Be a Good Leader, Not a ‘Bad Boss’

Property Management,  Property Managers

Unfortunately, there’s a ‘revolving door’ stigma associated with the property management sector. With almost 20 years’ experience in real estate and property management, I’ve experienced workplaces that can retain their good staff and others with a problematic staff turnover level. It begs the question: why do some agencies keep their employees longer than others, and what can agency owners do to curb the trend? 

It’s easy to blame the millennial era – and in theory, you’re not wrong. Research shows that millennials are likely to leave their jobs within two years. While this generation is more comfortable with changing workplaces, you cannot blame staff turnover on your staff’s age – with the same study showing that 19% of people left their last job because the company culture was not a good fit. And as any good leader knows, good culture comes from the top.  

If you’re a team manager or agency owner, it’s essential to recognise that your leadership style can mean the difference between a satisfying workplace, or a revolving door of promising property managers. 


A bad boss is someone who doesn’t have a clear direction and therefore has employees wandering around aimlessly, unsure of their goals, objectives or purpose. They often lack the communication tools needed to check-in with their staff to see if they’re struggling with any part of their day-to-day. Bad bosses will ignore any source of discontent within their team, and keep seeking employees who will put up with a hostile working environment. Bad bosses either show no interest in their staff’s projects by giving them no definition of the required outcome and become irate when setbacks arise. Alternatively, bad bosses can micromanage their team to the point of unproductivity.  

A good leader is willing to have difficult conversations, provide direction and reaffirm their employees’ understanding of their role within the organisation. Over time, leaders will identify sources of discontent and unhappiness, and work with their staff to remove the source. A leader is not afraid to roll up their sleeves and get ‘hands-on’ to help out their team and know when it’s time to step back and trust that their team will deliver excellent outcomes without them.  


The most common source of conflict and discontent in the workplace often relates to:  

  • Staff performance 
  • Pay/salary 
  • Work schedules 
  • Job description 

If you don’t provide your staff with a clear outline of these items, uncertainty sets in, unhappiness soon follows, and the revolving door motion begins. You’re now likely to become the bad boss. 

However, these issues are easy to negate. Developing a workplace with sound systems that address employees’ expectations, how you will remunerate them, when they’re to perform their duties, and how you will review their performance will simply remove these sources of conflict. 

Women in Real Estate Event 21 March 2021


Clearly Communicate With Your Staff 

Communication within a business is something you should work on consistently. Make sure your communication is straight-forward and accurate. Avoid subjectivity – don’t move the goalposts unless the team understand your reasoning, and affirm they’re on board with the new target or outcome desired. 

Essentially, your staff want to deliver what you expect of them, and if the expectations change or are confusing, there’s no way for staff to meet your demands.  

Invest in Your Team 

While it’s essential to prioritise the team’s workload and ensure that goals and targets are met, it’s equally important to invest in your team. Why? Invested staff are kept at the top of their game through consistent professional development, training sessions and regular check-ins. Additionally, when a team can tell you’re invested in them and their career progression, they’re less likely to become disengaged – which also aids staff retention and overall performance. 

Be a Good Example 

Your staff want to work for someone they look up to. Emulate someone they can strive to be – both personally and professionally. At the end of the day, if you’re concerned about the office environment, staff attitude, or turnover rate, it might be time to look at yourself and reflect on what you can do to fix this.