The mining boom has had a two fold effect on property management in Perth. We have seen an increase in rental demand due to the influx of people to WA and a decrease in skilled labour as people leave traditional employment to chase the big bucks in the mining industry. Real estate is not the only industry to face this dilemma. The hospitality industry, building industry and others have been hard hit by staffing shortages as people move to the resources sector.
The skill set required to be a good property manager is huge – strong organizational and people skills, problem solving skills and negotiation skills are essential just to name a few. The training to enter the industry requires completion of a 2 week course and does nothing to prepare a person for the role they are about to face. The attrition rate within the first 12 months is a staggering 90%. Lack of training, support and stress are major factors.
Considering a property manager will manage most owner’s largest asset the training is not only dismal but alarming. Compare this to a 3-4 year degree required to become an accountant before being allowed to manage financial investments on behalf of owners. This is something that the industry needs to address as a priority.
The role of the traditional property manager is evolving with improvements in technology. Vastly improved customer relationship management software, the use of video in property condition reports and inspections, the use of iPhones and iPads, paperless invoice storage and instant retrieval is improving the level of service property managers can provide.
Rather than waiting for statements monthly, owners can now log on in real time to access statements and end of financial year statements can be delivered to your inbox instantly on the last day of the year.
Pro active agencies are working quickly to implement these advances in technology to support business structures that simplify the role of the property manager and enhance the most important aspect of the business – customer communication.
Traditional property management is going through a big upheaval partially forced on it by the drain of staff to the resources industry but more so by the demands of customers not content with the service levels of the past. Owners are now demanding far greater efficiency and communication levels only capable of being provided by those agencies embracing the change.