In previous years, people usually associated the word “team” with those participating in sports – baseball, basketball, football, etc. Today many businesses employ the team concept and this includes many property management companies. Do you have a team? Many people with a one-person office automatically say no, but the truth is – everyone has a team or “a potential team.” Another truth is that while you may have a team, they may not be an effective team.
A team is a group of people working together in a committed way
to achieve a common goal or mission.
Teams differ from other types of groups in that
members focus on a joint goal.
Sometimes you have to look outside the box if you have a small office to find a support team.
Example – Valerie was a one-man office. She was working many long hours seven days a week. Valerie never had the time to put out all the fires and her life was chaos. Her personal life was non-existent and her family and friends were not happy with her. She was heading for a total burnout with her property management career. Valerie did not realize that to run the many facets of a property management business, she needed to create a “team” of support people to help her run her business, such as a screening company, an ACH processing company, a bookkeeping service, vacancy services, maintenance vendors, and more. Finally, after a big crisis, Valerie took the time to set up a group of competent services that would support her. Then she worked out a reciprocal agreement with another property management company to assist her when she needed time off. In addition, she sat down with family and friends, mapping out how they could help. Once this team of people and services were in place, Valerie’s business improved as well as her free time. Eventually, working with this effective support team her profits increased and she added her first employee to her team.
In football, if the team players do not work together, they probably will not win the game. Even if a company has multiple personnel, they may work individually and competently. They just may not be working together as a team, making things more arduous. When they become an effective team, it can greatly enhance the office operation, create more efficiency, and increase profits.
Example – Jeremy had 8 employees working for him. Despite the number of people, he was working 60-70 hour weeks and he never took any time off. He was top heavy in payroll and yet his office was still mediocre in customer service. Jeremy realized that unless he took the time to evaluate and change his situation he was better off selling the property management business and this was something he really didn’t want to do. He took action by interviewing all his personnel. He terminated those he knew would never work cohesively with the rest of the staff. Then, he hired better personnel and in fact, he was able to eliminate two positions by seeking out better support services to aid his staff. It took time and great persistence but his efforts paid off. Not only has his inventory and profits increased, he now takes two vacations a year and works a five day workweek.
Perhaps one of these two examples sounds familiar to you. If so, it’s time to review how your company operates and put together a team or teams to support you.
Start by writing down everyone who contributes to your business and analyze what supports you or detracts from your business. Below you will find examples; if you do this properly, you will think of more than this list as you go through this exercise.
- Maintenance – plumbers, electricians, painters, roofers, repair services, pest control
- Financial – banks, credit unions, ACH processing companies, credit reporting services, and other financial institutions
- Professional – lawyers, legal services, insurance agents, accountants, industry associations, and more
- Marketing – vacancy services, website hosts, newsletter service
- Personnel – part-time and full-time employees, independent contractors
- Available industry professionals that may be available to assist you
Take time to look carefully at all entities and personnel. Analyze their performance as it relates to your company. Is your tenant screening service giving you good service? Are your maintenance people performing good work or causing additional problems with the property and/or the owner? Does your bank provide the services you need? Do your personnel work for you, against you, or simply not perform their job? Are any personnel not performing well? Do personnel have issues that cause problems within the office?
Creating an effective team or teams can enhance your property management business but first you must determine if you have a team supporting you. Unless you stop and take an honest look at what is working or not working, nothing will improve. Once you do this, you have to invest the time, money, and energy to make it happen as well as utilized an organized plan. It is well worth the effort.
LandlordSource can help you with building an effective team with a new product, Building an Effective Property Management Team. This product includes a manual with twenty-two (22) customizable forms to assist companies with building their team.
Jean Storms, MPM® is the founder/author of LandlordSource and has been a NARPM® member since January 1993.
Disclaimer: LandlordSource does not represent the article content in this website as legal advice. It is shared information only and up to the reader to use this information responsibly, seeking legal advice as necessary to their business.