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New Zealand
United States

Building a Successful Career

Personal Development | January 29, 2019
Ben White

Our Industry is changing so fast that the very definition of what a property manager is, is changing. This creates big opportunities for those that are up for the challenge. To succeed we need fresh thinking and a lot of energy.

So, what is the old thinking I am talking about? I would broadly summarise this as the mindset of seeing property management as an inward looking industry. Individuals whose experience is framed by this way of thinking spend most of their time considering how to make their existing role more efficient. There is a general sense of acceptance that the future will be much like today. By definition, they see their existing career competencies as sufficient – after all, if things are broadly going to stay the same, then the skills already mastered will be enough for the future, right?

Conversely, the new thinking is founded in a customer-first view of the world. Those in this camp see the world through the eyes of their clients, recognising that expectations are rising and will continue to do so. Evolving to meet those expectations is their preoccupation as people in this camp believe that the future will be different from today. In this version of the world, there is a race to develop new services and new competencies to stay ahead of the change.

Before any individual goes much further, they will need to choose a side in this debate. I firmly believe that to succeed in the 21st century, we need to be proactive and forward-thinking at all times.

I accept that not everyone shares my views. I may well be wrong. It may be that the future will look exactly like today. Those that believe I’m wrong will see no need to change. For those who think that I might be right, however, it’s time to start thinking about how to react, to take advantage of what is coming. There is, in my opinion, a fantastic opportunity at hand for any individual who is willing to make the proactive and bold choices to capitalise on it.

Building Blocks is written for those who share the vision and are committed to finding a new path forward.

As we’ve already discussed, there are a number of important concepts that are set out in our book, Building Blocks. Regardless, all of those are useless without embracing one basic concept above all others. That is about taking responsibility.

Every person is primarily responsible for her or his own career. There is no room for passiveness in how that career develops, or for an expectation that things will just miraculously work out.


It follows that there is no point in working in an agency that does not have big enough ambitions that will allow the achievement of the individual’s personal goals. It’s also critical to commit to doing everything necessary to build career competencies. The greater anyone’s career competencies are, the greater value they will bring to their agency and the more they will be rewarded. A competency is a person's career asset. They make a colleague more valuable and represent career progression.

Ultimately, it’s up to the individual to take control of her or his career, refusing to allow events to overtake one’s ambitions. The individual must be deliberate about her or his choice of agency and who will be her or his leader and mentor. They must take control of learning and development opportunities. They must have a vision for what their role can be and the potential impact that they could have on the business

Read more in our book 'Building Blocks', available for free with your LPMA membership or online on Amazon here

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