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Rediscovering the beauty of property management

Property management is brilliant, dynamic and incredibly rewarding. And, at Encore, we’re on a mission to make sure others see that too – whether they’re in the industry, considering it as a career move or a resident in a development looked after by a managing agent. Encore CEO Joaquim Fillola explains:

"Fundamentally, property management unites the five crucial pillars of business: marketing, operations, finance, IT, and human resources. Excelling as a dedicated Estate Manager mirrors the qualities of a passionate business leader.

While some individuals may have seen a decline in their enthusiasm for their roles - as indicated by the 2023 ARMA and IRPM Wellbeing Report1, revealing that a quarter of property managers foresee a departure from the industry within three years - our focus at Encore is on cultivating a different narrative.

We take pride in the positive outcomes achieved by our team. And 90% say they’re satisfied or highly satisfied in their roles. This achievement is testament to our commitment to nurturing a passion for estate management through effective leadership, robust support structures, innovative systems and technology, and a clear path for career progression through training and recognised qualifications."

Leading the way in overcoming the challenges facing job satisfaction in the industry has meant the development of ‘Encore Life’ - our employee health and wellbeing strategy. Developed over many years, and continuing to evolve today, the strategy has seen Encore become award-winning: even being named ARMA’s first-ever Wellbeing Champion. The ACE Award judges praised our continued focus on “strategies to support health, wellbeing and [initiatives to] actively encourage a work life balance”.

"When I say property management is beautiful, I’m absolutely not disregarding that our industry is facing challenges – with unprecendented regulatory changes, the after-effects of Covid and rising costs.

But by sharing what our employees value when it comes to our wellbeing strategies, I hope others can see what can be done to enhance job satisfaction – and then we can all see the beauty of property management. And by doing that we’ll boost the perception of our industry. That’ll only help us all.

As an industry, we all need to establish a good work-life balance. We need to accommodate different ways of working and make sure the right protection and support is in place for everyone. And that’s exactly what we’ve been doing at Encore - because we care about our people, and because if our teams are satisfied with their work, then they’ll deliver the best for our clients too.”

The beauty of residential property management

So what, according to Fillola, should firms be doing to make property management a positive, rewarding industry to be a part of?

  • Focus on the value we’re adding: As Einstein said: ‘Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value’. And that’s key for Fillola: “At Encore, we’re not focussed on being the biggest managing agent, but we want to be the most professional. We want to add value at every opportunity, and we know that’s what our teams want to do too.

"That’s where real job satisfaction comes from, and with job satisfaction comes great staff retention and more effective people.”

  • Keep pace with other industries: Property management needs to stop looking inwardly, and instead needs to look at the wider world of work, according to Fillola.

“Other industries have adapted much more quickly to how people want to work - with hybrid working and a real work-life balance.

“Our continued investment and improvement of the systems we use at Encore is just one example of how we’ve kept apace with this. We’ve made sure the systems we use are set up for modern working, whilst never causing a barrier to our people ‘getting the job done’ - so they can focus on the stuff that brings real value.”

  • Acknowledge the challenges, and look for balance: Fillola doesn’t deny that property management demands resilience, but it’s all part of the balance: “Property management has been bombarded with legislative changes, and we are all conscious of the fact that people’s lives depend on the quality of work we deliver." 

“It’s high stakes. But that’s why balance is so vitally important. Overloaded teams are never going to be able to stay resilient under such circumstances - and then clients and residents will never have a positive experience.

With changing building regulations, for example, we make sure leadership teams are in place to manage our company-wide approach, and then support everyone with its roll-out and ensure we’re all up to speed where needed. It’s a team approach, and no one person is left with an overwhelming burden on their shoulders.”

  • Seek feedback, listen and act: Each year Encore runs an anonymous staff survey, gathering feedback from across all departments. Fillola explains this is a really important way to get a good grip of how staff wellbeing is - and whether they’re getting a buzz out of property management. But the key is in taking on board that feedback and acting: “We can’t stop and say we’ve done everything to make sure people enjoy their work. There’s always something more we could be doing. As one person commented in last year’s survey: ‘Encore has worked hard on improving the relationship with their employees’. It’s an ongoing process, and we’ll always be working on that relationship."

“And when we see comments praising the ethos, environment, future prospects and a love for ‘what we do’, it’s clear to us that we are helping our people to love property management and see it as a long-term, sustainable career choice.”

Looking after communal spaces

All in all, Fillola explains that property management demands great people with many different skill sets, which is why it needs to be a competitive place to attract that great talent. Summing up, he says: “We can have such a huge positive impact on the built environment. We can pave the way for net-zero futures for communities. We work with people, finances and create places where people thrive.

“It’s undoubtedly beautiful - but it’s our responsibility to make sure our people can experience that beauty too, and see the real value they bring every day.”

If you would like to learn more about a career in property management, and see what vacancies there are at Encore, take a look at our careers pages. We’re always looking to speak with brilliant people, so if you’d like to have a conversation too, please do get in touch

1 ARMA & IRPM Industry Wellbeing Report 2023: The Property Institute Wellbeing Report 2023