Sixteen Damaging Causes of PM Burnout Revealed! (Part Two)

Thursday, December 07, 2023

For part one of this article click here.

Collected from comments posted on a recent Facebook post, here are more burnout reasons that push PMs to their limit.

#9- Lack of systems and procedures

Systems, procedures, and checklists bring speed and quality control into a rent roll, resulting in fewer mistakes, double handling, and less conflict and stress. When these don’t exist, a level of chaos reigns. When property managers feel out of control, this causes stress, leading to burnout.

#10- Dealing with difficult owners and tenants

This factor can really cause issues. Having the policy to avoid bad owners from the onset (where that’s possible) and also management supporting their removal when they misbehave and cause the property manager too much stress is vitally important. Not dealing with this issue effectively will lead to PM resignation eventually.

#11- Unrealistic goals

Paying bonuses on performance is a great thing, but if the performance is unrealistic then this causes burnout. For example, you give a bonus based on 5 net growth of properties. The property manager goes and enthusiastically lists six that month, with 5 properties getting sold. The property manager was then paid a bonus of just one gained property whilst the company enjoyed some great sales commission! Paying on a bonus system like this leads to disillusionment and burnout for the property manager.

#12- The principal neglecting the rent roll

No business can function when it isn’t being driven effectively by a business owner. When the captain of the ship is not at the wheel, all sorts of problems arise. I strongly believe equal attention should be given to the rent roll, the same as the sales department. When a good property manager can see the boss giving all their time and energy to another part of the business, disillusionment will develop resulting in burnout and resignation. As they say ‘people leave bosses, not businesses!’.

#13- Trying to please everyone

The quicker a property manager works out that not everyone can be pleased will they extend their lifespan in the role. You will always have people that no matter what you do, will be upset, unpleasant, and just be plain miserable. The more you play to it, the worse the job will become for you.

#14- Controlling salespeople

When a salesperson dictates the property management commission rate, what properties the property manager must accept, and also quoting rent (always higher than market rent) to prospective owners, the property manager feels they’ve got more than one boss. Regretfully this practice occurs too commonly in a rent roll where the boss believes it’s second-best to sales. Salespeople need to keep their nose out of the rental department and focus on what they do best, and that’s selling property not renting it!

#15- Outdated technology

When visiting offices, I’m shocked by how old the computers are, and how old the MS Office applications are. Just because a computer still can switch on doesn’t mean it will still do the job. Computers and software should always be kept reasonably current to ensure good processing power and efficiency. When technology is old and clunky it slows down the property manager’s ability to be efficient and translates to longer working hours and burnout.

#16- Poor pay for PMs

Generally, property management is underpaid, but when a property manager knows they are being paid well for a difficult job, it preserves their lifespan greatly. This keeps them motivated. A great reason to ensure the rental department focusses on competing on service with good points of difference, and not focussed on fee discounting to win business instead.


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