A raise sounds good, doesn’t it? You work hard. You’re in the office daily, on the phone late, checking on emergency repairs over the weekend, and making sure the property you are responsible for is in top shape. But it’s been some time since you’ve had a salary increase. Let’s change that.
These property management tips will help you take the fear and uncertainty out of negotiating a raise. Think about it; you negotiate all the time in your job. When you get bids for any construction work or when you plan community events you’re negotiating. You may be negotiating with different people’s schedules or with the association’s funds, but you’re still conducting business and trying to find something that works for all the parties involved.
Property management tips for getting a raise
First things first: If you plan to ask for a raise, you’ll want to make sure the timing is right. If your condo property has a high vacancy rate, or if a major expense just surfaced, you might be better served to wait on asking for a raise. On the other hand, if you just completed a landscaping project that increased the value of everyone’s property, now would probably be a good time to have the discussion.
Prepare ahead of time: When you meet with the condo board or the property developer, you’ll want to be prepared. This is a business meeting just like any other, and you’ll need to take your specific circumstances into consideration. As a matter of simple economics, a small condo community won’t have the kind of cash flow that a large, multi-property developer has. Likewise, the management needs of a community will vary depending on the size and location of the property. Be sure to consider these situations when you are planning.
Don’t go overboard: Even if a raise is in the budget, you need to be competitive. Like most jobs, property manager salaries have a range – a little less for a rookie manager in an area with a low cost of living and a bit more for someone with experience in an expensive metropolitan area. Bear that in mind when you negotiate a raise. Don’t undervalue your work, but make sure you aren’t pricing yourself out of a job!
List your accomplishments: It’s easy for people to forget how much value you add to their property. That’s understandable. For most of us, it’s the problems that stand out; it is harder to recognize when everything is working smoothly. This means it’s your job to point out that the pool is always clean, the garbage is always picked up, the condo community bills are paid on time, and your community events are a huge success.
Don’t be bashful. After all, someone (meaning you) has to make sure all those tasks are done. And while your condo board can plan events and activities, it’s the property manager that often needs to follow up with making sure space is available, and that the community knows about the association plans.
List your plans: It’s not only what you’ve done, but what you have planned that makes you so valuable to your condo community. Make a list of initiatives you’ve started or plan to start soon. If, for instance, you’ve begun getting quotes for a new snow removal company, make sure you have the information ready for your meeting. If you have a projected five-year budget in the works, bring that along, too. The point is not so much to showcase what you’re working on, but that you are providing future value to your community.
Remember it’s not personal: You’ll be in a much stronger position to negotiate if you stick to business. While you may need a new car or your credit card bill just jumped to a 26% interest rate, those factors don’t matter to your employer, their budget, or to the average salary in your area. Stick to the numbers. It’s much more business-like to point out that your salary is currently below the market average, than to mention that you personally need more money.
It’s all in the phrasing: Use the phrase “salary adjustment” to reflect the idea that you aren’t asking for something, but rather, you are negotiating to achieve a salary that is in line with your experience and value.
There’s more to it than money: Money is important. You need it for groceries, gas, heat in the winter, and pretty much everything you do. But money isn’t the only thing you can use to negotiate a raise. A small condo association might not have the budget to give you a raise, but maybe there are other ways they can be flexible.
So, then, are you ready to go negotiate? Remember that despite all the property management tips and tricks for getting a raise, you know your audience better than anyone. Use your best judgement; use the advice that work for you and disregard what doesn’t.
Bonus Tip: Get ahead of the game by making it easy for your condo community to stay organized and happy. Contact us for a demonstration, and we’ll show you how we can help improve day to day activities throughout your condo association, from owners to property managers.
Do you have a property management tip to add to this list? Let us know in the comments.