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  • Writer's pictureHermione Gardiner

What is the cost of avoiding change in your property management business?

Updated: Mar 26


Property Management Business Coach on Change

I sat at a conference many years ago and heard one of the speakers say “The Most Expensive Words in any Business are, We’ve Always Done it That Way. That phrase has stuck with me over the years, as a property manager it allowed me to continually look for faster and better ways to do things. And as a business coach it reminds me to help my clients continue to evolve, innovate and not just rely on the same strategies that worked 10 years ago. 


I’ve been in front of many property management teams that have said  "But we've always done it that way." These seven words, seemingly harmless, pack a powerful punch, capable of stifling innovation, hindering growth, and ultimately, costing businesses more than just their bottom line. 


At first glance, adhering to tried-and-tested methods and staying with what you know may seem like a safe bet. However, this mindset can lead to a dangerous complacency, blinding staff and companies to the evolving needs of their customers and limiting themselves to what is already standard and done in the industry., 


I also believe this is one of the key reasons many businesses are challenged right now on commanding higher fees is because they are truely not innovating to what their customers need, offering unique value and so from the outside perspective, many agencies just look the same.  


The real cost of this stagnation is multifaceted:


Missed Opportunities for Innovation

Innovation is the lifeblood of growth. When businesses stick too rigidly to their old ways, they miss out on the chance to innovate and stay ahead of or redefine market trends. The opportunity cost of not innovating can be the difference between leading the market and falling into the same bucket as everyone else. What was once unique and different isn’t anymore we have to be looking forward to what’s next. 


Diminished Competitive Edge

In a fast-paced world, competitors that adapt and evolve are the ones that thrive. By clinging to the status quo, companies risk losing their competitive edge, as more agile and innovative players capture market share and customer loyalty. To remain competitive in a way that is not just succumbing to the lowest fee, but in a way that keeps redefining what it means to offer a premium market leading service


Talent Attrition

Today’s workforce, especially the younger generation, seeks more than just a paycheck. They want to work for organisations that are forward-thinking, innovative, and open to change. Businesses that refuse to evolve not only fail to attract top talent but also risk losing their current employees to more dynamic competitors. The type of business you run, the culture and opportunity to evolve can often be a highly attractive feature to team members over and above just the paycheck. 


Operational Inefficiencies

"We've always done it this way" often means sticking to processes that are outdated and inefficient, not embracing new pieced of technology and tools that can make a huge difference in optimising processes. This resistance to change can lead to higher operational costs and lower productivity, lower property manager capacity, as newer, more efficient methods of operation are overlooked.


Customer Dissatisfaction and Indifference

Customer expectations are constantly changing. Companies that fail to adapt their products, services, and customer experiences to meet these evolving needs can quickly find themselves left behind, resulting in lost clients, lost prospects and the need to lower fee to compete. 


So what is the pathway forwards? The antidote to the costly stagnation brought on by the "we've always done it this way" mindset is a creating culture of continuous improvement and innovation. Businesses must:


Cultivate a Culture of Curiosity

Encourage employees at all levels to question the status quo and explore new ideas. Creating an environment where innovation is rewarded and failure is viewed as a stepping stone to success can transform the way a company operates. Add an agenda item to your meetings to ask the team what they think can be improved, and start to make those meetings have meaning. 


Stay Customer-Centric

Regularly gather and analyse customer feedback to understand their evolving needs (reviews, surveys, lost client interviews, director calls, client lifespan averages). Use these insights to drive innovation in process development, customer service, and overall experience.


Leverage Technology

Invest in technology to streamline operations, improve productivity, and offer new and improved products or services. Staying abreast of technological advancements can provide a significant competitive advantage, listen to what others are using and benefiting from but also look out for new pieces of tech that could help you lead the way. Systems like FlkItOver, Tapi, Inspection Express are all incredible additions to your techstack that save time and elevate the service. 


Prioritise Learning and Development

Offer ongoing training and development opportunities to help employees adapt to new technologies, methodologies, and business models. A well-informed and agile workforce is key to navigating change successfully, look for training on mindset, client experience and elevating the client experience (of course check out The Summit Events for a big injection of this)


Think Outside the Box

There are a number of incredible services and ways to expand your capacity and workforce these days without needing to go out and hire full time employees, look for outsourcing services and virtual assistant support to allow you to have experts in their field working beside you to enable you to manage more clients and focus on growth. 


Adopt a Strategic Approach to Change 

Change should not be change for change’s sake. It should be strategic, with clear objectives and measurable outcomes. Regularly review progress, adjust strategies and set new goals and plans in response to feedback and market trends to ensure they align with business goals and customer needs. Or work with a business coach, such as myself to support you to run your business strategically, keep you accountable and continually progressing towards the business results you desire. 


While traditional methods and experience are valuable assets, they should not constrain a business's potential for growth and innovation. The most expensive words in business truely are "We've always done it that way,". So let that serve as a warning—a reminder that the cost of stagnation can far outweigh the risks of embracing change. By fostering a culture that questions, innovates, and adapts, businesses can ensure they remain relevant, competitive, valuable and successful in this ever evolving industry. 


Need help creating change in your business? Let’s chat

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