4 things that NEED to change in the Real Estate Industry
We love the real estate industry – it is exciting, innovative, challenging, and if you get it right – incredibly rewarding.
But there’s still room for improvement.
Here are 4 things that need to change in the real estate industry.
1) Property Managers need to start thinking like Asset Managers
Residential real estate is the biggest asset class in Australia. In 2021 alone, there were over $517 billion in sales – including an estimated $10billion in commissions.
We agree with Dean Firth – Head of Business Banking at Macquarie Bank – who wants to see property managers have a change in mindset, from seeing themselves as ‘property’ managers to seeing themselves as ‘asset’ managers.
In this regard, the real estate industry can learn from the superannuation industry, as Dean pointed out when he spoke at the STAFFLINK 2022 Conference.
“Every quarter I get a superannuation statement, I don’t ask for one – it just arrives. It tells me how my investments going, what’s up? What’s down? What’s happening in the market more broadly?”
“As a property manager, if you are thinking of yourself as an asset manager – why wouldn’t you be doing something similar?”
One of the reasons why property managers are unable to provide this level of service is because the process of producing financial reports is time-consuming and often seen as low-priority.
But think about it from the client’s perspective – if you were an real estate investor and had to choose between two different property management agencies to look after your investment, and only ONE of them gave you frequent and detailed financial and market reports, who would you choose?
2) Technology needs to SIMPLIFY our jobs – not complicate them
Real estate is an incredibly innovative industry – and at the moment there is a “wave” of new proptech (property technology) that promises to completely transform the way we work.
The problem is the average real estate agency’s required ‘tech stack’ is constantly changing, and as a result, there are always different websites, apps & tools to continue updating for the various departments within an agency.
3) Offshoring as a value add- not just a cost reduction (mindset shift)
Offshoring part of your real estate business has been growing in pace for many years in Australia. And while there is undoubtably a financial component to the decision to hire “virtual staff” (we hate that term – they’re real people!) it is mainly about refocusing your onshore staff onto customer focused roles.
In our experience, (and we have guided 100s of businesses through the process), there are 2 ways that real estate agencies approach adding an offshore team member to their business.
Some see it as just a way to cut costs.
But the ones who do it well realise that it is about improving their value proposition. It is a value add.
It is about finding a specialist who can support your business and allow your onshore staff to really be free to build relationships with their clients. Real estate sales agents are generally amazing at this part of the job – but are usually far less passionate about the behind-the-scenes tasks that NEED to be done, but not necessarily by them.
By engaging offshore staff – you can keep your sales agents focused on dollar-productive activities.
It’s not about just cutting costs – it’s about adding value.
4) PM burn-out needs to be addressed
Even at the best of times, the role of property manager is a juggling act. From listing properties and finding tenants, preparing tenancy agreements, rent collection, and dispute resolution – it can feel non-stop. It is no wonder so many businesses are worried about the burn-out rate of their property managers.
Just like sales agents, property managers often prefer the ‘human’ side of their job, but that side can get relegated due to all the other non-negotiable tasks that they are responsible for.
And then there’s holidays.
While this should be a chance to rejuvenate and relax – for many businesses trying to cover for their property managers during time-off is one of the biggest stress points that they face.
For the business owners, and colleagues whose job it is to cover a property manager’s portfolio while they take a deserved break – it’s really tricky to see all the jobs that need to be done.
Especially if they are already super busy and loaded up with their own work.
We have heard so many stories of property managers who get anxious about the thought of taking time-off, who can’t fully relax on holiday because they are worrying about their portfolio, and who return to work to find out that they have a massive backlog of work – angry tenants, missed jobs, weary colleagues.
It’s not good enough. In fact, the stress surrounding businesses not being ‘holiday-proof’ is often one of the biggest drivers of businesses to start engaging with STAFFLINK.
STAFFLINK CIO Joel Davis is scathing of business owners who accept that it is okay for property managers to feel overworked, burnt out, and stressed as a “normal part of their job.”
He refuses to accept that the role of property manager can’t be improved. (see video below)
We couldn’t agree with him more.