Property management is a busy and often thankless job that sometimes, you just need a space where you can vent out your frustrations, get support and share ideas with like-minded people. You’re lucky if you have a constant group of people that you can gather anytime you feel a little overwhelmed, but that is not always the case.
Hayley Mitchell and Clare Verall are among the lucky ones but they also realised that not all property managers are getting the same support they enjoy. This then prompted the duo to start the Facebook group Australian Property Management Community - an online space for property managers to connect, share ideas and most importantly support each other.
By property managers, for property managers
Today, the Facebook group is managed by Mitchell, her husband Warren Rapson and friend Lyndsey Clarke. All three work in the real estate industry and have regular contact with property managers through their work so members are assured that the admins know what they are talking about.
Mitchell has been working in the real estate industry for more than 20 years and now runs her own training and consulting business MitchellPT. Rapson is the director of Realmatic RE:spond, a software company that makes a rental inspection management product, and Clarke is the director of Veracity Recruitment, a specialist real estate and property recruiter.
A growing community
Because it was one of the first Facebook groups to really focus on property management, people were quick to get on board and existing members would add their friends and contacts. In fact, the online community will approve its 10,000th member soon and according to Mitchell, there are no signs of slowing down. “We have over 100 people a week asking to join. We check everyone to ensure they work in the industry.”
Today, Mitchell, Rapson and Clarke all mention the group regularly in the course of their work to make sure that it is as inclusive as possible, attracting a broad range of property managers to continue to expand its reach and keep the content diverse and useful to its members.
Supporting Australian property managers
Initially, the group’s aim was to provide support, but now it offers a comprehensive set of resources to its members, by way of downloadable files that make everyone’s life easier. “We really encourage the group members to share ideas and, if questions are asked that have been covered before, we direct them to the files section for resources such as letters and templates,” says Mitchell.
The group has developed its offering in recent years based on the content coming from its members. It now runs an annual survey, with the results emailed out to a subscriber list. The survey provides a general snapshot of what’s going on in the industry, what’s new, what could be done better and so on.
Australian property management jobs
As well as the survey, job postings quickly became a frequent occurrence in the community. In July 2014, Mitchell started an offshoot group for jobseekers called the Australian Property Management Jobs group.
“Recruitment is really hard in real estate, so we promote jobs in the group and if we can connect agencies with potential staff, they save on recruitment fees,” says Mitchell.
A safe and fun space for property managers
Mitchell says they have had very few behavioural issues with the group so far. “Generally, behaviour is really good. We have a zero tolerance policy for not following the group guidelines and people are quickly removed if they are problematic.”
The admins know how important it is to protect the space and ensure everyone knows it’s a safe arena in which to open a discussion.
As with all groups, there is plenty of light entertainment too, from stories of haunted houses to photos of flowers received from happy tenants and landlords. “Some of the exchanges about tenants and landlords are hilarious,” says Mitchell.
“Our members offer important advice and support to each other, but it can be fun too and it’s really reassuring to everyone to know they’re not alone.”
Did you know...
Rockend has its own Facebook group too. Property Rockstars group is an online community where Rockend customers can connect with other like-minded professionals, access exclusive content, and gain insights on product and feature updates.