EPMProductivity & Best Practice

5 Signs it’s Time to Break Up with your Job: Michael Furlong

If you are finding yourself unhappy with your property management job, there are some telltale signs that it may be time to start looking for greener pastures, according to trainer and consultant Michael Furlong.

If you are finding yourself unhappy with your property management job, there are some telltale signs that it may be time to start looking for greener pastures, according to trainer and consultant Michael Furlong.

Michael Furlong sees staff retention and turnover as an industry crisis. For property managers, finding out whether the grass is greener on the other side of the fence can be a risky game, so before you leap it is important to look at what is happening in your current workplace.

A framework for what to look for in a healthy property management department is helpful to make sure that you are not jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

It is not required of property managers to suffer and ’stick it out’ in a toxic environment.

According to Furlong, the danger of remaining in a negative workplace is that aligning yourself with the negativity can, in turn, impact your personal brand and your desirability to future employers.

Like most unhealthy relationships, there comes a reckoning where property managers need to take responsibility and account for what isn’t working, whether it can change or whether it is time to break up and say, ‘it’s not me, it’s you’.

Furlong spent 10 years at the helm of award-winning MAP Real Estate, and is now a property management and owners corporation trainer at the REIV, property management speaker and consultant.

Seeing property management businesses at all levels, Furlong’s experience of functional and dysfunctional property management business has enabled him to distill five criteria that indicate it is time to leave.

These five signs will tell you that it is time to look for another job:

1. If the agency principal does not understand and value property management. When the principal is not actively involved in the tactical operations of property management, it is difficult for them to understand the challenges that property managers and staff will experience on a day to day basis.

2. If the property management department lacks robust systems, policies and procedures and the agency invests little in training and developing the team to ensure they follow the systems.

3. If the agency does not treat landlords and tenants equally, it causes conflict for property managers and will lead to brand damage for the business. Gone are the days when tenants are treated as second rate.

4. If the company does not offer their team members a career pathway. Property managers are faced with constant change and the burden of increasing expectations. Continuous up-skilling through career progression and ongoing industry training is important to keep them achieving their personal and professional goals.

5. If Internal Compliance & Risk Management strategies are not in focus. If the management of trust account money and clear procedures are not a priority, along with strict audit procedures for the management of both landlord and tenant files, it creates stress and uncertainty for property managers.

If you are a principal, this is an equally good checklist to see whether your team might be thinking of leaving you. If you are a property manager looking for a new office, these are good criteria to see whether the new environment could be better.

“The industry needs to see property management as a profession and not just a job, which can only be achieved if agency principals start to invest in their staff training and career development,” said Furlong.

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Sarah Bell

With a background in research and investigations, Sarah Bell married into the real estate industry in 2009 and has found a passion for both the business and its people. Sarah is the Editor of Elite Property Manager magazine and also a regular contributor to both Elite Agent and EPM Magazines. Contact Sarah sarah@eliteagent.com.au.
  • Kirk Stafford

    Thanks Michael,
    All very solid pointers to a 3rd tier organisation, PM’s who don’t place enough value on themselves end up stressed, burn out and unable to cope with what is already a demanding job, the points you’ve touched on only make the role worse and this is where poor service and mistakes become the norm.


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