How To Stand Out From The Crowd In Block Management

Whether you’re a graduate just starting out in your career or an experienced professional looking to move up another rung on the ladder, there are so many things you can do to help boost your prospects and stand out from the crowd. Here, Deverell Smith Director and Head of Property Management, Emma Timothy, offers her top tips for those looking to make their mark in the block management sector.
An ideal place to start is by increasing your knowledge through industry-recognised qualifications.
Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM)
The IRPM is the one of the key industry qualifications that employers will look for – there are three stages to full qualification which include the IRPM Foundation Exam, the Associate Exam and the Member Exam. You can join as an affiliate member and move through the various membership levels by taking each of the exams in turn.
If you are serious about a career in block management then gaining IRPM status will, in my opinion, prove invaluable from both a knowledge development and networking point of view.
Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA)
ARMA is another leading trade association for residential managing agents in England & Wales. Their main aim is to promote high standards of leasehold management and professionalism through advice, training and guidance. Becoming a member will not only demonstrate your support of maintaining these high standards in the industry but will also offer you discounted rates on a variety of courses and seminars.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is one of the most well-known bodies in the property industry. Their respected RICS Associate (AssocRICS) qualification demonstrates commercial and technical standards and professional ethics and shows employers that you are qualified, regulated and trusted. Whilst there are costs associated with joining these industry bodies and gaining their respective
qualifications, some employers may be willing to cover some or all of the costs as part of your internal CPD programme so be sure to ask before signing up.
A core part of progressing within the property industry is gaining invaluable on-the- job experience. If you are still in full time education, use your holidays wisely by engaging in some work experience with a reputable firm to gain some industry exposure ahead of applying for your first full-time job after graduating. If you already work in the industry, aim to work for the best. Experience at one of the industry-leading firms is always a great thing to have on your CV.
The property industry is very much about relationships and making meaningful contacts with other professionals across all sectors. There are plenty of industry events that you can attend throughout the year; many are run by organisations such as those mentioned above, and you can find other events of interest by looking online and in well-known property publications.
As you grow in confidence and experience, you may find it interesting, and rewarding, to become an advisory panel member, where you can debate and share your thoughts and aspirations for the industry with other experts. You could become a speaker at certain events or set up a group on LinkedIn which you can use as a platform to generate discussions with other like-minded professionals. You could write blogs or articles on topics that you feel particularly passionate about and share them online via social media or submit them to the property press for publication. All these things help you to become more visible and, ultimately, memorable.
Standing out from the crowd is all about being different so don’t be afraid to challenge the norm; the property management space has reinvented itself a lot over the past decade and that wouldn’t have happened without certain innovative people disrupting the norm and pushing for change. If you have forward-thinking ideas about how something could be done differently or better, then let it be heard. Do you have an idea on how to improve customer service channels? Is there a new technology you are familiar with that could help streamline procedures? Have the confidence to believe in your ideas and share them with others.
If you’re applying for a job or going for an interview, don’t overlook the basics. A modern, up to date CV is a must, as is a smart and presentable persona. Block management is very customer-service focused too, so be sure to demonstrate your willingness to learn and dedication to putting the customer first. 
Emma Timothy, Head of Property Management at Deverell Smith


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