Property Management is all about the “C” Word… CULTURE

Linda Gulabovska cropped

An article by Linda Gulabovska, Senior Property Manager, Right Choice Real Estate, NSW

Culture is our character, it is who we are and shines through in everything we do. It’s our principles, our behaviour, our true reflection.

Office Culture is what motivates you to come to work and stay…

We have a PM team of 7, organically hand-picked and home grown… We created a CULTURE that we live and breathe daily. Our strengths, combined with our solid work ethic, gives us the opportunity to be at the forefront of Property Management in the Illawarra.

We selected our team based upon who fits! You can be knowledgeable, yet know nothing! Have worked in the industry for years but never acquired any experience. Skill can be taught, so long as the shoe fits! What we strived for was the intention to share the same work ethic, customer service focus and have fun doing it. We are all specialists in our own roles, yet adaptable enough to multitask and blend roles when required.

We understand taking ownership is the key to survival in property management. Communication, consistency, commitment, respect, trust and empathy are the key factors to success!

Property Management isn’t easy… it takes dedication, passion and devotion. When you have total support from the top of the pyramid, failure is no longer an option.

A great culture increases productivity and undoubtedly keeps sick days at a minimum.  Culture is what makes a business successful. Morale is high; the happier the employee, the more productivity is maintained, which reflects on the bottom line.

We bounce off each other day in, day out. 7 ideas and thought processes are better than one. We constantly train and grow.  The world’s best soccer players all know how to play soccer, however, they still train every day, week in week out… why?

Not just to remain at the top of their sport, but to continually improve their skill set. Muscle memory. It becomes a habit to perform above benchmark! That’s why it is imperative to have ongoing training, networking and support.

Culture is the backbone to any Real Estate office…

Greater Value - Weekly Property Management Meetings

Lisa Pentland Headshot sandstone

By Lisa Pentland

Are you a meeting hater? Do you have more important things to do than attend meetings? Are you too busy or are you that person who is always late?

I am guessing most business’s conduct a weekly property management meeting which is a great start. But don’t just go through the motions – you’re giving meetings a bad rep, weekly meetings can be the highlight of your week!

Attending team meetings is quickest way to learn a lot about the practices, attitudes and team dynamics of a business.

In a well planned and well run meeting, I also learn the priorities and expectations of the business and get to see the really committed, career property managers shine.

For the most part though, our meetings could do with a few minor tweaks that could make a huge difference to their effectiveness. Here are a few tips:

  • Have a weekly agenda
  • Make sure the agenda includes all the key performance areas for your business
  • Each person should bring the reports relevant to their role to the meeting
  • The meeting should be run by key performance area, not by manager, portfolio or pod
  • Record the results as the meeting evolves
  • Refer to previous meetings results to proactively identify market or performance trends
  • Keep the tone positive, upbeat and inclusive of all parties
  • Include training, scripts and dialogues tips as you go
  • Appoint a legislation champion to provide legislation updates
  • Set the meeting time start on time and finish on time every week – no matter what!
  • Allow time to celebrate everyone’s successes and have some fun

To fully utilise your time, design your agenda so it can be used as a report and record of performance direction. You can then use this information to identify performance, knowledge and skills gaps as well as recognise high achievers, specific skill sets and future leaders.

To learn more about the Weekly Meeting Agenda and get a copy of the ideal agenda register for our webinar below:

21st March 2017
12:30pm Sydney Time

Click on the title below to access the link to the Webinar details.

How to Run a Weekly Team Meeting

Now’s the time to “Take 30” and ask how can I get better value from our weekly team meetings.

Well-run weekly team meetings fulfil a multitude of purposes. They continually reinforce the purpose and priorities of the business, they identify challenges and successes. They provide a platform for team bonding, training, inspiration, and goal setting. Join the 20 minute webinar to learn how to get maximum value from your meeting time.


  • 20 minute webinar
  • Opt in 10 minute Q & A chatroom
  • Weekly meeting agenda
  • Goals and action plan template

Audience – Leadership / Property Management
Hands on Principals, Team Leaders, Property Managers and Administrators.

Building a Culture

Peter OBrien cropped

An article by Peter O'Brien

For any Property Management company to be successful it is important to have a motivated and committed team.  As a Team Leader I have always encouraged my staff to work with me instead of working for me.  

To build a successful team and maintain a consistent environment and culture that works I constantly remind staff of the following practices that is expected of them. I do this in regular staff meetings, one on one meeting’s, general open discussions in the office and whenever there is an opportunity. This open communication process is the key to a Team that works well together.

All staff are expected to:

  • Understand that all relationships require trust. Without trust there is not much hope to build a relationship with anyone.
  • Know that communication is the most important element of a successful business relationship.   
  • Don’t be a clock watcher. If you run out of things to do during the workday, ask if there is anything else you can do to help bring value to the company, our clients and our image and branding.
  • Respect individuality.  Understand that people will have different opinions and behavior
  • Don’t be afraid to admit mistakes. It is better to admit that you made a mistake and understand why you made the mistake.  This will prevent you making the same mistake again.
  • Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.”  It is better to confess that you don’t know and then learn the right way of doing things.
  • Don’t talk behind someone’s back.  We expect your loyalty and best efforts.  You should expect ours in return. If you dislike or are having an issue with a team member or you are not happy with the companies actions then let us know what is bothering you and we will try to work it out.
  • Keep yourself healthy, focused and alert at all times.  Without your health you will not reach your own potential and you won’t contribute to our full potential.
  • Find the importance in the diversity of those that you work with and the company clients and use this to better understand them.
  • Be genuine and honest at all times. We have open doors and welcome you to talk to us anytime.  Always know that you are not alone.
  • Express your ideas and beliefs. We are always open to doing our job better.  
  • Don’t do to others what you wouldn’t want done to you
  • Present yourself like you respect and like yourself.


