Self-Management Vs. Hired Hand

By: Wojciech Kic

When boarding an airplane for a trip a passenger usually feels comfortable about the flight’s outcome. After boarding the plane she, a diamond dealer, may sip a glass of wine, enjoy a conversation with a stranger, and even take a nap. Upon arrival at the planned destination she walks up to an awaiting limo, and the scheduled business meeting downtown goes off without a hitch.

While in the mind of the passenger the airplane trip was completed in the morning, in the minds of airline executives the passenger’s trip was completed years earlier.

For simplicity,for the airline the trip started with the purchase of a reliable plane.The airplane was branded and pre pared for service. The crew, pilots and flight attendants were hired to operate the airplane.The pilot’s verified resume con firmed extensive, 20 thousand nautical miles, flying experience.

When during the flight the passenger was reviewing the agenda for the anticipated business meeting the pilot changed course several times. He avoided turbulence, storms, and even competitors for the air pathway of the airplane – other airplanes.

The passenger’s expected arrival is the outcome of a pre-emptive plan to avoid problems in the sky.The pilot’s satisfactory flying performance is made without the passenger’s input; likewise, the passenger arrives at her desired destination without extensive consultation with the pilot about her need to travel.This high level of confidence precludes the need for a more detailed, high dollar performance contract; the extreme confidence is a result of observation that both parties self interest matches; the passenger’s need to travel and the pilot’s need to earn a living are exclusively dependent on one another. Further communication, save for a change in travel plans is not required.

After the successful business meeting, the passenger is off to the diamond district for the second part of her trip. A raw, rare diamond must be cut and polished before it is delivered for a sales presentation to a diamond collector back home. But the dealer can’t find anyone willing to take on the job. The job is too much to handle; the risk of things going wrong is too high. A suggestion to sell the rough diamond, by the job offer declining stonecutters, translates into a hopeful, less risky outcome.

Out of choices, but in desperation, in the last diamond shop, the diamond dealer spots a teenaged high school drop out apprentice, and without much ado asks him to cut the gem. Ignorant of the risk, inattentive to the gem’s potential value, the boy quickly delivers the value from the rough the diamond dealer expected.

The above examples of successful applications of different work experience levels
find their corollaries in the landlording business. After making a decision to become a landlord one must make a decision whether to manage the property herself or to turn it over to others that may have more experience.

For many landlords, hiring a property manager does not make much sense. For one thing, a property manager’s effort is difficult to measure. Just like flying an airplane, the pilot’s successful effort to bring the plane home seems to involve minimum effort.The preemptive effort is largely invisible. Upon arrival, the pilot’s smile confirms the ease of the job. Flight, after flight, the same smiling pilot waves good bye to the passengers without breaking a sweat. Exactly what is it about his job that’s so difficult?

So, like a teenaged stonecutter, many new landlords, enthusiastically, take on the landlording job themselves. Unaware of the risks, they often successfully fly through the turbulence. A missed gem cut may not be noticed. If it is, it is considered an experience curve; one promised not to be repeated.The self-management effort continues for extended periods of time until a crash landing. After a crash landing, too financially damaged, landlords exit the business. Those that manage the crash landing with less damage turn their attention to professional property management colleagues for new guidance or for hire; the newly perceived business dimensions are no longer worth their risk to handle; the profits of the property owner’s professional activity are now too high to ignore.

Hanging out under “The Property Managers for Hire” Company’s hangar, professional property managers offer self-managing owners their experience and remain available to fly their planes on a minute’s notice. But finding successful pilots requires the coordination of mutual interests. For the landlords, property managers flying without the parachute of services competing for property management space is the prelude to a successful takeoff and landing.They take on the gem cutting without suggesting the sale of it.Their ability and willingness allows the gem owner to make the most of her diamond in the rough.

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