In the May technical update, the IRPM – the Institute of Residential Property Managers- referred to a study undertaken by Messrs Haines Watts on “the hidden price of business ownership”. The full report can be found here .
Obviously this has been written about all SMEs not just property management. However, the relevance of this for property management according to the IRPM is that most property management businesses are considered SMEs and are run by individual IRPM members.
The report itself focuses on both the pros and cons of running your own business and in particular the strain that this can put on a work/life balance.
With MIH reaching its official third birthday in November, our founder in her silver centenary year in property management around the same time (look out for the 25 years in the industry, about that time) and the recent focus on mental health in the media it felt prudent to think about what this means for us.
Not a decision to be taken lightly
There is no doubt that starting your own business is not a decision that can be taken lightly. In line with the findings of the HW article, it is true that our founder often works weekends (someone has to write these blogs for our input and your edification) and holidays can often be disturbed by work but to be honest and in her opinion this is no different from being a dedicated employee for many years in the industry.
As a company, we try to ensure that all staff have the correct work/life balance particularly as property management is an industry that is often thankless. By its very nature the primary reason for being contacted only is that someone needs help with and often this is prefaced with a complaint. Therefore, time off has to be just that however we would also say that it is very difficult to switch off completely. Sometimes the difference that a quick email or phone call can make out of hours to a client, whose mind is put at rest and the satisfaction that we can get from this makes it all worthwhile.
In fact, it can make our time off all the more fulfilling knowing that you have gone that extra mile. At least you can be assured of a “restful” time off although we believe that it is this is a bit of a myth when you enjoy what you do and we do enjoy what we do at MIH.
Making it happen far outweighs the stress
For MIH, the balance of being able to manage property as we want to and being able to realise our ethos of Making It Happen far outweighs the stress of running our own business and while we often question our mental health (and it can be quiet stressful when clients are asking for the sun and the moon and we can only offer the stars) we can only reference Alice in Wonderland “Have I gone mad? I’m afraid you’re entirely bonkers but I’ll tell you a secret all the best people are.”
On a more serious note, as a company we have all individually been touched by those with mental health issues and know how important it that depression should not be denigrated. We know it is hard for those suffering to be able to get help and to even ask for the same and can only be thankful that as a team we have great support from our family, friends, colleagues and everybody we deal with and that has helped us make MIH what it is.
At times during the MIH journey and particularly as the beginning there has been times when it all got too much and we felt like throwing the towel in but as we have grown and have been able to establish ourselves and our team, which we continue to expand we can see the reason for starting our SME and for keeping it going.
Notwithstanding our committed team we now have a committed client base and we really do believe that we are making a difference and are making it happen for them. Thankfully this is the pro of running our own business and why we will continue to do so for years to come. There can be no greater gratification than knowing that you are providing a service that people want and need.