TASK, PORT­FO­LIO, PODZ™, HUBZ™ AND HY­BRID; th­ese are all struc­tures used in prop­erty man­age­ment busi­nesses right across Aus­tralia. Which one is right for you? Jo-Anne Oliv­eri ex­plains how to se­lect the best struc­ture for your agency while avoid­ing any pitf

Elite Property Manager - - Contents - Jo-Anne Oliv­eri

Jo-Anne Oliv­eri

No mat­ter what size your prop­erty man­age­ment agency, an ef­fec­tive busi­ness struc­ture is es­sen­tial. Here are five struc­tures of­ten used in prop­erty man­age­ment; for each one there are ad­van­tages and dis­ad­van­tages; so the key is to an­a­lyse your agency's needs and be flex­i­ble as you plan ahead.


Task-based man­age­ment is where each team mem­ber is as­signed a task, such as prop­erty in­spec­tions, main­te­nance man­age­ment or ten­ancy re­newals. The best time to use task-based is when your busi­ness has grown its rent roll and team to a large enough size for this struc­ture to be con­sid­ered vi­able.

To op­er­ate suc­cess­fully, this struc­ture re­quires high lev­els of co­op­er­a­tion and ac­count­abil­ity. That's be­cause one of its pit­falls is that team mem­bers do not over­see the en­tire prop­erty man­age­ment process. For ex­am­ple, since one team mem­ber man­ages prop­erty in­spec­tions, the port­fo­lio man­ager has less in­for­ma­tion to be able to com­mu­ni­cate ef­fec­tively with the prop­erty owner. How­ever, if you im­ple­ment task-based man­age­ment, I be­lieve you should still ap­point sin­gle team mem­bers for spe­cial­ist roles such as the leas­ing con­sul­tant. If this el­e­ment is man­aged, task-based can lead to in­creased pro­duc­tiv­ity and prof­itabil­ity for your busi­ness.


Port­fo­lio-based man­age­ment is when each prop­erty man­ager is ap­pointed a num­ber of closely-lo­cated man­age­ments, and they com­plete all tasks as­so­ci­ated with those prop­er­ties. Any agency, at any stage, can use port­fo­lio-based man­age­ment. How­ever, in or­der for this struc­ture to work ef­fec­tively, each prop­erty man­ager should have an ad­min­is­tra­tive as­sis­tant, re­ferred to as a prop­erty man­age­ment co­or­di­na­tor (PMC). To achieve the best re­sults, the PMC should man­age the port­fo­lio's non-dol­lar pro­duc­tive tasks, whilst the prop­erty man­ager man­ages dol­lar-pro­duc­tive ac­tiv­i­ties.

Port­fo­lio-based man­age­ment is a sim­ple way to man­age per­for­mance, pro­duc­tiv­ity and prof­itabil­ity. It al­lows your agency to grow whilst main­tain­ing con­sis­tent ser­vice stan­dards and op­er­a­tional processes. The main pit­fall as­so­ci­ated with this struc­ture is that clients may form strong re­la­tion­ships with the port­fo­lio man­ager rather than the brand. How­ever, since prop­er­ties can be moved from one port­fo­lio to another with­out any break in their man­age­ment, port­fo­lio-based al­lows this chal­lenge to be eas­ily man­aged to en­sure op­ti­mal brand pro­tec­tion at all times.


Profit Op­ti­mi­sa­tion Dis­tri­bu­tion Zones, or PODZ, should only be used for large prop­erty man­age­ment busi­nesses. In this struc­ture, a port­fo­lio man­ager is em­ployed as an as­so­ciate port­fo­lio man­ager who is re­spon­si­ble for meet­ing tar­gets. Their role is to man­age a large port­fo­lio of prop­er­ties and achieve max­i­mum re­ten­tion, growth and prof­itabil­ity. In re­turn, they re­ceive a per­cent­age of the profit gained from their port­fo­lio.

A pod con­sists of an as­so­ciate port­fo­lio man­ager, one or two para-prop­erty man­agers and a PMC. The as­so­ciate port­fo­lio man­ager is re­spon­si­ble for all tasks, in­clud­ing train­ing the para­prop­erty man­agers so they can even­tu­ally be as­signed their own port­fo­lios, whilst the PMC min­imises over­head costs. As a re­sult, this is the per­fect struc­ture for a grow­ing busi­ness since port­fo­lios can swell by 50 per cent or more, de­pend­ing on the num­ber of para-prop­erty man­agers. How­ever, PODZ's main pit­fall is that if the busi­ness is notIF THE BUSI­NESS IS NOT MAN­AGED WITH SUIT­ABLE AC­COUNT­ABIL­ITY IN­DI­CA­TORS, TASKS CAN BE OVER­LOOKED, LEAD­ING TO LOSS AND LI­A­BIL­ITY.

man­aged with suit­able ac­count­abil­ity in­di­ca­tors, tasks can be over­looked, lead­ing to loss and li­a­bil­ity. The as­so­ciate port­fo­lio man­ager should there­fore be busi­ness-minded and have strong lead­er­ship qual­i­ties in or­der for this struc­ture to be suc­cess­ful.


Hy­per-Uberised Busi­ness Zones, or HUBZ, en­sure busi­ness sta­bil­ity and as­set pro­tec­tion. HUBZ is only suit­able for su­per-agen­cies manag­ing 2000 or more prop­er­ties. Each cell has an ap­pointed team leader, six port­fo­lio man­agers, three PMCs, one leas­ing con­sul­tant, one re­cep­tion­ist, and one ‘float­ing' prop­erty man­ager. Each port­fo­lio man­ager is as­signed a port­fo­lio of prop­er­ties as they would un­der the port­fo­lio-based struc­ture.

HUBZ sup­ports your busi­ness in achiev­ing sus­tain­able growth and prof­itabil­ity. This struc­ture also al­lows large prop­erty man­age­ment teams and the train­ing and in­duc­tion of new re­cruits to be eas­ily man­aged. Its main pit­fall is that this struc­ture is only ef­fec­tive for su­per-agen­cies.


Hy­brid is a com­bi­na­tion of two or more busi­ness struc­tures. The best time to use this struc­ture is when your prop­erty man­age­ment busi­ness is grow­ing from one size to another; what we re­fer to as in a ‘transitional phase'. Since a transitional phase is a crit­i­cal time to man­age brand pro­tec­tion, team sta­bil­ity and busi­ness re­ten­tion, any struc­tural com­bi­na­tion can be ef­fec­tive, de­pend­ing on what size agency you are mov­ing to­wards. As a re­sult, hy­brid is the most ef­fec­tive busi­ness struc­ture to man­age your agency through a transitional phase if you want to achieve growth and pro­tect your brand.

When it comes to choos­ing the best prop­erty man­age­ment busi­ness struc­ture for your agency, the im­por­tant thing is to plan ahead and re­main flex­i­ble as you grow. This al­lows you to know, well in ad­vance, the right struc­ture for your busi­ness to en­sure your agency has the best chance of suc­ceed­ing. ■

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