Let me start by saying I love my co-workers and I love my competitors. I love how hard working they are. Side note: there is enough business for everyone to have a slice, so have integrity and play fair and it will all work out in the end. That all being said, being full time working in the property management industry, I’ve noticed a lack of responsibility to the craft. We are the ugly step-child to the prom king, 4-year varsity starter real estate sales. Real estate sales is sexy. Staging homes, drone videos for listings, nicely dressed agents and a professional presence online (most of the time), real estate sales gets you the big pay check and therefore people are competing to get it. Competition drives performance.
Not in property management though. We are the cash flowing, down and dirty operations side of real estate investing. From my perspective, we (including myself) get lazy and don’t take our profession as seriously as it should be taken.
What can we do?
Of all the property managers I know, the best ones are the ones getting involved and getting educated. IREM, Institute of Real Estate Management and NARPM, National Association of Residential Property Managers are two great organizations to get involved in to evolve your career. This is a great cash flowing industry, but don’t just collect rents and binge Netflix. Further yourself, further your career. Then, once involved with one of those organizations, volunteer in a position to give back. It is amazing how much you will learn about the industry by osmosis.
Are you accepting payments online? How about smart locks at your apartment complexes? Property management will be now and forever a service-based industry, but technology is disrupting how the day to day operations are playing out. I’m not saying that you have to jump on every new tech bandwagon, but look at your business, the vision and goals you are trying to accomplish and implement the best tech that will help you meet or beat them. We live in an exciting time where both the real estate industry and the property management industry are going through substantial changes, it will be exciting to see the future. The near future.
Simple – Better Photos
Are the pictures you are putting online done with you iPhone 6 on a gloomy day in a dirty unit? Are they pictures you’d show the owner of the property? If not, up your game. Professional pictures can cost as low as $79 but return so much more. Offer the renter a credit of $20 to clean up the place for the photographer to come by, plan it on a bright sunny day if you can and throw out all the pictures that have any blur. Not only will this get the property leased out quicker, it will also provide you with great options to post to your social media accounts, to showcase your skillz.
There will be a large amount of property managers retiring the next few years. Michael Lanning out of an article from National Real Estate Investor stated “While the average age of an American worker today in any industry is 43 years old, the average age of a property manager is 50.1 and the average age of a CPM is 52.3 years old.” This industry is going to see a wave of younger entrepreneurs entering the field and when they enter, it is up to us to have a bar set so they know what they need to live up to.