Put your hand up if Property Management growth is top of your goal list this week, month or year! I bet that was most of you reading this right now. There’s a really quick way to get those new management’s across the line. It’s by buying a rent roll. Of course, that does come at a cost, but the long term reward may very well exceed the short term expense. Buying a rent roll could be just the answer to all your growth problems. Now for anyone new to the industry, especially those not from Australia, a rent roll is the number of properties your business has under management or is managing. It is considered a valuable asset in a real estate business because you can sell it off to another business for profit.
HOW YOU GOT STARTED IN PROPERTY MANAGEMENT?
‘Probably like most of us, I didn’t really plan on getting into property management. It was not, not a career path I deliberately chose. I used to work at a video shop and didn’t really know what I wanted to do. My mum was selling our family house at the time, and I got a bit interested in it that way. I then started a TAFE course and then got a part-time job at a local real estate agent and started from the bottom, doing all the running around and the lacky kind of jobs, then just worked my way up over the years. Like most of us have done and, you know, ended up running portfolios and managing leasing and new business teams in Sydney before, before I sort of stepped away from the front line. So yeah, it was not an intentional plan, like most of us, but it’s sort of naturally evolved over the years and I learnt on the go, like most of us.’
WHY YOU NEED A PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SIDEKICK IN YOUR BUSINESS
‘When Sidekick originally started, it was going to be an outsourcing business. Then I had a child and couldn’t really get out on the road as much as I could before. So that kind of changed the path of sidekick and over the years I’ve done a lot of my own personal development, including a lot of work on mindset and resilience and, and stress. There was a lot of therapy and counseling to kind of get through some stuff that I’ve been through over the years. And so, it’s just sort of naturally evolved and taking those skills I had in property management and growing rent rolls, but also things like streamlining systems and procedures kind of things has always really been my jam. I’m kind of melding that with that mindset and stress and resilience piece, because I was an overworked, stressed property manager, like a lot of people in the industry right now and there wasn’t a lot of that awareness and support around mindset. The key to streamlining systems and processes now for me and working with the business
owners, it’s really like, well let’s design things in a way so that it gives you less stress and it gives you more time. Sidekick has evolved to be a personal development coaching business, where I work with people either one on one in teams to really get that result.’
WHAT IS MINDSET AND WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?
‘I think mindset’s going to mean a lot of different things to a lot of people. Mindset for me, it’s sort of like a muscle, right? It’s really around that resilience piece for me. I think the strength of our mindset has a big impact on how we handle stress. I notice in myself when my mindset is really strong, stressful situation comes along, I can kind of handle it calmly and rationally and think through it strategically and, and handle that situation well. As opposed to when my mindset isn’t strong, which, you know, I’m not perfect all the time where people will say, oh, you look like you got it all together. I definitely don’t always. I definitely have days and weeks and months where my mindset isn’t strong. And in those times when something stressful comes along and I don’t handle it well, it, it stresses me out even more. I overthink and snap quicker. It’s like a muscle for our mind and the great thing about it is that we can strengthen it and we can, it can improve, right? We’re not just stuck with what we’ve got. You are actually able to put strategies and tools into place to actually help yourself be able to better handle the stress. And I feel like that’s really empowering.
BEST TIPS FOR MINDSET MASTERY FOR PROPERTY MANAGERS
‘I know that I spent a decent amount of my life in a fixed mindset, you know, now that I have that awareness I can see that now. So with a fixed mindset you see things as well that’s the way it is I can’t change that, that’s just who I am. I would say now I do sit in much more of a growth mindset space. That’s not to say I don’t slip back sometimes because you know, we’re human. I always say that awareness is the first step to change. Even if you just Google say fixed mindset and there’s beautiful images that come up with all phrases of what’s a fixed mindset and what’s a growth mindset and just get that initial process of going.’
‘I relate to a lot more of those phrases on the fixed side. That awareness alone is like, okay, well I can either like this or not. I can either accept it and stay in that fixed mindset or go wow that’s something I would like to change. Now that we’re aware of it, we can go, that’s something I’d like to change. And that tiny process has just moved you into a growth mindset. One of the big components of a growth mindset is self-awareness. And so that’s one of the tools and strategies that I use myself and, you know, that’s why, you know, coaching exists. A lot of those coaching processes is a, a self reflection process. And that might be either daily, weekly, monthly, most of us do it annually generally around that new year’s time.’
‘That’s the general time we’ll sort of reflect and go, oh, how did we go? Or like, what do we want to achieve for the year ahead? But more often than not, if we’re waiting a whole year before we reflect and see how are we doing? What’s working. What’s not, we’re going to be moving through change quite slowly. So for myself, like I’ve got to do it daily. I’ve got a personal daily planner and at the bottom of the planner, it’s just got how did my day go? Did it go to plan or did it not go to plan? That’s just a simple self-reflection process that allows me to go, all right, what didn’t go to plan and what might need to shift
for tomorrow. You can also do this at a weekly or monthly level what’s, what’s worked well, what hasn’t worked well, what do I need to shift or change and improve. That alone will keep you in that growth mindset space, because it is forcing you to reflect and then look at what you might need to shift to move forwards. And it’s giving your mindset that awareness that it is possible to change.’
