Maintaining a customer focus
Property management firms have traditionally focused on providing security, cleaning, repair and maintenance services. As the market evolves to meet the needs of modern properties, however, they now have to provide a much wider range of services, such as building online communities to connect with clients and communicating with occupants using modern technology.
“We do a lot of customer service, such as working with owners’ corporations to maintain the value of properties,” says Dr C. H. Fan, managing director of Synergis. “We also help create a comfortable living environment and arrange [recreational] activities for the community.”
Those interested in a career in property management should focus on delivering good service. “Our basic work is providing service and communicating with clients, so excellent people skills are necessary to get the job done well,” Fan says.
A professional qualification in property management can be gained from relevant university courses, as well as from the Hong Kong Institute of Housing and the Chartered Institute of Housing.
“After someone has gained a professional qualification, they will have many opportunities for long-term career development, so thinking well ahead is important for career success,” Fan says.
At Synergis, new staff start out as officers. A typical career path sees them progress through senior officer, assistant property manager, property manager and general manager positions.
Fan says people who have studied property management or surveying usually start in the area of property management when they join the industry. As they gain experience, they may move to facilities-management or asset-management areas.
Facilities management serves corporate clients whose core business is not property management. Service providers, such as Synergis, partner with them and help manage their facilities so that they can focus on their core business.
Asset management – a service Synergis provides in the mainland – involves using research findings on market trends to offer analysis and advice to investors and developers to help maximise their return on investments.
Fan joined Synergis in 1997, when the company managed just 40 projects. It now manages more than 300.
Growth depends on identifying and training the best staff. “We keep a list of internal ‘high fliers’ who we will help grow faster to meet the company’s expansion needs,” Fan says.