Working as a property manager can be a great, lucrative job in real estate. Whether you’re looking to work for an established property management company or you want to start on your own, there are certain skills that all property managers need. The duties of a property manager include rent management, tenant management, maintenance, legal duties, and more, so you may have to wear many hats as a comprehensive property manager. Hone these skills to become a successful property manager.
Property Management Skills
It is vital that property managers stay organized. Managing leases, rent payments, expenses, maintenance, budgets, and much more can be a handful even for one property. When managing multiple properties across multiple locations, all of that paperwork is multiplied. On top of that, some property managers help with property acquisition, sales, taxes, and more.
Managing every aspect of a property means taking on a host of responsibilities, so it’s important to keep everything organized. The best property management companies have fine-tuned systems to keep them organized.
Property managers act as a liaison of sorts between tenants and property owners or investors. It is extremely important to keep clear and open lines of communication between both parties so that everyone is on the same page. If a tenant has a question about a lease, the property manager must convey that question to the landlord to work out an answer and get back to the tenant in a timely manner. Keeping constant communication is the key to happy tenants and property owners.
Attentive Customer Service
Along with communication, property managers should provide stellar customer service all around. Staying attentive to both tenant and investor needs will help prevent any complaints and keep both parties happy. If you promise a 48 hour response to maintenance requests, stay true to that promise.
While you may not be available to answer questions every hour of the day, try to respond within 24 or 48 hours to show that you value customer satisfaction. A tenant portal can be helpful for providing answers to frequently asked questions, as well as create an organized system for handling questions and requests in a timely manner.
You certainly don’t have to be a lawyer to be a good property manager, but you should have some knowledge of tenant-landlord law and rental and housing laws in your area. Stay up to date on any changes in the requirements for property managers, landlords, and regulations like building codes. If any issues come up, it’s helpful to have some background knowledge. While most businesses may also have a lawyer for serious cases, knowing the basics of property law can help ensure that your properties, tenants, and landlords comply with any relevant legal requirements.
Property management companies may have an accountant on-staff to handle company budgeting, but some basic budgeting skills never hurt when it comes to property management. Property managers have to set, adjust, and collect the rent, so keeping a detailed budget can help you stay on top of rental charges. Budgeting is also important when it comes to repairs and maintenance fees. Every business needs budgeting, but this skill is especially important for property management.
Firmness and Flexibility
As we mentioned, communication is vital, but it’s also important to communicate the right way. Property managers should always be respectful, of course, but there are times when they will need to be firm and other times where they can allow some flexibility. When it comes to rent payments or tenant issues, a firm hand may be needed. The rent has to get paid, and tenants defaulting on rent may need warnings or eventually eviction notices.
On the other hand, some flexibility may be allowed for certain cases. Rent is serious, but if a good tenant has never been late before and needs a few extra days, it’s okay to be reasonably flexible. Learning this balance is a skill that experienced property managers must learn over time.