OVERCOMING MOTHERS GUILT
‘I was reflecting on this a little bit last few days and you know, a couple of pieces in that. I think that like for me in particular I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I know that a lot of property managers also probably are, so I have very high expectations for myself. So,I think for me, my guilt comes from, I know I want to be doing a better job for my clients. I want to be doing a better job for my kids, but I feel stretched across all of them. And sometimes like I’m not doing a really good job at any one thing. I’ve got a morning practice, I usually do, it’s called a best self-journal. I think it’s quite similar to the Full Focus one. So, you know, each morning I try and like, you know, sit down and map out. What’s my big task I want to get done today. Write down what my day’s going to look like. And on the days I do that, I’m more in control and I get more done, which actually then allows me that when it comes five o’clock and I have to pick my kids up, I can actually be more present and there with them because I know that I’ve got the big stuff done, and I achieved what I needed to achieve and I wasn’t just stuck in the busy working out of my inbox all day. I haven’t done that morning practice for the last two days and I have felt in the mornings when I’m trying to get the kids ready, I’ve felt like I’m like already sort of trying to check my phone and see what I’ve got on. I’m trying to rush the kids out the door because I think I’ve got so much to do. When they come home, I’ve been like, okay, go in the front of the TV while I’m still juggling emails, right. So I haven’t been using that planning and organisation tool, which I feel has like it’s led to more of those kind of guilt and stretched feelings. I’m kind of trying to be everything to everyone, but in reflection I can look back and say last week had a week where like every single day I had that in place and it’s funny, some people are like, oh, I don’t want routine and structure. I want freedom. But for me having that routine and structure and having that process in place and then, you know, being able to then achieve 80 or 90% of the things that I set out to achieve and then knowing that, well, everything that’s not done, wasn’t meant to get done today anyway. That allows me to then switch off and know that I’ve done a good job in that area. I’m going to enjoy relaxing with the kids a bit more and be more present around dinnertime and bedtime and not be like, I just have to get them to bed so I can get on the computer and do more work that I didn’t get done today.’
BIGGEST PROPERTY MANAGEMENT STRUGGLES AT THE MOMENT
‘Mm, how long have we got? Just kidding. I think from a staffing and business point of view, is that staff and property managers in particular, want more flexibility and freedom in how they work. I think, you know, we are seeing across all parts of Australia, it doesn’t matter who I speak to, you know, the great property manager shortage, the burnout and industry people exiting. Then there’s also from the other side, there’s a fear of from, I think the business owners sometimes of like, well, I don’t want to give that flexibility, you know, working from home, like what are people doing? So, I think that there’s a bit of work to be done on creating a bit more of that environment, where there is the flexibility. I’m hugely productive when I work at home and I know a lot of people are. But then it gives me the chance to put on a load of laundry on so that I can keep on top of that throughout the day. For me, like working from home then allows me to keep on top of that other stuff. So, then I’m, again, coming back to that
problem before about guilt. It’s like then at the end of the day, because I’ve been at home, I can be productive, get some of that home stuff done, be closer, you know, five minutes away from picking up my kids. There needs to be a bit more flexibility in those working arrangements. I don’t have a property management team myself, but in the people that I work with, I’m seeing a need for that. But I think, you know, from a property manager point of view, it’s just like the expectations now, compared to when I was a property manager years ago, it’s just astronomical.’
‘Like, how do you even handle the workload? You can see how it happens because the volume of what is coming in, like to an inbox and a property manager’s desk each day, you know, for some people who are managing 200, 300, upwards properties, like it’s insane, right? Like 250 properties, you might have, you know, 400 or 500 people that you are managing. And it’s not like, I feel like when I was a property manager 10 years ago, it was much more, you know, you did a routine, you moved people in and out, but it’s like, people are communicating with you 24 7 now about all of their challenges and issues. And we become, you know, counselors as much as property managers. It’s a real challenge in managing that volume of incoming communication and then balancing that with the tasks that need to happen to proactively keep a portfolio running day to day, you know, making sure you’re on top of arreas and routines and rent reviews. But again, I think it, for a property manager, one of the solutions for that is really that planning, and setting the intentions of how they want the days and weeks and months to run. Otherwise you do, you come in and you sit down and you just start working in your inbox and you, you know, you get to the end of the day and you don’t even know if you’ve got through the biggest and most important stuff. And there’s all this other stuff sitting on your shoulder. I think like day to day, you know, for typical property manager, that volume and that weight of everything that needs to be done, is huge. And that is what is leading to that, you know, that burnout and that volume of stress that everyone’s experiencing.’
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT TOOL
‘I feel like we’ve harped on about it, but honestly, a daily planning tool and reflection tool. I think the one I use is called a Best Self Journal. You have to order it from America. I think it’s like the full focus one, but it kind of takes all of those practices I spoke about before. Some of the people online might have done like a life wheel before, where you kind of look at the different areas of your life, like love relationships, health work and at the start of each quarter you are looking at well, how do I rate myself in each of those areas? Like where is my happiness and satisfaction in each of those areas? And you give yourself a benchmark, you know, and maybe my health is at a six at the moment, but then you can set some intentions around, well, what would I like to do to improve my rating or benchmark in that area? And so then, you know, at the end of the quarter, you then reflecting, not just on the big picture goals, but you also reflect on your level of satisfaction in those different areas of life. I don’t think we give ourselves time for reflection very often. But it allows us to think not just about the work version of ourselves or the mum version of ourselves, but that, that whole version of ourselves that make us, you know, more happy and satisfied along the way. It’s not necessarily big ones, you know, I think my one, for my health is six. It might just be okay, well, I’d like to, you know, make sure I get in my daily walks and eat healthier. And so what do I need? It takes you through them. What do you want to do to implement those? Well, I need to put those walks in my diary and plan to have some time aside for meal prep or grocery shopping or whatever it is each week in the diary. So, I like this reflection tool in this benchmarking style to help you kind of look at well, how do I feel in every area of my life? What do I want to do to improve those different areas? Like, what am I focusing on for this next period? And then
being able to give yourself a measure at the end of the day, well how happy and satisfied am I in each of those areas? Now it can show you that you’ve kind of moved forward and progressed.