Deciding to start your own property management business is a big deal. A property manager is already someone who juggles a lot of responsibilities, and when you add running a business to that, things can get pretty overwhelming.
Granted, you have already done your research as to the technicalities of the business or is already an experienced property manager yourself, there are still some factors that you should consider if you want your business to succeed.
With some insights from our interviews with industry influencers, here are 5 tips you should know about starting your property management business.
1. Design your life plan
“Prioritise and design your life and then build your career and everything else around it,” according to Andy Lark, former marketing leader at Xero and CEO of Group Lark. Think about how you want your life to look like and how having this business is going to help you shape it.
Kristie Looney had a more altruistic life goal when she started Property Initiatives Real Estate, a real estate and property management agency built on a social enterprise model. The agency's profits go to Kristie’s passion project, Women’s Property Initiatives, a not-for-profit organisation providing affordable homes to low-income women. Kristie explains, “I know how having an affordable and stable home can impact and make a huge difference in people’s lives. I’ve lived through that. And that’s why my career has always been about helping other women get the same housing opportunities I had back then.”
When your purpose and passion come into play, things make much more sense than just numbers on paper. Think of your personal plan as the guide you need in creating and/or editing your business plan.
2. Think about what makes your business unique
Align your business plan with your personal goals but not before giving some real thought to what sets you apart from other property management businesses. Often, what makes your business unique could stem from your own personal experiences. Kristy Copping shares her experience in starting Perth Property Management “I always felt as though property management was not given the level of respect and attention it deserved… I couldn’t shake the feeling that property investors deserved better than this.” This observation was the premise that made her business unique. By focusing solely on property management, her company provides a level of service tailored to its clients in a way that very few large real estate agencies offer.
What is the business’ purpose? What makes it different from the others? Does your life plan figure into that? Asking these questions will help in getting the details of your business plan in order, working together towards a common goal.
3. Create value for your customers
A well-crafted marketing plan should guide you not only in getting customers but also in keeping them and making them ambassadors for your brand. Creating value for your customers is key to brand loyalty and you can only do that by being consistent with your marketing efforts. This dedication for value creation is what helped Kristy Copping grow her property management business, “what’s important to us is providing clients so much value that they are happy and proud to recommend us to their family, friends and colleagues. I’m convinced that this is how we’ve achieved our goals so far, and we will always be driven by the desire and obligation to care for and do right by our clients.”
4. Create a culture of ownership
As a business owner, you will do anything to see your company succeed. This level of enthusiasm is what you want for every member of your team. More than being responsible, you want them to have a sense of ownership. You want to develop an understanding among your employees that they are not just a group of ‘workers’ that gets the job done, but team members who are valued contributors to your business’ success. When you nurture a sense of ownership from the start, you’ll be able to invest your time growing your business, knowing that your team is working satisfactorily towards your organisation’s vision. Paul Blackburne, Founder and Managing Director of Blackburne Property Group shares “My greatest achievement has been building and developing an amazing group of dedicated people. We work hard and play hard but we always ensure we deliver value for money to all our clients. We enjoy coming to work and interacting with other smart, positive people towards a common goal.”
5. Leverage technology
There is no denying that property management is a business laden with minute, repetitive tasks. Leverage technology to automate the tedious tasks of your business, helping you and your employees gain flexibility not only to gain more customers and expand the business but also to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Paul Blackburne understands the importance of technology in his personal and professional life “I travel a lot with my family and use technology to do my role remotely where possible. If I do some work even when travelling it means I can travel much longer, which is my true passion.” Take the time to look at solutions that will make your system of work run seamlessly and efficiently, even if you and your employees are out of the office.