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Ben White, Property Management Conference

Q & A

Ben White and his company Apmasphere run the largest property management conference in the southern hemisphere – it’s called Wealth Conference – and around 800 people attend every year. The conference pushes the boundaries of what were once thought of as limits for an agency’s ambitions and the expectations for property management careers.

What’s the key challenge facing rent roll owners today?

A rent roll is a wealth creation business, and as such the question of growth is ever present. If a rent roll is not growing it is not serving its core purpose. A growing rent roll brings more opportunities to its team members and is the foundation for an ambitious career. Growth in ambition, careers and the business itself opens up opportunities to address many of the usual challenges faced by a business. Despite its importance, our industry has not yet moved beyond a lot of the traditional thinking about growth. For all the talk and theories, one things remains unchallenged: I am convinced that growth in most businesses is limited by decisions made inside the business, not by the market itself. A shift needs to occur in the minds of principals.

If a property manager upskills – what’s the benefit to their career?

Our industry is going through the early phase of a significant realignment of the skills needed to really succeed. The old idea that you could earn your practicing certificate or licence and then be equipped with everything you need is dead. The only real skill needed today is the energy and ambition to always be learning. Then surround yourself with like minded people.

Is technology the way forward?

Technology will open up better and more efficient ways of doing things that we have always done or strived to do. It will make us more efficient, more communicative, better managers of risk and more profitable. Technology will not replace the people in our industry but will make the best colleagues better.

What’s the single biggest challenge the industry faces in 2013?

The inability for good property management businesses to differentiate themselves from the poor ones, and have the confidence to articulate and defend those differences. Without that, the race to the bottom will hurt the best business more than the worst, and nothing good will come from that.

What’s the Wealth Conference about this year?

This year’s agenda extends the usual focus on growth to include streams on teaming, career and skills development. We are running a number of case studies across these areas and will be sharing those and the resources that we are developing based on those findings.

What’s the most out-of-the-box item on this year’s Wealth Conference agenda?

The Wealth Conference party always has a soft spot in my heart. This year’s theme is “Circus” and the costumes that people are already putting together are causing an early stir. I think it will be the best one yet.

Don’t miss out. Book your spot at Wealth Conference.

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Ben White, Property Management Conference