“Anthony, people will always need plates” (Why Property Managers Are More Important Than Ever)

Those of us over 40 will remember the above reassuring line from a grandma attempting to console her grandson over his mediocre exam results. (Search on YouTube for ‘An ology’ if you don’t know what we’re talking about).

“…people will always need plates” was a reference to Anthony’s success at GCSE Pottery, and whilst a bit far-fetched, this rings true for residential property management. (He failed all his other GCSEs apart from Sociology. “You get an ology, you’re a scientist!”).


This is a tough time for everyone. We’re all making life changing adjustments as we batten down the hatches until the Coronavirus makes an exit. Life does go on though and there isn’t a shortage of work for property managers.

We come back to the plate analogy. Block managers have chosen an industry where residential blocks of flats need management, irrespective of who is living or not living in them and irrespective of the market conditions. Leaseholders are obliged to pay their service charges (including management fees) because of the lease agreement they have signed up to. That should provide reassurance to property managers, particularly those new to the sector.

So how well can you do your job in the circumstances?

Working remotely is something many (or even most) property managers have become used to over the last few years. This has been made possible by flexible employers wanting their staff to enjoy a balanced/manageable working life, and thanks to fast broadband/brilliant cloud-based software like Slack, Basecamp, Hangouts, Zoom, Dwellant, Fixflo and more.

Whilst residential property management jobs ought to be secure (see plates), what property managers DO need to come to terms with is a change in their work routines and patterns, as well as what they are actually doing day to day. We’re not going to dictate how you should organise your days or how you should prioritise your workload, but it’s worth logging into LinkedIn from time to time as there are plenty of discussions going on there.

I was about to start interviewing for a new job! What now?

This virus means wholesale changes for most of us. But don’t panic! We are not actually seeing a drop in enquiries from candidates like you and employers still need their portfolios managed, so interviews continue…via video calls.

So set your laptop up so that a video call can proceed smoothly. Test your broadband connection by holding a call with a friend; ask your recruiter for the interviewer’s video conferencing system of choice; get the laptop camera at eye line so they interviewer isn’t looking up your nose; don’t sit too close to the camera either and make sure the background doesn’t look too messy! Oh and that any children have been locked down until the interview is over (see Professor Robert Kelly).

If your CV is good and you do well at video interview, you may be offered the position on the spot, as there is no immediate prospect of you travelling to the employer’s offices.

How we can help

We’re working with some of the most flexible and nurturing employers. They are looking for property managers now. Understandably they’re homing in on PMs who are used to working remotely, proactively and intelligently.

Don’t forget how important you are in keeping people’s homes safe, lit, insured, repaired, and cleaned…  The coming weeks, and dare I say months, will test all of us, and your skills are in high demand, unlike Anthony’s, because pottery expertise isn’t all that sought after at the moment.

Rhys Townsend

Advice