Property managers are hired by an investor or management company to handle the day-to-day business of investment properties, apartments, etc. If you want to work in this field and become one of the elite property management companies in your area, you will need to hone several skills to stand out from your competitors.
Adept at Facilities Management
If you oversee any property long enough, you’ll have to handle the repair and maintenance issues of facilities management. Some are routine, such as servicing the HVAC equipment; others are high-cost items that occur less often, such as significant roof or plumbing repairs.
Being able to have a keen grasp of this crucial area of property control plays a significant role in how profitable the property turns out to be. Why?
First, handling routine maintenance issues in a timely manner ensures that minor costs don’t turn into catastrophic expenses. For example, if you service your AC units every year, you’re more likely to get many years of performance out of an older unit.
If you delay, you might have to replace the units much sooner, and that could drain much of the profits for an entire year.
Second, one of the best ways to keep apartments full of consistently paying tenants is to keep the building in excellent condition. The better you address the tenants’ concerns, the more likely they are to renew their lease.
There is little doubt that a well-maintained property keeps and attracts the best tenants. And you can be sure that word will get out online if a building is poorly maintained.
Thinking Like an Investor
Your job as a property manager is to take care of the building as if it’s your name on the mortgage. How do you do that? By thinking like an investment property professional.
Even a brand-new property manager should understand terms such as net present value and internal rate of return. Also, learn how to calculate a cap rate.
When you treat your building like an investor, you are more likely to see the larger picture and make the most critical decisions that make or break the business.
For instance, there may be times where the economy is down, and you’re having difficulty filling vacancies. You need to take care not to lower your qualifications, or you could end up with a collection of problem tenants, which is a long-term drain on profits.
However, there may be times when you will consider rent concessions to get specific units filled … as long as you maintain the same credit and income standards as before.
Interest In Technology
New tech has made managing a firm easier and more efficient. Property managers who embrace technology usually excel in their field. These professionals understand that using tech in their work every day can enhance performance and improve the bottom line.
If you’re a property manager who embraces new technology, you can pass that passion to your staff, which will multiply its benefits throughout the enterprise.
Keep in mind that many tenants these days are in the Millennial and Gen Z generation, and their lives revolve around the latest tech. The best tenants among the cohorts have tech skills and expect such tools to merge with their experiences as renters.
One property management software tool that many in the field have adopted is Cozy, which allows you to automate crucial property procedures, such as rent collection and rental applications. You also can use the tool to market vacancies on many sites, and you also can screen prospective tenants with Cozy.
Multitasking is in Your Blood
All right, so most job descriptions assert you need to be incredible at multitasking. But in the daily routine of a property manager, you’ll manage a variety of responsibilities and obligations, and you have to handle them quickly.
For instance, in a single day in a 50-unit building, you might have a job jar that includes the following:
- Unit 14 has a leaking AC unit
- Unit 11 has a broken washing machine
- The lobby men’s restroom has a clogged toilet
- Two prospective tenants are coming in for a tour in 20 minutes
- Quarterly profit-and-loss statements are due by close of business
These are just a few of the tasks that a busy property manager may have to address in just a portion of one day, and you have to do it all with a smile on your face.
Stay Highly Organized
Whether you manage a series of single-family homes or a single 100-unit apartment complex, excellent organization skills are a must-have in this business.
Excellent organizational skills include a sharp eye for detail and the ability to devise and implement processes that guarantee vital tasks get properly handled every day.
For instance, few operations are more important than having a detailed maintenance schedule your staff can execute. This ensures the building stays in proper running order at all times (or most of the time, anyway).
That maintenance schedule should be easy to understand so anyone can step in and run it smoothly. You don’t want your maintenance program to grind to a half if you are out sick for a week.
When you have the above qualities, you’re more likely to succeed as a property manager and keep the owner happy and his or her bank account healthy.