Recently, I took a snap poll on Facebook to understand the main reasons why team members leave a property management business. The poll resulted in 150 individual responses from property management professionals, and revealed the top three reasons why a team member chooses to leave. It's good news and bad news... you can't fix it with pay!
I say good news about bad news because.. The googd news is you don't need to hand out large pay rises your company cannot afford, but The bad news is it's a much bigger issue than pay. Let me tell you why. You see, the top three voted issues reveal much deeper cultural concerns that seem to be rife in our industry.
What are the top three reasons a team member leaves, you ask?
I left because...
- I didn’t feel appreciated in my role
- I didn’t feel supported by my superior/Principal
- I didn’t feel I had career progression within my agency
For the purposes of this article and because a whopping 58% of people chose this option, I’m going to explore the real reasons why team member's tend not to feel appreciated and well, leave!
It’s not really surprising that this is the number one reason people leave. It’s potentially the number one reason many relationships, work and personal, break down. It’s the hardest thing to get right because it’s completely subjective to the person who feels appreciated or otherwise.
But it’s not helpful to conclude that you can’t make anyone happy and therefore do nothing.
So, how do we ensure our good people feel appreciated? Firstly, we need to establish whether your team members are performing, not just in comparison to others in your team, but to your own company's goals, and the industry benchmark. This is where I believe KPIs are critical to a business. They are not just to ensure work is being completed, they are mostly there to enable you to gauge the value-add a team member is bringing to the business. This can alleviate many of the issues surrounding the problem of feeling unappreciated, as how they are performing is visible and clear to all involved.
However, value is in many ways subjective too - they may add to your culture, add to your systems and processes, add to your local word of mouth growth, your clients may like them and so on and so forth, but for the purposes of this article, I’m talking about the value-add to operational and financial KPI’s.
Once we’ve established the baseline, we can begin to show appreciation.
As stated earlier, people show and receive appreciation differently. You may have experienced this yourself - perhaps you’re the sort of person who deliberates more over the words you write in a card than on the gift that you give. On the other side of the coin, the words in the card may mean more to you than the gift received. Or perhaps you’d rather the person doesn’t send you a gift, but spends some time having a chat over coffee. This leads back to the importance of understanding that each team member, each client and each relationship you form is unique, and you must therefore provide a tailored service and understanding to each individual, *especially in this industry. *
Focusing on the importance of delivering personliased service will help you tremedously in the long run. It can start off small, and may just encompass the different ways to phrase an email to different people to begin. After all, it really is the little things that count.
Our friends at Ailo are on your side, and are dedicated to busting the myths that this industry so commonly leans upon, including the importance of a property manager to a prosperous business. Want to learn more? Have a read of Ailo's recent blog on the myth that PM's are dispensable.