According to research by AppFolio and the Institute of Real Estate Management, property managers quit at a rate of 25% at the height of the Great Resignation in late 2021. That’s slightly higher than the quit rate for the rental and real estate leasing sector as a whole. 

Why so much turnover? The main reason is that property managers have a tough job. They’re constantly putting out fires (sometimes literally), battling emergencies, dealing with resident conflicts, and scheduling maintenance, repairs, and upgrades. Many of their daily tasks are unglamorous and often thankless. Think collecting rent, calling plumbers and exterminators, and notifying residents of noise complaints. 

Like your residents, you want to keep your property management team happy. Because property management is a hard role that requires a wide range of interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills, finding a great manager can be a real challenge. And when you do hire an awesome manager, you don’t want them to quit and go elsewhere. Property managers build relationships with tenants, repair and maintenance companies, vendors, etc. that keep costs down, vacancies to a minimum, and the property looking its best. They’re the hardworking people behind the most profitable and sought-after residential communities. 

So, why not show your property managers some appreciation for all that they do? In this article, we’ll share why thanks is so important and provide some suggestions for ways to demonstrate your gratitude.

The power of a thank-you

While thanking your property managers won’t necessarily fix all of their on-the-job issues, it’s a kind gesture that can ensure your managers feel valued. An employee who feels appreciated is more likely to stay in their role long-term and continue to do their job well (even if they don’t like everything about their position) And the data backs this up. Achievers Workforce Institute’s 2022 Engagement and Retention Report found that those workers who felt “heard and valued” performed better and were more likely to stay in their current role. 

A dissatisfied employee, however, is more likely to display absenteeism and poor performance, and eventually, to quit. Finding a replacement property manager isn’t easy either, and it’s expensive. On average, it costs 6 to 9 months of that employee’s salary to replace them. Plus, there’s the lost connections with residents, other employees, and local vendors. 

To show your property management team how much you appreciate their dedication and talent, celebrate them! Here are five times when you should definitely show your gratitude, plus some suggestions for commemorating the occasion.

1. On work anniversaries

Don’t be like this property management company: 

First, word will get around (on social media or otherwise) that this property management company doesn’t appreciate its employees. And second, this manager is probably likely to quit in the near future because they don’t feel valued or appreciated. 

When a property manager is celebrating their work anniversary, be sure to offer some kind of recognition. This could be a gift, like a flower arrangement, a gift card, or a piece of specialty swag. Maybe all of the managers who’ve been working at your property management company for a year receive a branded t-shirt or coffee mug on their anniversary. For “big” anniversaries, like 5 years, 10 years, etc., you might consider a plaque or other engraved gift. 

If your budget is tight, a simple note or email is another great way to show thanks to your team. For example, you might message your team something similar to the following:

“Two years ago today, [name] joined our team. In that time, she’s becoming an integral part of this community, and handles every challenge with both kindness and tenacity. [Name], thank you so much for all that you do. We wish you continued success in all the years to come.”

2. On birthdays

Everyone enjoys a treat on their birthday. Keep a calendar of your property management team’s birthdays and provide some donuts, chocolates, or even a small birthday cake to celebrate each one. In addition, offering the birthday celebrant a free lunch or giving them a gift card is a great way to demonstrate how much you value them. 

3. For achieving professional milestones

Did your new property manager just fill his first vacancy? Did another just organize her first major renovation project? Consider what your team thinks of as a “rite of passage.” Maybe that’s managing the move-in season, planning a large upgrade, or dealing with a resident emergency. When a property manager goes through one of these “make or break” moments, showing your thanks goes a long way toward making them feel valued. A hand-written note plus a small gift (or even a funny piece of swag, like an “I survived my first move-in season” t-shirt) would work well for this special occasion. 

4. For reaching personal milestones

Both professional and personal milestones are cause for celebration. If a member of your property management team is celebrating a major life change, be sure to acknowledge it with a gift or at minimum, a note. Examples include marriage, the birth or adoption of a child, buying a home, and graduating from college. 

5. For a job well done

Any property manager who goes above and beyond in their duties should receive some thanks for their extra effort. Even dealing with a commonplace but particularly labor-intensive or difficult issue, such as a sprinkler going off, a burst pipe, or an especially difficult eviction could also be cause for showing some additional gratitude. This could take the form of a gift or a note, or you might offer perks like extra PTO or comp time. 

If your company has formal recognition programs like “Manager of the Month” or “Employee of the Year,” those property managers who show consistent dedication and initiative should be considered. And if you don’t have an employee recognition program, why not start one? Your employees will welcome the chance to include an award on their list of professional accomplishments. 

Small thanks, big results

Something as simple as a thank-you note or a small gift can go a long way toward showing your property management team that you value their effort and input. Because property management can be a demanding job, these employees are always at risk of burning out or wanting to make a career change. By giving regular signs of your appreciation, especially for the hard parts of the role, you’re investing in your team and their ongoing commitment to your company, community, and residents. Everyone likes a thank-you, and its benefits far outweigh the costs.