Understanding your property management team’s career goals

Jo-Anne Oliveri
Jo-Anne Oliveri | 4 min. read

Published on April 25, 2012

There are many reasons why we need to recruit new employees. We live in a world where there are unlimited opportunities for advancement and success. So, it stands to reason that your team members come and go based on their own personal career aspirations as opportunities present themselves.

It’s always wise to know individual team members’ personal goals. You should ask them what these are during the initial interview, and then discuss it at monthly one-on-one meetings. By knowing what your team members’ long-term career aspirations are, you are better able to manage your team, business, and service by design.

In some instances, you will be able to fulfill team members’ career aspirations by training and promoting them through your business. This must not be in a vain attempt to keep them working for your agency: It must be for the overall benefit of you and the team member, as well as your business and clients. Remember, the best business philosophy is always win-win. When someone has reached their peak, it’s also usually the time that they start to lose interest. The longer you try to hang onto them by giving them all sorts of incentives, the more pain you put yourself and your business through. While the team member is still arriving at the office each morning and sitting at their desk, they may only be a chair-warmer, as in their mind they have already checked out.

And that’s not a bad thing. It’s all about planning, understanding, and knowing when to recruit a new team member. If you diligently hold your monthly one-on-ones and ensure that each meeting is purposeful, you’ll gain insight into team members’ long-term goals. And so, their resignation will not come as a shock, and you will not have to put yourself through the stress of recruiting by default (I can just see all of you nodding your heads, remembering the chain of events that this type of recruiting causes). Recruiting by default is a costly mistake financially, emotionally, and to your brand and reputation. Put yourself back in the driver’s seat.

By understanding your team and their career aspirations, you grow and nurture loyal team members. Yes, they may come and go; and as I said, that’s necessarily not a bad thing. The wonderful thing is that they leave feeling loyal to your agency. They will be long-term advocates because they still love your brand and culture. And because you have a business by design, you ensure continuity of service to your clients. Clients understand that team members come and go; but because you have a business backed up by systems and processes, clients’ histories remain intact. So again, no more stress for you, the team, or clients when a team member resigns.

The other bonus here is that because you know your team members’ long-term career aspirations, you have a good idea of when they may start looking at other opportunities to fulfill their goals. That means you have the ability to promote from within your agency, and the new recruit can be a trainee who starts as an assistant or receptionist. Then, the new recruit has already had the opportunity to learn your business’ culture from the inside, and most likely has started forming relationships with your existing clients. That means that when someone “new” is managing their property, they’re already familiar with one another.

When it comes to recruiting, I urge you all to slow down. It is always best to recruit for attitude and train for skill. If someone has the right attitude, they can learn the skill. By training for skill you are also training them to internalize your business’ culture and service standards so they come to love and exemplify your brand.

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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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