The best property managers know how to apply a broad skillset to the unique situations they encounter. They move with ease into situations that require strong communication, negotiation, customer service, and organizational skills. Property managers also have the ability to manage more tangible property-related concerns, such as maintenance and repair issues.
Here are five essential property manager skills that all property managers must develop in order to excel in the field:
1. A Property Management Company Needs Strong Communication
According to Entrepreneur Magazine, “learning how to effectively communicate with others while choosing the right words can literally make or break your growth in the marketplace.” While your properties are an important part of your rental property management company’s portfolio, it’s the way in which you interact that will seal the deal for tenants. If you treat prospective tenants with respect during the screening and move-in, move-out process, they will know that they can trust you and your business.
Respect means that you communicate clearly, you’re easy to access, and when you’re not available, you have processes in place that allow tenants to connect with your company. A tenant portal that allows tenants to ask questions, find information, and pay bills online at a time that is convenient for them is a communication investment that will pay off. Keeping the lines of communication open is a great way to build and maintain good relationships with your tenants.
Property managers need to have strong customer service skills backed up by effective property management systems.
2. Property Managers Must Exemplify Responsive Customer Service
For tenants, excellent customer service and exceptional communication skills go hand in hand. When tenants communicate a question, they want an answer as soon as possible. You must have a way of tracking tenant queries and concerns. A tenant portal makes these questions and concerns visible to tenants. Then, you must act. For example, if a tenant is concerned about a possible leak in the roof, you need to treat this issue as the emergency it is and respond quickly. To do this, you need a list of pre-approved contractors at the ready and a schedule that shows when your employees and those contractors are available to manage the customer’s problem.
3. Managers Need to be Exceptionally Organized
Property management requires a high level of organization. For example, that leaky roof might have been avoided if your company conducted an annual evaluation of large maintenance concerns, such as the integrity of the roof and the safety of stairs and railings. According to Inc.com, exceptional leaders look for patterns to improve the company’s processes: “they are constantly scanning themselves, other people, and processes to identify patterns and changes in the patterns.” To avoid the leaky roof, you could identify the need for a stronger ongoing maintenance schedule that involves not only yard maintenance but checking appliances, plumbing, and other common problem areas in the home. Help your managers put these systems in place with rental management software that can be used in the development of a maintenance schedule and ongoing tracking of maintenance and repairs.
4. Managers Need to Know the Basics of Marketing
Most property managers are skilled in property maintenance and related tasks, but not everyone has extensive marketing experience. Do you find it challenging to write about your properties, add that information to listing services and your website, and develop the site itself so that the listings speak to certain desired groups of tenants? Writing a great property description requires knowledge about the amenities of the property and surrounding area, as well as an understanding of how those amenities will attract a specific group of tenants. Digital property marketing assistance can help you develop a website and list your properties even if you don’t have a lot of experience with web listings.
5. A Property Management Company Needs to Have Hands-On Skills
Property managers need to have a diverse range of skills, and they must understand properties as well as people. Some property managers come from a background in customer service, while others come from a background in building maintenance. Each manager should have an understanding of how buildings work so thorough and well-documented inspections can be conducted. Managers also need to understand the typical problems of rental properties so that they can respond appropriately and rank maintenance issues according to their urgency.
Written & Published by Propertyware June 2016