We often talk about the partnership that exists between property managers and their constituents: their tenants and residents, their vendors and, in the case of third-party property managers, the customers they own.
But there are partnerships that exist behind the scenes, partnerships that can have a career-advancing and even career-changing impact. In a period of exceptional talent shortage, such partnerships, once established, provide a level of stickiness to a career in property management and, therefore, a major attraction in the field for both up-and-coming talent and seasoned professionals. Is.
Property management, arguably more than any other real estate discipline, touches on and has access to so many ancillary disciplines, whether it is brokerage, development, finance or legal (to name just a few), but all of them are key to success. Help establish the foundation. , IREM Board of Directors Mindy Gronbeck, CPM, CSM, CRX, says it best.
“The perspective is surprisingly broad for beginning property managers,” she says. “There are many ways to grow once you get into your career and start figuring out what you love, what you are good at, and what is challenging for you.” Personally, I cannot count the number of people I know who started out by working one in this industry and evolved into another discipline under the broad umbrella of property management.
The fact is that skills can be taught. The major sticking point for retention is boredom. Gronbeck points out that healthy partnerships can keep boredom from setting in. The partnerships you form with those diverse professionals can inform your understanding of your daily responsibilities and help you get better at what you do. They provide a holistic approach to asset management. For example, how much better is a manager who understands at least the basics of leasing and engineering? “It’s a matter of adding value,” she says simply.
But such advice and advice is not given freely. It takes drive and commitment on the part of the property manager to build those relationships, and then leverage open communication. Therein lies the special sauce of mentorship, which begins with actively seeking connections that are meaningful and building an honest, trusting and ongoing dialogue.
That’s right. I said dialogue. Remember that, like all relationships, mentorship is a two-way street. After all, growth isn’t limited to the younger generation, and a more experienced professional who approaches their day-to-day responsibilities with an open mind and willingness to accept new ideas can benefit from that relationship, too. . On the other hand, too much ownership of a process or too rigid a hierarchy can prevent such development, which ultimately leads to stagnation and – worse – boredom.
Another important partnership comes from a surprising place: local competition. The reality is that, despite the competitive nature of local market developments, we are not always competing for the same piece of the pie, and I have never met a property manager who is unwilling to sit down with a so-called “Competitors” and certainly share some methods within the limits of ethics. There are so many markets to share, and if a relationship is formed by a chance meeting in the field or in the IREM Chapter Program, it can lead to great opportunities and career opportunities.
Grönbeck is a good example of this dynamic at work. “I love hearing what other people do,” she says, “and hearing how different companies deal with this or that issue allows us and our department to grow.”
It should come as no surprise that I view association membership as a key to building those relationships. But joining is not enough. You must be an active participant, contributing and giving back. The rule mentioned above applies here. Relationships are not freely given. But once you find them, you’re building up a level of depth. Contribute to the goals of the association and you add another layer of depth. Answer the call of another needy member and you add another layer.
The truth is that the longer one stays in this industry, the broader one’s range of understanding and the relationships that contribute to it, the more apt we are to groom and retain top talent.
Barry Blanton is the 2022 President of IREM. In addition, he serves as chief problem solver in Seattle and founding principal of Blanton Turner.