Eleven key attributes of a good property manager

Property management is a career profession. The industry enables job growth, continuous learning experiences, and the opportunity to work with diverse individuals and income groups. The property manager can work directly for a real estate owner or for a property management company, hired by an owner or legal entity to take care of the real estate for a specified period of time.

The property manager has a fiduciary relationship with the management company and the owner. A fiduciary relationship is one that is based on mutual trust and total trust in each other.

The property manager is provided with an owner’s portfolio of real estate to manage in its “highest and best use” in exchange for a contract of employment or salary. Property manager real estate assignments include apartment buildings, condominiums, hotels, storage facilities, shopping centers, office buildings, government-subsidized properties, boarding houses, abandoned buildings, and vacant lots, to name a few. .

I have managed almost all of the above property types for over twenty years. I have managed public and private housing, for non-profit organizations, for the federal government, and for private developers and real estate investors. I also owned my own property management company for eight years. Now I teach, speak and write about property management standards and techniques. Here are some crucial skills, which I know from first-hand experience, that must be accepted as required attributes and learned skills to be a good property manager.

1. You must know and stay up-to-date on local ordinances and state laws

Administrators must carry out their work in accordance with the laws of the country. The government (municipal, state, and federal) dictates how real estate will be managed, from applying for a real estate license (depending on the state) to using the real estate (such as rent control laws). From the proper disposal of garbage to how and where we should keep security deposits, the manager must keep abreast of the many legal requirements of real estate management. If you make a mistake or forget a task, it could cost the owner his property and / or the reputation of a management company, loss of account, or even loss of real estate licenses.

2. You must be highly ethical and honest

Property managers work on the Honor Code when handling other people’s money. By collecting rent, security deposits, washing machine money, etc., the property manager maintains a fiduciary relationship with the landlord and / or management company. The owner entrusts the property with thousands of dollars each month, plus the value of the real estate itself. The manager is hired to perform at the highest level of integrity. On a daily basis, the good judgment of the property manager and a sense of what is right and what is wrong is put into play.

3. Must be organized and detail-oriented

Managers collect rent on a daily basis and must ensure that each rent is paid and posted to the tenants account as received. Financial records are kept detailing each and every rental transaction, either through rental cards or on the computer. Lease expirations and renewals, rent increase letters, and rent invoices must be mailed on time. The lines for court appearances must be maintained and clients must receive their monthly written report of operations. A trained property manager can multitask, keep site files organized, and prioritize repairs and assignments.

4. Must have good communication skills

Managers must be able to communicate with people from all walks of life, cultures, ethnicities, and personalities. Managers need to be able to articulate their cases in front of the judges, speak to the landlord, negotiate with vendors, and properly speak to tenants, who are often frustrated, upset, or angry. A good manager must be able to remain calm and communicate in a professional manner. Familiarity with speaking in other languages ​​is always an advantage.

5. Must have good computer skills

Computer literacy is a technical skill, like driving, typing, etc. The use of email, mail merge and computer faxing are at the heart of property management today. This is especially true if the property is in a part of the city or state, and the central office is far from the site. If a manager does not have a solid command of the computer and its basic programs, such as Microsoft Word and the Excel spreadsheet, he may have a difficult time finding an administrative position in this field.

6. You should like working with the public

If everyone paid their rent on time for the fifth day of each month, the manager would not have to work to collect the rent. If a property never had problems, such as toilet overflows, lost keys, or faulty smoke detectors, the property manager would have little to do. Therefore, it is important that a manager enjoys dealing with people with problems. A manager should at least like to help tenants with dignity and in a responsible manager. If you don’t like being interrupted several times a day with a dilemma to solve, this type of work may not be for you.

7. Must be patient and have a sense of humor

There is some pressure when working with the public. There are days when nothing seems to be going right, and if your head hurts that day, it could be a long period from 9 to 5. A calm personality or a good sense of humor will go a long way in property management. If you tend to be very nervous, anxious, or angry or impatient while working to tight deadlines or with people in trouble, you may want to reconsider taking on this profession.

8. You must like to read and do research

There are many types of leases, agreements, forms, and other legal documents that must be signed between the tenants, the manager, government agencies, the site attorney, and / or the landlord. Government and real estate regulations change; the manager must be willing to read about them and keep up to date. The documentation must be read and verified before it is sent to the tenants, agencies, the landlord, etc. If you don’t like reading to keep up with the latest trends, legal and industry changes, and terminology used, you won’t be able to do your job right.

9. Must have a strong sense of duty and commitment

Ensuring that the tenants under their control are treated with respect, have heat and hot water, are not subjected to or commit illegal activities or disruptive behavior by their neighbors, are some of the obligations of the administrators. Tenants depend on the manager’s sense of obligation to the property and the families or professionals who live there. The manager may not always have the funds to do everything all the time, but what can and should be done, such as keeping the building clean and having a sense of urgency to finish work in a timely manner.

10. Must have a flexible mindset

Property management is a fluid profession, as it follows the economic, governmental, industrial, and social changes that affect the way a property is managed. Managers who still like the “good old days” of mistreating tenants and putting rental applicants through unnecessary hurdles to get an apartment (or otherwise, by not checking anything), will find themselves out of touch, and maybe out of place. job. The ability to accept changes in the law, obey fair housing laws, have a positive, or at least neutral, attitude towards people who are different, and above all, be open-minded, is a key element of a successful manager.

11. Must be an excellent follow-up person

A manager can never assume that a repair or rental payment plan will take care of itself. Our mantra is: “Follow up, follow up, follow up!” This is one of the most critical skills of a good property manager. The ability to multitask, keeping multiple balls in the air without dropping any of them, is challenging and sometimes difficult. The ability to multitask successfully often pays off both financially and in promotional decisions.

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