“Once we hit 1200 properties the headaches started” | A Story About Ambition and Property Management Struggles
Introducing our Hero
Steph was ambitious.
And she had been really successful at growing her property management business over the past 5 years.
Her goal was to have 2000 properties under management (PUM).
That was her magic number.
If she could have 2000 PUM she would look at selling the business and setting herself up for early retirement.
The world would be her oyster.
Our hero has a problem
When she got to the 1200 mark, that’s when the headaches started.
Her team started feeling like they were drowning in admin.
They started getting burnt out. Steph started losing her best Property Managers.
But that wasn’t her only headache.
Every time Steph lost a Property Manager, she’d lose properties in that portfolio as well. Because half of the portfolio information would go with them.
Each of her 8 Property Managers was doing things slightly differently; their notes would either be on PropertyMe, in their emails or worse…sometimes in their heads.
It made it almost impossible for someone else to step in and cover their portfolio.
It also made it almost impossible for Steph to maintain oversight of her team.
When Steph wanted to see where one of her Property Managers was up to with their renewals, she would have to go into each property individually in PropertyMe.
It was taking her so long that most of the time, she simply couldn’t find the time.
She was too busy putting out fires.
She started dreading hearing the phone ring, presuming it was just going to be another headache. Someone else chasing her for something or other.
Another fire to put out.
She felt like she was constantly on the defensive. Stuck in a reactive cycle of Property Management struggles.
She didn’t want this.
She wanted to be proactive instead.
She wanted her team to spend more time talking to owners.
She wanted to stop her team from burning out. To be able to take a holiday without worrying about the chaos they would return to.
She wanted to know who in her team was struggling with their workload.
She wanted to give a task to her offshore team and still maintain oversight, to know exactly where they were up to at any point.
She wanted to reach 2000 properties. But she was stuck at 1200.
Our hero meets a guide
When Steph first heard that STAFFLINK’s PM Airtable software could help her increase the size of her PM’s portfolios AND improve the quality of their service, she was sceptical.
It sounded too good to be true.
But she was desperate to improve her situation. And determined to keep an open mind.
So she booked a demo.
She was expecting a sales pitch. Instead, she got…a demo!
You know, an actual demonstration.
They didn’t just tell Steph that she would gain greater visibility over her team. They showed her.
They showed her, in real-time, how she could see exactly what tasks each of her Property Managers were doing. She could see every task that needed to be done urgently.
They didn’t just tell her that they could help increase the size of her Property Manager’s portfolios.
They showed her actual property managers managing far bigger portfolios than hers. And providing better service too.
She was impressed, so she asked them to send her a proposal. She could see that the Airtable platform could take her business to another level.
Together with the team at STAFFLINK, Steph came up with a rollout plan.
Our hero gets a plan
She wouldn’t try to overhaul her whole business straight away. She would focus on one process or “tab” at a time.
Following STAFFLINK’s advice, she would first focus on renewals, then vacates, listings, and applications, and then she would focus on entries.
By focusing only on one tab at a time Steph could make sure the new processes were working before moving on from the old ones.
She could have rolled out the plan faster but Steph also was really keen not to overburden her already overworked team.
She was impressed by how much support she got during the rollout process.
The weekly zoom meetings with STAFFLINK’s client support team were really helpful in keeping her on track with her rollout plan.
The plan starts to work
It took about 3-6 months for Steph to really be able to notice the difference in her business.
She had received a little bit of pushback from some of her team at first. But by 6 months everyone was 100% on board. They could see the difference for themselves.
Their job had become less stressful, they had stopped getting anxious each time their phone rang.
Steph really noticed the difference when she walked into her business one day and was struck by how quiet it was.
Her team were under control, easily handling the workload.
There weren’t phones ringing all the time.
Our hero succeeds
3 years later, Steph didn’t just break through the 1200 properties-under-management glass ceiling, but she had smashed it.
Her business is currently managing 2300 properties.
Her properties under management have nearly doubled without a similar increase in the number of staff.
She still thinks about selling her business, and she probably will someday.
But now she also has seen manageable and achievable acquiring new rent rolls can be.
The more she achieves, the more she wants to achieve.
Her ambitions have changed.
Maybe when she gets to 3000 properties under management?