If you’ve experienced a revolving door of team members in your business, you are not alone. The real estate industry, and especially property management, is notorious for high staff turnover. And the main reason for high staff turnover is lack of training and support poor systems and procedures, and the biggest one, choosing the wrong person for the job. So how do we overcome this and stop wasting time and money and destroying our company culture along the way? Well take a listen to this episode. There is a solution you’ll be happy to hear. We’re talking about recruitment and the recruitment of a property manager is getting harder and harder. We’ve all been talking about the great staff shortage that has impacted the industry post covid. But the reality is there were far greater issues pre covid. It was the great revolving door issue.
What caused this issue? You might be wondering. Well, I firmly believe there was a few key issues at fault here, and let me break them down for you. And I speak from personal experience when I share these issues. I’m not proud of the turnover of property managers that I had through my own business, and I still do have at different times. So, the first thing I believe is that a lot of businesses have poor systems and procedures, and this is a huge issue that leads to property managers being overwhelmed and constantly dealing with conflict. And that was one of the biggest issues causing my turnover in the early days of starting a property management business. There’s also a lack of training. And the reason for this, and again, and I believe is twofold. You have principals and business owners who are largely sales focused and really don’t understand property management or the demands on the team. So, it’s very much a sink or swim environment. All the training is left to already overworked senior property managers who are onto their third or fourth trainee in 12 months, and they know this one’s not going to last. So, they only put in a half-hearted effort when it comes to training, or in my case, I was learning property management and running a business and raising four kids and not doing a great job at any of them at the time. I needed more training myself before I could have assisted anyone else. The third thing is there’s also a lack of support. And again, this comes back to the business owners not either not being focused on property management or not really knowing how to support or empathise with the job of a property manager. This wasn’t such an issue for me as I was already acting as a property manager as well, but without the time and often patience, I was literally running on an empty tank of energy and I really had nothing left to give anyone else. And the fourth thing is choosing the wrong person for the job. Now, you can’t put a square peg into a round hole as the saying goes. And not only that, not everyone has the same values and morals. And this is an important consideration when deciding to either join a company or selecting a new team member to join your company. And of course, not everyone has the right skillsets for certain roles either. And yet, why do we keep making the same recruitment mistakes over and over again? Well, if you want that to change in your business or you want to find the right company to work for, then you need to listen up.
My interview is with Julie Davis. Julie and her late husband Neil started Agent Dynamics in 2014. It was created with the intention of finding a solution to the revolving door epidemic within the real estate industry. The agent dynamics ecosystem helps business owners and principles to build, grow, and manage their teams. Common practice is recruiting through resumes and references, and yet we don’t even check the references most of the time, and they are simply not providing a full picture when trying to identify the next recruit to the team. Now, according to Julie, an interview will only provide half the story. The missing piece is the innate talent that people will bring to the role. And the agent dynamic ecosystem empowers the team to not only work in their flow, but to have a newfound understanding of what each and every one of their peers brings to the team. It enables business owners to better communicate, understand and leverage each individual to their strengths, resulting in a more productive team, increased profit, and lower rates of team turnover. It’s a fascinating concept, and you’ll want to stay to the end to listen to the personal development tools Julie shares with us too.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
‘I call myself a team alignment coach. And, I’ve been around the real estate industry now for about four decades. First as a practitioner and then as an owner in management rights, then as a coach trainer, and then started agent Dynamics, our current business about 11 years ago. The purpose of that is to strive to strategically help businesses build the right team and so having the right and we know the importance of that, particularly in our property management sector because of the terrible turnover that we have. So I work with the business owners strategically, and then we work with the team as well to give them a deeper understanding in terms of where would they be able to bring the biggest contribution within the business. Where would they be most happy and what role would they be in that is most profitable to the business owner as well?’
WHAT IMPACT DOES THE REVOLING DOOR OF PROPERTY MANAGERS HAVE ON A BUSINESS?
