Increasing your property management salary
Negotiating an increase to your property management salary is often easier said than done. It can be uncomfortable to ask for a raise, even when it is more than deserved. There are, however, ways to improve the chances of your request being well received and approved. Even with the average property management salary in the $79,000 to $91,000 range, there are always times when a pay raise is in order. Here are strategies any property manager can use to ask for a salary increase.
Schedule a meeting to discuss
This should be the first step in requesting your raise. Schedule a meeting with your manager to discuss your salary and never blindside them with this type of request. Even if your manager is not the person directly responsible for your salary, start by meeting with them first and do not go over their head. This meeting can be a great opportunity to have them as an ally when you do meet with upper management.
Explain your career and salary goals
In your meeting, start by letting them know your career goals. This could be running your own property, running a portfolio, or branching into another arm of the business like marketing or leasing. Then transition to your salary goals. Try stating “here is how I plan to contribute to the organization to earn a salary of $X” in this meeting.
State your case for a raise
Do not just ask for a raise, as this is sure to work against you. Be prepared to explain why you have earned your raise and share how you will expand your role to continue earning it. Try to use specific examples that highlight your value to the organization. This can be the toughest part of the process, so make sure to practice your pitch and try to anticipate any questions that might come your way.
Make a reasonable request
What’s a reasonable salary increase request? 5% of current pay? 10%? According to compensation experts at Willis Tower Watson, 2017 salary increases are projected to average 3%. This does not mean you have to settle for a 3% raise, but understand that 10%, or anything higher, would be a major increase compared to national averages.
Ask at the right time
Timing your request for a pay raise is an important part of the process. If you have just led a special initiative or completed a major project, it can be a great time to request a pay raise. If your property has annual budget meetings, it is also helpful to ask before they begin. There are times, however, that can work against your request:
- A major capital intensive project was just completed
- You have a brand new manager or are brand new to a property
- Multiple tenants have just declined to renew leases
- Your property is not close to being fully leased
What if my request gets denied?
Having a well thought out raise request denied can be disappointing, even more so if you prepared and gave a great pitch. It is important in this situation to not overreact in the moment, especially if it happens in a face to face meeting. Circle back to your career path and salary goals by asking your manager to clearly outline what needs to be done to hit them. “What do I have to do to earn a salary of $X?” can be a great question in this situation.
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