Property management is a role, like many, that comes with its unique challenges and rewards.
Having worked in the industry for 10 years, we sat down with Property Manager, Giuliana Finlay, to get her advice on tackling the stresses that come with the career.
“As a so called veteran of Property Management, stressful situations are a mainstay, guaranteed,” says Giuliana.
“When I started managing properties I was unaware that I’d just signed up for a high stress, high pressure job - but that is the reality of Property Management,” she says.
Having dealt with the daily pressure head on, Giuliana believes that with the consideration of these five things, you too will overcome challenges of the career.
You Need Thick Skin
You might agree that clichés can sometimes be annoying, especially when they are true. But having thick skin in property management is as important as having enough water and food for your day ahead.
You cannot do this job without an emotional barrier to protect you from absurdity.
“Not all tenant’s situations are false by any means, but the way they can be presented can sometimes cause unnecessary stress at your end. Owners are very much the same, but in a different way. It’s important to not take things personally as more often than not, each situation is unique to the person.” says Giuliana.
By putting yourself in their shoes in order to gain a greater understanding of their complaint, you’ll approach fixing issues more efficiently. Take complaints personally or get taken in by poor manners or a person’s negative tone, you risk becoming far less effective - this is 100% the responsibility of a property manager.
Commit to an after-work activity
“Life is great, but in property management we can feel like the walls are about to crumble.” Giuliana confesses.
“The office is only open until 5:30pm, so we all have a chance to focus our energy away from work to help us stay balanced. For me, I like to hit a boxing bag. It’s different for everyone, but we must find an outside release activity to break down the natural buildup of anxiety across any given working week.” says Giuliana.
A consistent work life balance is your secret defence against the challenges and stress presented by the demanding role of a property manager, so make it a priority to get assistance with eliminating some of that stress.
Do the Taylor Swift & ‘Shake It Off’
“Your energy and attitude is the fuel to your whole operation. No one’s perfect, we are mere humans, but drama can infect your whole team.” Giuliana tells us.
The simplest and most rewarding activity to incorporate in your office is an individual and team ‘shake it off’ method.
When a challenging situation arises, end it by doing something random. This could be anything from a dance after a difficult phone call, or pulling a funny looking facial expression mid-way through a testing conversation with a colleague.
Working through difficulties in any role has no boundaries. The ‘shake it off’ process can help you avoid taking on too much of anything negative that comes from property management.
“Try practicing a mantra aloud whenever you need it, like ‘I am greater than this circumstance & it will not break me’. Whatever it is, don’t get sucked in, just shake it off.” Giuliana says.
Talk it through with other people
“As I personally approach the final few days of what can be only described as a trying couple of weeks, I have leaned heavily on this practice to keep me flowing in the right direction.” Giuliana tells us.
“It can be a terrible experience managing expectations, but with a considerate husband at home, who for some strange reason likes to listen to me, or a bunch of understanding friends that kindly offer me room to decompress, I can work through it.” says Giuliana.
“I doubt I would be a Property Management veteran if I didn’t have people to talk to outside of the office. It would be almost impossible to maintain any emotional balance, real or imagined.” she says.
Holding in stress will most likely compound the initial stress exponentially and may even cause it to become unmanageable. Which is silly don’t you think, given we have manager in our title… Remember?
Trust in your process
Now, this might be a little tough for many of us, but being honest with our work habits and our management of the process might need a little attention from time to time.
Completing tasks and trusting in the systems available in your office can massively reduce your daily stress. We are warriors that use multitasking instead of swords, but unfinished tasks at the end of your day will work against you.
“It’s absolutely imperative to ask for help when you need it, especially if you suspect holes appearing in your administration system.” says Giuliana.
Similar to the shake off method, you will benefit from an ‘end of day routine’ that helps kick start your next day’s morning.
It’s best not to set ourselves up for more stress and so do your utmost create a workable environment you can be proud of when you walk out the door.
“One last thing to remember, if I was not clear about it earlier; we will never eliminate stress-filled situations from property management.” advises Giuliana.
“It’s completely dependent on how you and your team choose to deal with it when it comes, because sometimes, it comes way faster than you have experienced before, even after 10 years.”
Property management can be a hugely rewarding and exciting career path. When you’re responsible for managing 100+ properties plus the landlords entrusting you through to the tenants calling those properties a home, you’ll come across challenges and unavoidable upsets.
Luckily though, our Place offices are supportive, understanding and can help you become great property managers who can tackle a problem, work through it and come out the other end with more confidence and experience than prior.