‘I don’t believe anybody takes up a position in a in a job or goes into an environment and they willingly fail at that, and they willingly go into a, a stressful situation. So, I think that the system is really, really broken in terms of how we recruit and build teams. I think on the other side, or I guess on the consumer side or somebody going in, and I just had a meeting earlier today about someone who was looking to start in an office, and it’s so important to do your due diligence because what can seem right and shiny from the outside can be very different once you get in there. And so, it’s critical if you are looking in terms of going into a position that we look at, you know, the values of a company and how are those values lived. So, it’s all very well having a sign on the wall and most of them saying we’re honest and ethical and you can trust us. Well, you know, values need to be lived. And so from a business owner’s point of view, you need to create a business that you become an attractant business in terms of the, pathway that you provide for your team. I personally think that it’s every business owner’s responsibility is that we accept the set-up of our team for success as much as we can. And in terms of their onboarding and the whole experience that they have with us is incredible because it’s not just now about recruiting new team members, it’s about how do we keep the ones that we’ve got and how do we create an environment that they’re spending, forty, fifty and sometimes sixty hours a week in where they feel that they can really flourish, feel valued, and contribute within that role.’
HOW DO WE STOP MAKING MISTAKES AND HOW DO WE PICK THE RIGHT POSITIONS WITHIN OUR BUSINESS? AND WHAT IS THE PROCESS WITH AGENT DYNAMICS FOR THAT?
‘Well, it’s always going to start with the business owner understanding where is the most important for you to spend your time within the business. And we talk about highest contribution. We actually have a whole platform in terms of that we can help diagnose that and have a pathway in terms of, number one, understanding yourself, understanding what is it that you should be doing that is going to be the most profitable and rewarding thing within your business? What are some of the things that you are doing that we should start building the team around, but not just saying, I need someone to help me is to be strategic and say, where is that person’s strength? Right? Because where you feel like you are running in mud is somebody else’s happy place. So, identifying first thing that we talk about is alignment. And that is alignment of values.
When we’re building our team, it is important that we fiercely protect the environment that we have. And number one is to be really clear on, on your values and your goals, and know that as part of your onboarding and recruitment system is that we need to find people that match our values and that will respect and uphold what we stand for as a business. The second one is, amplify the team’s natural talent. So there’s two thing, two things that we bring to every single thing that we do. The first one is we always bring our natural energy. And when we’re in our natural energy, it’s, it’s the easy path, It is what lights us up, it’s what, you know, it’s what we are naturally good at. And so we look at that and we look at that person’s natural energy of where they’re going maximize the contribution, so we can measure that. The third thing is, how do we activate that natural talent through skill? And it’s where we look in terms of what is the skill level of the person. Now, I’m actually quite amazed at number one is that references aren’t checked, we don’t do our due diligence. And the second thing is that we don’t skills test. And it’s like, your property manager, your idea of clean and somebody else’s idea of cleaner pulls apart. And so we know that resumes are pretty good worker of fiction. We don’t actually say, well, here, you sit down and let’s say they’re using property me or, whatever piece of software that on their application that they say that they are fabulous at, let’s sit down and see, if you pass the first two, if they match you culturally and you believe that would make a great part or addition to the team, if we are putting them in a role that where their natural talent, they’re going to be happy, let’s look down and let’s drill down and let’s look at the skills, at what level are they at, because that’s the easiest part.’
‘You can’t teach energy and you can’t teach values, However, it is really, really important that because we see, okay, property management, a lot of people look at as a, as a gap filler in terms of a job because the moment that business owners have just taken anyone that’s got a pulse, which is really dangerous. Let skills test them and see that. But if they’re, out of flow, what we call out of flow, even if they’ve got the skill, it is like full pocket, empty heart. And even if they are fantastic, they’re not going to stain your business, because as a human being, we strive to really contribute and we contribute in terms of internally of what really lights us up. So, if you are doing a job, and like when I do my team sessions, I said, put up your hand if you have ever had a job that you could do technically by skill level, but it just left you feeling drained and empty. You know, and it’s like those people who just check in, like get the pay packet and then they find something better and they move on, or they’re totally disengaged. And if we look at the cost of disengagement and immersion within the business, it’s massive.’
Changing the culture in any business starts at the top, and without the momentum shifting there, the revolving door of unhappy property managers is likely to continue.