Peak Performance

When it comes to getting the most from your property management department, the humble Performance Review should sit right at the top of the To Do List for principals heading in to 2019. 

It may seem like an outdated process of the 90s to some, but in my opinion conducting regular performance reviews across the property management department is a sure-fire way to motivate and reward your staff, while driving bottom line. 

Why Do An Annual Performance Review? 

If you’re a principal and you’re not currently doing Performance Reviews across your PM department, I recommend you schedule them for 2019 right now. They don’t need to be overwhelming or complicated, but they do need to happen for these basic reasons: 

Clarity: A performance review can be a great opportunity to get some one-on-one feedback from your employee and understand what their aspirations are. It’s a great communication process and should, in my opinion, never be seen as an opportunity by employers to crack the whip on staff. Ask them what they want to achieve in the next 12 months and work together to merge overall company goals with those of the employee’s. 

Performance/KPIs: Taking the above goals into consideration should help create some achievable performance-based KPIs for the PM. This process is also a great one for recognising where performance strengths and weaknesses are and may identify any gaps where more training might be required. 

Job Satisfaction: Some principals make the mistake of making the Performance Review an intimidating process for the employee. Make your staff feel welcome to speak up about challenges they may be having in their role and work together on solutions on how to move forward in those areas. Your PMs really should see their Performance Review as an opportunity to speak up; but also a time to shine, show you what they are worth and be remunerated or appreciated for their efforts. 

Anecdotal evidence suggests that over a third of employees quit their jobs because they don’t feel appreciated or don’t fee that their efforts are being rewarded. Setting performance reviews are a great way to ensure your employees are heard and their performances are acknowledged. 

How Often Should I Do A Performance Review? 

When I owned and operated my own agency, I conducted my Performance Reviews based on the experience of the staff member and the time they’d been with the company, but I would always set a minimum of once per year regardless. 

For employees who are more senior, and have been with the company and in their role for more than three years, I’d conduct one annually. For employees who are new 

to their role, I’d set them six-monthly for the first two to three years as a general guide. 

Things To Consider When Conducting A Review: 

Time: Take the time to prepare for your employees’ reviews and stagger them so they get the time and focus they deserve and do your research. There’s nothing worse than conducting a review and not fully understanding your staff member’s role. 

Keep it going: Once the review is over, give yourself a one-week follow up timeline where you can review and feedback to the PM and start to implement any changes or amendments. Don’t fall into the trap of conducting the review, then not following it up. 

KPI measurables: When it comes to KPIs, I generally conduct full one-on-ones with principals to ensure their PM department is operating properly and their KPIs are set appropriately, but to give an overall guide on how to ensure the KPIs are accurately set at the Performance Review time, I suggest addressing: 

* The number of properties that are lost off the rent roll each year (I have a magic formula for this). 

* The vacancy or occupied percentage, which should sit at around 98% occupancy. 

* The number of arrears per portfolio. 

* Landlord reports and communications around Routine Inspections. 

Remember, an engaging Performance Review process in a workplace can certainly help create great office culture and is a good way for principals to make their employees feel like they’re being heard and can positively impact on job satisfaction, and bottom line.