Last modified on February 14th, 2023
By Marc Frenkiel
The property management industry has faced an incredible number of challenges over the past few years, but some of the hardest to solve have been staffing and recruitment.
Even before “The Great Resignation” began, property management companies struggled to fill roles and keep top talent. But now, as employees are tempted by new remote work opportunities and other industries continue to poach top talent, staffing and recruitment has quickly turned into one of the top concerns for almost all property management businesses today.
Dror Poleg, an economic historian, speaker, and author of the bestseller Rethinking Real Estate: A Roadmap to Technology’s Impact on the World’s Largest Asset Class, has a solution: Create a truly magnetic company culture.
Dror joined The Top Floor podcast to share his thoughts and highlight key areas where property management companies can improve corporate culture and employee happiness. Keep reading to see what he had to say, or listen to the full interview for even more insights and expert advice from Dror.
Use technology to improve systems and processes
A big part of improving company culture starts with removing unnecessary stress that can come with repetitive, time-consuming tasks on your team’s to-do lists. The best way to do so is to use automation and AI solutions, especially for tasks that don’t always require a human touch.
By freeing up their time, your team members can focus on higher-value tasks like improving the resident experience. It can also help streamline systems and processes for the team overall, which can further reduce friction and stress for everyone.
In addition, Dror notes that technology is no longer a way to stand out with prospective employees. Instead, the modern workforce expects employers to have the right tools and technology already in place. As Dror explains:
“To have the best tools in place in terms of property management, that’s just basic. You must be able to do that. Beyond that, you have to start thinking about your strategy and your brand and how you actually compete and stand out. But just using technology is no longer a way to stand out. It’s just a way to survive.”
Help employees find meaning in their roles
There are many reasons an employee chooses to stay in or leave an organization, and oftentimes it’s not just about salary. Instead, it could be about whether or not they feel valued in the company and can see their purpose in the role.
When employees feel like they’re just going through the motions every day, they can lapse into burnout and disengagement. But when team members feel like they’re making a difference, they can thrive with a sense of job satisfaction.
By highlighting property management’s importance in people’s lives, organizations can help foster a sense of meaning and purpose in each role, which is something big brands have already tapped into. Perusing the websites of Nike or Starbucks, for example, you can often find mission statements that tie into a broader meaning and purpose beyond selling sportswear or coffee. As Dror explains:
“We want to integrate it into our products and offerings so people understand who we are, what we stand for, how we think about them, how we think about the planet, just like any other consumer brand does, like Patagonia, or Nike, or Starbucks. They tell you something about where they stand and what they think about things, and how your choices make an impact on the world through those brands. I think there’s room in real estate to do that.”
In fact, Dror doesn’t think there’s room for this just in real estate — he sees it as one of the biggest opportunities for property management companies to focus on in 2023:
“A huge opportunity I see for real estate is to really tap into the kind of impact that it can make on the world and to turn it into its mission. Not just to say, ‘We might have an impact on the world,’ but to really say, ‘Hey, we are here in a position to affect people’s lives and to affect the environment unlike any other industry.’”
Integrating a strong sense of meaning into the daily routines of your team can have positive ripple effects on recruitment and retention, as well as customer service. When employees are engaged and satisfied with their roles, they can be more helpful and supportive of residents in turn.
In other words, improving company culture with the right technology and helping employees find meaning in their roles is a win-win for all.
Hear more of Dror’s insights and predictions for the future of property management by tuning in to the full episode.