I recommend that you and your team create a list similar to mine and you will experience how a few expectations can set the backbone of a rewarding company culture.

A Letter to the Principal

Karen Herbert cropped

An article by Karen Herbert, Director, Property Management Rescue

“If you would lead, I would stay”, PM.

I remember the first time I walked into your sparkling office.  The vibe was one of excitement and exhilaration.

A friendly face escorted me into your trophy room, filled with shiny awards and photos of happy people being handed a key to their new home.

And there you were, rather preened, wearing an Armani suit, some animal-skinned shoes and smelling divine.

I became entranced as I sat and listened to your vision for the company, your promise of what was yet to come.  

It sounded so exciting; I wanted to be a part of it.

Nervously, I enquired about your procedures and support systems and you allayed my fears, assuring me that everything I needed would be provided.

You hired, I accepted.

I awoke from my reverie halfway through the morning of my first day, with a slap.

Back to the real world.   Realising the condition of the portfolio I had been given to manage, I soon understood there was little or no procedures in place, nor support for me in my new role.

I was battered by a constant barrage of phone calls from angry clients every day.

I stayed though, because I remembered your vision.

I wanted to be a part of it.  I wanted to make you proud.

I remember you coming by my desk one Friday afternoon, to see how I was doing.  I summoned up the courage to voice some of my concerns about the condition of my portfolio. 

You nodded empathetically and said, “Let’s sit down and discuss further next week.”

Sadly, next week never came, did it?

The sound of the bells and whistles continued to resonate throughout the office as your sales team won trophy after trophy.

Everyone was friendly enough, so why did I feel like an outsider?

I continued to pick myself up every day and head back into my world of mayhem and putting out fires.

I looked to you for guidance.  I wanted you to lead.

The days are long now, what day is it?

I have become grumpy, disillusioned.

Maybe, this role is not for me.

The days grow longer.

There are not so many fires to extinguish now, but I seem to be out of energy.

Tired and stressed, I don’t seem to care much anymore about being a part of your vision.

Then one day, I find the courage to leave.

I reflect upon the last 6 months spent in your employ.

Your shine became tarnished.

Your promises, left empty.

Your trophies, merely silver pots gathering dust, meant nothing in my world.

But you didn’t know my world, nor did you want to know about it.

I wonder then, why you created my world.

If you’d had led, I would have stayed”

Your PM

PS: Far too many property managers are burnt-out and lost to the industry due to insufficient or inadequate management by their superiors.  

Be a Leader, not a Follower

Bob Walters True PM

An article by Bob Walters.

As a leader you will be required to implement and administer strategies, as well as master the skills needed to inspire others to achieve excellence. To be an effective leader a wide range of skills need to be mastered. In property management you will not only use your leadership skills when dealing with staff, but also a wide range of skills when you are dealing with landlords, tenants, tradespeople, accountants, solicitors, valuers and salespeople.

To overcome the hurdles in your day to day life and achieve desired results you need to make maximum use of your leadership skills.

For great success, always work on improving yourself. Build your confidence by reflecting on your success stories when you notice that you are starting to become anxious. For example, if you normally become nervous with a new client, reflect on past success stories and then imagine doing well this time around.

Great leaders look, sound and act convincing. They take steps to increase their confidence, improve their ability to empathise with others, and build trusting relationships.

Building on your strengths:

1.Persistence – Don't give up, don't take no for an answer.

2.Consistency – Deliver an exceptional level of work each and every time you are asked to do something.

3.Commitment – Always totally engage in everything you do.

4.Discerning – Make good judgements, know what is good for you and what is not.

5.Understanding – Always show empathy to other people's situations and actions.

6.Knowledge - Keep up with current affairs, real estate topics and organisational matters and subtly display your in-depth knowledge.

Promote a positive team culture, so that in the hard times your team can synergise to increase productivity. As a leader be aware of people's needs and interests, so that you can work together to reach mutually beneficial goals and solutions.

  • If you are going to achieve your goals, teamwork is essential.
  • Always aim to understand other people's feelings, understand that effective influence stems from two way dialogue.
  • Emphasise what you have in common with others, rather than what divides you.
  • Showing interest in other people will make them more receptive to what you say.

As a leader try not to force other people to accept your ideas as this can result in resentment. To engage people more effectively sometimes you will need to adapt your ideas to their needs. Never ask people to accept your ideas before getting their opinion. Take on board other people's body language when you suggest an idea.

It is always a good idea to create a list, prior to a meeting or appointment of the reasons why you think people will or will not go along with your ideas. Use these points to pre-empt any objections then prepare your response based on the person's view.

You will win people's hearts along the way when you respect their aspirations, interests and concerns.

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