Property managers and the property management industry always are getting knocked. Just the other day, I was told I have a “thankless job”. Owners want low expenses and high rents. Tenants want high maintenance attention (costs) and low rents. You’re consistently disappointing one or the other.
Over the past 4 years of managing properties, I’ve had some experiences that were great, and some that made me laugh at some of my life choices. You are wise when you learn from others mistake. Here are 5 qualities, of a property manager that I believe lead to success in the position.
We are all human, we all have unique lives, and sometimes…. life happens. Johnny’s grandpa passed away and he had to fly across the country at a moments notice to attend his funeral, $500. Harry walked into his bosses office, seeking a promotion and she fired him, income gone. Fido, the dog had to go to the vet because he got into a fight with another dog at the park, costing $1,000 and Charlotte now doesn’t have enough money to pay rent. What do you do? Get mad at them? You’ll lose their trust and respect from this day forward.
You have a responsibility to the owner to make sure rent is paid and paid on time. Let the resident know you understand their problem by providing them with possible solutions. We use payment plans and subleasing as solutions for tenants who come across financial hardships. Follow your companies policies and communicate with the owner why his/her rent hasn’t been deposited into their account.
2. Be Well Read
If you don’t like what you do, don’t do it. Otherwise, if you like what you do, take interest and read up on what is happening in the industry.
This year, the property management industry has seen huge changes. We have seen the implementation of HB16-426, Intentional Misrepresentation of Entitlement to An Assistance Animal , as well as a “position” from HUD on how Providers of Housing and Real Estate Related Transactions Should Deal with Criminal Records. These two items have huge implications for our industry. There is so much good information at your fingertips and such easy access, utilize it. Follow the leaders in the industry on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and stay current. If you are not staying current with your industry you are doing a disservice to your client and yourself. READ MORE!
3. Look to Mentors
Even though you may be the smartest, strongest most beautiful person on Earth, you will always be able to learn something from someone else. I have been fortunate in my life, in that I’ve had some of the best mentors you could ask for. Once or twice a week, I am sending an e-mail or calling one mentor or another asking “how would you handle this?” or “have you had this happen?” and more times than not, they have lead me to success.
You can’t buy experience, but you can borrow it from a mentor. Find one.
4. Have a high Financial IQ
NOI. Net Operating Income. You are in charge of an owners investment and investors expect returns. They may be looking for appreciation, cash flow, tax advantages/deductions etc etc. There are a lot of different reasons a person invests, and it is your responsibility, to the best of your ability, to help the owner reach those returns. You must be able to read a P&L statement first and foremost. Budgeting, reading variances and being able to communicate to the owner the reason for those variances (positive or negative) will win your owner’s heart. There are so many different financial aspects in real estate investing, numbers should be your friend.
I was in a meeting the other day with a man in sales and he mentioned something that just stuck. He told me “the one’s that make it in this business, aren’t the best salesman but the ones that have grit and stick it out and push through.” I love it! Although you may be in a position that you are trying to acquire business and having to sell yourself, I believe property managers need grit for another reason.
Every day you are going to come across something different. A grow house in your studio apartment. A 6 foot monster lizard rooming in a 3 bedroom house. Six people living in a 2 bedroom apartment (grown people). Or a house left with ALL of its furniture and “stuff” and oh yeah, they were a hoarder (a protected disability class now). These things may not happen to you, but something along these lines will, and you are going to question yourself and why you’re doing what you’re doing. Are you going to have GRIT and get the job done and come back the next day and ask “what challenge is next”? Or are you going to throw your hands up and throw the checkout in your bosses face?
6. – 100.
There are hundreds of good qualities of any profession and professional. These are just the five I thought apply quite well to property management. If you are a property manager and don’t possess any of these 5, yet are still successful, good on ya for finding different ways to success!