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The 5 Habits of Highly Effective Property Managers with Colin Rodgers

With Colin Rodgers McGrath, Sutherland Shire

I’m sure we’ve all heard of or read the Steven Covey book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. This got me thinking… what are the habits of Highly Effective Property Managers?

1 Effective Communicators

In property management today we are so busy talking to or at people and we are never trained to be effective in what we say.

We can only do this by having scripts and dialogues and to practice, role play and rehearse.

Every conversation has a reason and a resolution; this is so true in property management. Property Managers should not fall into the typical property management trap of picking up the phone and ranting. Because unfortunately that’s how the public sees us.

2 Good Culturally

Whether a Property Manager loves their job or not, whether a property management team gets along or not, or whether a property management team is cohesive or not – all these things are invisible but they are highly visible to the public.

And it shows. It shows in a Property Manager's demeanour, language and their care factor.

Property Managers, Department Heads and Principals get confused about culture. They tend to think that because everyone laughs all day, goes to lunch together regularly or socialises together, then that is good team culture. It may be good for the team, but what about being good for the culture?

A good team culture means that there is a common cause and understanding and that everyone in the team knows what the rules are… and sticks to them. Effective Property Managers have and know what their team culture is.

3 Live A Plan

Every effective Property Manager must work to a plan and be proactive and not reactive.

Every effective Property Manager does their tasks in a systemised way. That is segmenting the regular monthly tasks such as rent reviews, lease renewals and routine inspections into equal weekly tasks to complete.

It’s called living to a plan, or property management success without property management stress.

4 Baseline Activities

These are your Key Performance Areas or minimum performance standards.

You need to ask yourself what KPA’s do you have that you drive, monitor and publish the results of on a weekly and monthly basis.

The Highly Effective Property Manager identifies the KPA activities and results that he/she wants to achieve and delivers results accordingly.

Let’s think of the KPA’s you can have as your baseline activities, such as:


  • % of arrears and dollar value
  • Annual rent increases and
  • increases upon reletting a property
  • Routine inspections
  • Lease renewals

You can create a list of activities to measure the results that you want to achieve in your property management department.

All of these things drive the effectiveness of your property management department. You need to identify and drive your baseline activities.

5 Service Standards

Every Effective Property Manager must have written and deliverable service standards in place. In creating service standards you need to look at things three ways:

  • a) What would you expect as a customer
  • b) What service you as the office Principal expect to be delivered
  • c) Ask yourself - are you presently delivering in your service as you would expect if you were the customer

You need to challenge your current Property Management belief systems and use the above as your checklist guide to become a Highly Effective Property Manager and create a Highly Effective Property Management Department.  


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