why is it so: Property Management – Now & Then

Spending over four decades in the property management industry, I now sit back and contemplate the time spent, what has improved as well and what has gone backward in the industry over that period.  Perhaps this is what old men do – “It was better in my days because….”
But it wasn’t!
I think the only thing better in the 20th century was that property managers actually spoke to their landlords and tenants instead of texting or emailing them.
There is no doubt technology has made the lot of a property manager much easier and theoretically, this should make them more productive.
But it hasn’t!

Our property management software developed rapidly in the latter part of the 20th Century and the early part of the 21st.  Huge areas of what were previously mundane, manual chores were automated and at the beginning of the new century, we eagerly awaited the introduction of web-based software to further progress property management processes in Australia.
We’re still waiting!
When I first spoke at a property management convention in the US (NARPM 1998) I was astounded at how backward our Yankee counterparts appeared to be in marketing, software, technological development, automating procedures, etc, etc.
Now I note from various blogs and network articles that many US companies are using web-based property management software and, on searching through their web-sites, note how they really excel in marketing their services and client benefits instead of blowing their own trumpets, as the majority of Australian sites appear to do.
They are now leading the way!
In the last 2 decades of the 20th Century, training for property managers took on a significant emphasis within the real estate industry.  Training was conducted by experienced property management practitioners and National Conventions run by the various State Institutes.
Today, training is conducted by property management accredited trainers with little hands-on experience and the Conventions run by individual companies who place more emphasis on bums on seats than they do on imparting practical information.
We’ve gone backwards!
In the olden days there was little property management content in the real estate licensing courses as it was considered those completing the course would be embarking on a career in real estate sales.  Over recent years there has been an increase in the property management content as it is now realised that this is a specialised area of real estate practice and one that many are choosing as a career.
I note on a the recent REIV on-line qualification for CPD had a paper with 15 questions – thirteen related to sales with one on strata management and one on property management.
We’ve gone further backwards!
Legislation:  As a nation we have succumbed to the politically correct consumer protection based tenancy legislation for the past three decades.  The idea that a landlord is the owner of his or her property and should be able to take action ensuring that tenants meet their obligations appears to be an anathema to our legislators.  The wonderful practice of Late Fees(as are applied in the US) being introduced for tenants who do not meet their contractual obligations on time would have the various States’ Tenants Unions protesting in street marches.
We’ve made no progress!
Having now got all that off my chest, I should do what most elderly men do at this stage of the evening…have a glass of warm milk and go to bed.  Those of you who know me will realise that there’s little hope of this occurring and it is probably a bottle of Heathcote Shiraz and party on!
Article written by Tony Warren
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11 thoughts on “why is it so: Property Management – Now & Then

  1. Great post Tony! The things really changed in the last years and I can say that in some ways they are better. I'm talking about the technology which was developed very fast and now we have a lot of tools to help us doing our job better and faster. Since the Las Vegas property management company I work for is using a property management software, I saved a lot of time and I now can focus on other important things instead of wasting my time with papers and calculations.

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  2. Thank you all for your comments. Theresa you raise an excellent point, by saving time on our routine tasks we can then devote more time to the most important aspect of our business … our investors!

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