Podcast: Becoming the Leader You Want to Be with Nathan Want
Are you the type of leader who is hands on? How do you achieve that without micromanaging?
Are you a relaxed leader? How do you have tough conversations with your team when necessary?
You want to give your team a good work/life balance? How do you make sure that the works gets done?
These are tough questions, and all issues that we cover in the latest episode of The People of STAFFLINK Podcast.
For this episode, we had the pleasure of speaking with Nathan Want, Director of Attree Real Estate in Western Australia.
Nathan is down to earth, funny, and incredible humble. He also has a long-serving team which is not often the case in real estate, and it was not hard to see why he has inspired such loyalty.
His focus has been on creating a business that works for everybody, one that allows his team to be highly professional but also gives them flexibility. One that allows him to be the kind of leader he wants to be, but also ensures that the work gets done.
Discovering Property Management
Nathan joined Attree Real Estate in 2012, an agency that was achieving success under the leadership of founders Kevin & Melanie Attree in the Southern River area (Perth).
Having run another agency in Perth prior to this, Nathan and business partner Steve Arscott had ambitions to create an exceptional culture in the business, however, there was one department that caught the eye and needed further direction.
With no previous experience in Property Management, Nathan took it upon himself to dive head-first into the department and tackle the pain points that the staff were experiencing.
“I look back now and think…I had no idea! But luckily I had some incredible people on the team who are still on the team.”
“But we do all still look back and laugh at how far we’ve come with our systems and a processes.”
Creating a Better Role for Property Managers
Not every business has the same goals, and the same goes for property management departments.
While for some the focus is on growth and maximising the properties under management, for Nathan, the overriding goal was to give his team the work/life balance he values so highly.
So for example, Nathan says that he could add 100 to 150 properties to the business’ portfolio “with ease” but prefers to retain that capacity rather than stretching it to the limit.
“I just wanted to give my team the best opportunity to do their job a high level but also enjoy their life as well.”
“I’m big on that balance, I won’t load them up with ridiculous amounts of properties to make their life a misery to make more money.”
“I just won’t do that.”
Making the role of property manager more sustainable, less stressful, and more supported has been a key goal for Nathan.
“All these changes that we’ve made mean that they can sit back now and go ‘I have clarity’, ‘I have visibility’, ‘I know what I need to do.'”
From a property manager’s perspective, Nathan’s focus on improving the role of property manager has resulted in at least one person staying in the industry.
Emma, who works for Nathan, had been an experienced property manager for many years when she was feeling burnt out and considering leaving the industry.
She wouldn’t be alone, as there is currently an extraordinary exodus of pm’s leaving the industry due to burnout, as many as 30%.
Convinced by Nathan to give property management one last chance, Emma did and found a completely different role to the one she had been performing.
After six months in her job, Nathan sat down with Emma to catch up and was really pleased to hear her feedback.
“She said when I joined you it was my last roll of the dice, what you’ve implemented here has totally rejuvenated and reinvented me as a person in property management.”
“I absolutely love my job.”
Nathan has a team with an usually long tenure, with nearly half of the members of his property management team having served for over 10 years.
Again, this is understandable given the focus that Nathan places on making their roles easier and less complex.
“These guys come into work everyday, and they know exactly what they need to do, everything is identified, every step is all mapped out for them. There’s nothing to forget, it gives clarity around that role and just guides them through their day.”
Using Visibility to create Flexibility
As mentioned earlier, one of Nathan’s motivating forces is to be able to create an enjoyable, flexible working environment for his team.
He quickly found that the only way to achieve this flexibility was by having total visibility. Without it, there would be a breakdown of trust.
It’s understandable, if you allow someone to work from home for example, you want to know that they are still getting the work done.
Nathan uses STAFFLINK’s OneDash to give him this visibility, essentially allowing him to be the kind of leader that he wants to be.”
“Like, they can work from home, I don’t care, I don’t need to touch and feel them everyday, I’m not that kind of person.
“I can log on now and tell you exactly what’s going on, where everybody’s at.
“I could be sitting at Bali, it doesn’t matter.”
Although Nathan’s natural humility means that he is disinclined to scream his own successes, one area that he has certainly achieved a victory is how holiday-proof he has made his business.
One of his team is currently away for 6 weeks in Europe on long-service leave. Previously, losing a key staff member for that long and there not being no negative consequences that would have been unimaginable.
“Six years ago, if you said someone was going away for six weeks, mate, it’d be panic.”
“The place would be upside down, seriously!”
“But now it’s calm, it’s just completely calm. Because everyone can see where she’s at, where her files are at, where are renewals are at…but it’s calm because of the processes that we have in place.”