How to be a Successful Property Manager in a Challenging Market

March 20, 2018

There will come a time in any Property Manager’s life where the market shifts, vacancy rates increase, rents decrease and your property portfolio looks a little worse for wear. But, if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the past, it’s that the property market is volatile, and at some point, you’re likely to come full circle out of the challenging market and be kicking goals again as a successful property manager. The Western Australian Real Estate industry is a perfect example of this.

During a time of volatility, you need to know how you as a property manager can remain successful in a challenging market, so you’re still around when you come out the other end of that challenge. We’ve put some tips together that should help you keep moving forward in a challenging property market (and even in a healthy one).

1. Be open to new ideas & technology to help you

Potentially the most detrimental decision you could make at this time in your career, is to remain close-minded in a challenging market about what tools and technology you can use to help make your work life a little easier. Resistance to changing the way you work to fit your circumstances can certainly undo all the good work you have done to get to where you are today.

What does this mean? Introducing new technology or refining systems and processes that could help you reduce administrative, in-office tasks, giving you time to get on the road to build relationships and grow your business.  If you’re struggling to make use of new technologies that better serve you, your tenants, landlords and suppliers, then you’ll lag behind the competition. You might also expect your stakeholders to become frustrated and less likely to want to work with you.

In the last 10-15 years there has been an influx of technology that helps us get anything we want at the touch of a button. We can do our banking, shopping and socialising online; all features of the digital world that are there to make our personal lives easier, but what about your work life?

2. Start Marketing

A lot of agencies rely heavily on word of mouth and referral-based leads coming through the doors. However, when you’re faced with a challenging market, investors are less likely to be looking to grow their portfolios (which in turn is likely to affect your number of PUM) – so you need to look elsewhere!

It doesn’t matter if you’re good at your job, you’re not likely to be successful property manager if no one knows about you (or your agency for that matter). Marketing both yourself and your agency is a strong contributing factor to your success in a challenging market.

How? There are many, many ways to market your business. Traditional advertising such as television, billboards, print and radio can often be expensive, and it’s hard to track your return on investment (ROI). Lucky for us, the digital arena provides a plethora of avenues for agencies to market themselves, at a relatively low cost. Social media advertising coupled with an effective digital email campaign can work wonders to get your name out there, to the right people.

3. Get organised

Do you feel like your work is all over the place? Not sure when you last contacted that landlord to touch base, or what that tenant said about their plans for the future?

A challenging market is stressful, and can often leave you scrambling, without taking proper steps to stay organised and on top of your routine tasks. Being professional in your communication with your key stakeholders is important, and isn’t overlooked when you accidentally send the wrong email to the wrong landlord.

As above, having the right technology in place can help alleviate the burden of keeping notes, keeping track of tasks and staying organised is just as important. A challenging property market isn’t just challenging for you, it’s stressful for your landlords or owners too. But, if you’re having regular, meaningful conversations with them and keeping them on top of what’s happening, you’re more likely to keep them in the long run.

4. Have a good attitude

Lastly, but certainly not least – it’s important that you remain confident in yourself and in your business by having a good attitude. A tough property market often means tough work days – and that’s okay. Remaining positive will have a huge impact on your overall success moving forward. Treat problems as opportunities to change things up and try something different – you might find a better or more effective way to do things. Think outside the box!

And as Heidi Walkinshaw for REB so eloquently puts it, “ Lastly, I implore you, after hours please switch off the emails, switch off the technology and take five minutes to step outside, breathe the warm spring air and enjoy the sunshine while you can. Don’t squander precious hours sweating the small stuff. This is a fabulous industry if you allow yourself to see the beauty in it, and one hell of a ride.

Not convinced, and still think the WA market is too challenged to come back? Here’s some stats featured in an article on ReconDaily to make you think otherwise:

  • The WA unemployment rate has fallen by 0.9% in December 2017. More jobs means more people living in the city
  • The number of vacant rental properties in Perth has fallen by over 2,000 over the last year
  • Consumer sentiment is rising, meaning people are more willing to spend money on homes


Check out how Console's Cloud Property Management Software can make you a successful property manager.

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