

Awards are a fantastic opportunity to get your name out there, but award ceremonies are also a great networking opportunity and some free publicity too. Whether you do or don’t get chosen, use the feedback to help you grow and learn. In this feedback you want to find out what you need to do to improve, or who was chosen, why they were chosen, and what their skill sets are. If you do get chosen, you also want to know why so you can continue to improve on those skills.

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Tap the Power of Networks

Every social or work occasion is a chance to network and be seen. Be sure to be your authentic self and to be on your best behavior! If you’re not great at networking, find someone who is and get them to help you. You want to be seen as someone who is open, friendly, willing to help, always available, and knowledgeable in your field. People are automatically drawn to positive people, so be on your A-game all the times.  I’m not saying to be someone you’re not, but be sharp, be friendly, and be sociable.

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Create Alliances

Share your knowledge and information with others in your industry. Don’t be afraid to talk with other agents, ask about their experiences, listen and learn from them. You will be surprised at what you learn from listening to others in your industry. Of course keep your cards close to your chest when it comes to what the innovative things you are doing in your business, but it is great to share information on ideas to solve problems and develop your skills.

Work with other successful property managers that you respect in other areas. It’s always good to have them around for troubleshooting and ideas. Why not create a social group where you can all meet once a month and hang out to talk about property management matters and how you can overcome obstacles or grow?

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Blog, Write, and Comment for Industry

Once you start regularly blogging and sharing useful information, you will find that companies will start contacting you to blog for them. Grab every opportunity to do this. Other property managers and industry people will read these posts, and it’s great for career advancement and building your profile.

I blog for a few different companies (including Buildium). I thoroughly enjoy it, and it’s also a great way to build trust and respect in the industry.

You can also approach these companies to see if they are interested in you blogging for them. In addition, writing for different publications (such as Industry magazines and local property publications) is a great way to build your profile too. You will also find if you start doing this that journalists will start to contact you for comment in their articles, which gives you great traction. This also is free publicity. Don’t be afraid to send media releases on topics you feel will be really beneficial for readers to various journalists — they are always looking for great stories.

Base your blogs upon other things that are happening in your industry at the time, and you will find that these will grab more attention. Oh, and if you need some blogging inspiration, don’t forget those journals you’re keeping.

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Think Like a Real Estate Broker

I’ve had the chance in my career to be a real estate broker, and I also look to great brokers for inspiration and ideas to become a better property manager. Why not learn from a top broker — or a few? There is a certain element of sales and negotiation involved in property management, and I believe my experience in sales has helped me to become a great property manager. Awesome brokers have great skills in building their profiles and negotiating. Bring this stuff into your role. Prospecting is also a huge part of a property manager’s role, and we can learn a few tricks from brokers there too.

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Do Something for Your Community

I help out with Rosies – Friends on the Street here in Australia. It’s an organization that gives friendship to people on the street who are experiencing homeless. I love the sense of fulfillment that this gives me, and also because I am a property manager, it gives me an understanding of what is happening in my community with the housing shortage. It’s a humbling experience and my way of helping my community. I do this once a month, and if I can’t help out on the street, I help the organization in other ways.

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Make the Most of Your Day

Don’t be overwhelmed by all of this. If you are passionate about what you do, you will have no trouble doing all of this and getting to the top of your game. Put in the hours, go step by step, don’t rush it.

My ideal day consists of waking up at 5 a.m. every morning, I work out for an hour, I listen to audio books on the half-hour drive to and from work.

I have my ideal day planned out: I check emails and respond to messages and prospect calls in the morning. In the afternoon I handle Inspections, reports, maintenance, and follow-ups. I try not to waste  a minute. Often I utilize my time in the car to and from appointments returning calls if I need to free up some time in the office.

How do I do it all? It’s simple: If you love what you do, then it’s not a chore, it’s a passion. When things get hard, it’s love and passion for what you do and wanting to make a difference that keeps you going. Property management for me is not a job. It’s my life.

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What are you doing to grow your property management business? Please add a comment below and join the conversation.

Read more on Scaling
Loretta Morgan

Loretta Morgan is Managing Director of Jam Property in Caloundra, Queensland, Australia.

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