Property management training… what’s gone wrong?

Jo-Anne Oliveri
Jo-Anne Oliveri | 4 min. read
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Published on July 15, 2011

It is my belief that one of the major reasons we have so many unhappy teams, clients and business owners is the lack of training in the property management industry.

Sadly, property management has not attracted the right people to the profession and in many instances those that work in the industry do so for convenience. Now before you get upset, let’s look at the facts. Firstly, I believe that around 80% of those that work in the industry shouldn’t be there. To those property managers that read this blog I say it out of genuine respect for you. However, the fact remains we are not an industry who has employed the right people for the right tasks and for the right reasons. Let me redeem myself here and explain my views. While many property managers do start with the very best of intentions and also belief that they have the necessary qualifications for success, the industry has let them down. Yes that’s right, the industry lets them down by allowing property managers to work as fully qualified property managers with just theoretical knowledge and a certificate. How absurd!

In the past, and in most jurisdictions, to become a property manager all that is required is basic training that teaches mainly legislation, leasing and management. In some instances you may have learned housing styles. All very necessary but all terribly basic when you understand what the objectives are in leasing and managing property. This training is what I refer to as theoretical. It’s just theory with no practical training at all. It doesn’t teach how to manage a task with a process. Practical training is missing and is vital to the success of the real estate business and property owners.

So let’s think about it and reflect on other careers. Would a hairdresser be able to cut, style and use chemicals on a client’s hair after reading and passing (or rather being deemed competent in) simple theoretical hairdressing training? Most definitely NO. Would an electrician be authorized to work on electrical repairs, maintenance and installations after passing theoretical training? Absolutely NOT. Would a doctor be able to work on patients after spending 5 or more years at university simply studying to be a doctor? No way. Need I go on? Can you imagine a doctor practicing medicine just because they have studied at a university? What a disaster to even consider this. After years of studying they must undertake years of practical work training in hospitals and passing extensive tests to ensure they understand and can apply all of their theoretical training. Are you getting the picture?

Why then does this industry think we can employ a person to work as a property manager just because they have completed their required theoretical training?

Let’s take this one step further. Once these graduates are working within their chosen profession, do you think their training stops there? If it did, we would be in trouble. Yes I know that some states require extra learning each year for the individual to gain a required number of points in order to retain their license to practice as a property manager. However, the learning usually has nothing to do with what their main objectives are as a property manager. No one, until now that is, has designed practical training for the industry.

Real estate business owners listen up. The times they are a-changing when it comes to the qualifications property managers have. The power is back in your hands now and it’s time to ensure and demand that you have the right person with the right qualifications to work in any given position.

Next week’s blog will discuss in detail how this can be done. It’s important for both business owners and property managers to understand the importance and benefits of this newly available training.

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Jo-Anne Oliveri

Jo-Anne Oliveri is Managing Director of ireviloution intelligence in East Brisbane, Australia, which empowers principals and property management teams creating and operating business by design.

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