Most Important Property Management Skills

Property managers that have the right skill set are the people who are going to keep occupation rates high and dissatisfaction low. The good news is that this job is more of a skill than a talent, which means almost anyone can be trained in the art of effectively managing properties.

It all starts with the relationship. If a property manager isn't willing to engage with tenants in basic ways to establish some sort of relationship that is positive, then a tenant will have a negative experience and want to move out.

7 Vital Property Management Skills

1. You Need the Absolute Basics
A good property manager must have some level of formal education that allows them to do the basics of the job: reading, writing, and math skills are absolutely necessary. It seems like common sense, but without these skills, a tenant can take advantage of the situation.

2. Knowledge of the Structure
Property managers that know the blueprints like the back of their hand are going to give any property an advantage. Sometimes maintenance troubles can creep up in unusual places, especially in buildings with extensive HVAC networks, and this knowledge of the property's structure can help to quickly resolve issues.

3. Communication is the Key
Property managers communicate more than they do anything else, which means you'll need someone who is able to effectively speak with tenants, vendors, and prospects both verbally and through written communication like emails so that the right message is always heard.

4. Active Listening Is a Must
Tenants will tell you everything you need to know, but only if you're willing to actually listen to them. Active listening skills, such as repeating back information that is heard and not interrupting someone when they are speaking, is a core skill that every property manager should try to practice every day.

5. Budgeting Is Essential
The bottom line in a leasing arrangement is tracking how much rent is coming in compared to expenses and a property manager must be able to budget properly to figure out the numbers. That doesn't mean a property manager needs to be an accountant, but it does mean that they need a solid concept of profit and loss.

6. Knowledge of Local Laws
In order to stay in compliance, a property manager must know local laws and codes so that every inspection can be passed. That means having proper labels on fire extinguishers, knowing where the MSDS are for chemicals on the property, and understanding when a hand rail up a set of stairs might need to be fixed.

7. Work With Speed
The most common complaint that property managers have about them is the speed of their communication. Unlike other forms of business, the property manager can't afford to have a policy that responds to calls within 24 hours. Some emergencies must be resolved in 24 hours, otherwise the rental agreement can be terminated! Respond to calls whenever there is time and make sure you're working up to speed to counter this typical complaint.
Posted on Jun 12, 2014


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