Continuing the list from Part One, here are the keys to successfully recruit property managers.
6. Technical Knowledge Questions- you would be amazed by the number of ‘experienced’ property managers that cannot answer basic property management questions. Prepare easy questions before your interview from your Residential Tenancies Act, from your management agreement, and tenancy agreements (use the most common agreements from your REI).
If a property manager is unable to answer basic knowledge questions, you may have exposed a property manager that knows less than what they say they know!
7. Score on Attributes- once you have asked questions based on the eight attributes and technical questions, ensure that you have had a second person write down and record what they said. When the interview is finished, score each attribute out of 10, and add up your scores. Go back over your notes when considering your scoring. You can then confidently say the person who scores the highest gets the job!
8. Beware of boasting- ever had a tenant applying for a property go out of their way to tell you ‘they are a great gardener’? We know that if they brag, they are not what they claim to be! In the same way, if interviewees boast and brag about certain aspects of their skills and supposed competencies, you must take notice! I have found out (the hard way) that what a person boasts about, what they wear ‘on their sleeve’, means they are overcompensating for something they do not have! Be watchful for this one. I have also found these types of people can also be quite deceitful!
9. Attitude is Everything- I would much rather employ a person with a great attitude and no experience than employing a ten-year experienced property manager with a bad attitude. Attitude is a key driver for performance. A bad attitude means a bad performing property manager. These types of property managers, in general, will never change, so do not worry about trying unless their bad attitude is based on temporary life circumstances. When I consult and perform department health checks, if I come across an experienced property manager with a bad attitude, I will always recommend an audit on their files. We have never been surprised as we have always found high levels of negligence (and worse) closely linked to a bad attitude!
10. Procedures Bring Options- documenting a written step-by-step procedure for everything gives you greater options. Without written procedures, your options are narrowed to hiring only experienced property managers, (hoping like crazy they will not damage your rent roll) and be ready to pay them big money! If you have a written documented process you are now in a better position to take on inexperienced property managers with the right attributes. Putting them through several days of extensive training on your systems, a competent person can be fast-tracked into the role. Without written procedures, it will take an inexperienced property manager up to 12 months to settle in, if they survive! With written procedures, correct training, and mentoring, this process is substantially reduced to a couple of weeks, if not less!
Bradley Sugars, an Australian who is one of the world’s best business coaches said that ‘you deserve the staff you get’. If you are a principal with little to no concern with property management, you are going to attract poor performers. Why would a good property manager want to work for a boss who only cares about his sales department, when they can go elsewhere, find someone who cares, and be paid better! Set up a department where good property managers strive to be a part of your team. There is nothing like having a culture where good property managers seek you out! Good property managers are really worth looking after! Go for it!