Being a property manager can be a tough job. Your role is to mediate communication between parties, be precise with paperwork, flexible with impromptu tasks, and to care for the properties as if they are your own. Sometimes you might lack time figuring out who you need to be, and what traits to develop further to better yourself.
That’s why we decided to list the ten most important property manager skills, which might help you do a self-assessment and realize what needs improvement.
Being a property manager means being the absolute master or time and multitasking. Property managers often need to navigate between multiple different tasks, like communicating with tenants, owners, repair services, handling evictions or lease paperwork. Working with people means being able to keep your boundaries and fulfill tasks on time. To stay on a well-organised course, a good property manager will probably do some of these activities:
- Run a dairy or checklist with monthly/weekly/daily tasks
- Use Google gadgets or some organisational software like Toggl.
Before coming to a job interview, remember that a new employer will probably ask you something about your organisational skills. They will either ask about them or give a practical task, for example, to organise a complicated day full of overlapping activities. Try practicing this and train yourself to become a proper multitasker.
A property manager who responds to everybody’s wishes and needs, while forgetting about their priorities won’t last one day on the job. On the other hand, a super-aggressive and overly competitive one will probably push away clients and create an unpleasant atmosphere in the team.
However, being assertive without being aggressive is very important in modern-day business. It means respecting other people while still communicating your needs and opinions. A property manager who has this trainable skill will be of great value to any company.
In an initial interview, the employer might want to inspect how you behave under stress. It’s a given that you don’t want to come off as rude or aggressive, but it’s also important to not crash under pressure. As a property manager you probably often put others’ needs before yours, so learning to be assertive can really improve how you feel about yourself.
Real estate and property management are much about investments and calculations, so the property manager needs to be familiar with them. Maybe you’re not (and don’t plan to be) an entrepreneur yourself, but many people you collaborate with probably are. Having this kind of mindset helps build a bigger picture and make the right decisions on the run.
Even if you don’t have any experience with investments, you should still be highly informed on the topic, and able to use and understand investment jargon. It is also important to handle numbers with ease and be able to calculate rates, returns, percentages, etc.
In a job interview, the employer might ask you to show some entrepreneurial skills. This may be in the form of a short case study involving calculations for a property or communicating about certain characteristics of the property with an imaginary client. One way or another, prepare to show some vocabulary knowledge.
Exceptional communication skills
Both written and oral communication skills are a must-have in property management! So many different people to approach, from different backgrounds, professions, cultures. A property manager is also one of the company’s important marketing assets, so rhetorics need to be on an A+ level.
Interest for tech and innovations
Property management requires versatile individuals, up to date with modern life and solutions. For example, many companies are replacing dated systems with innovative and helpful property management software. A good candidate for this position needs to be a real tech-savvy and comfortable using electronic tools for business, or at the very least, open to learning new skills.
To find out about their candidate’s tech-literacy the employer may ask you about gadgets you use in your personal life or ask you to try to use the company’s software for some simple tasks. This way they’ll find out about the way you think around technology.
We already mentioned that property managers need to be assertive, to have both feet on their ground, and to be able to make firm decisions. This may seem contradictory to being adjustable and flexible, but it’s actually not.
Property managers face changing working environments every day. Their work is involved in and affected by the personal lives of many of their clients. For example, a couple is getting a divorce, they are suddenly moving out. Somebody lost their job, they stopped paying rent. In situations like these, they have to have a good judgment of the people and adjust themselves quickly to new occasions. To become flexible, people have to be confident and familiarised with the field they operate in.
Innovative and creative
Since property managers may run into and be expected to deal with all kinds of new and unexpected situations, they need to be quick thinkers and problem solvers.
A potential employer might want to find out about a candidate’s abilities for quick puzzle-solving. This may come in the form of asking them what they would do in some described situation, or in the form of asking questions to reveal how creative the candidate was in some past situations.
In property management, being late, sloppy, or off-base is not an option. Professionalism is highly valued in this branch of work.
When going to an interview, check the clock and make sure to be punctual. Arriving slightly before the appointment is preferrable, and leaves a good impression.
Property managers frequently come into contact with people from different cultures, social status, educational levels, and professional backgrounds at their workplace. Also, as mentioned earlier, people’s private lives influence their work. A good property manager needs to be able to listen to and accommodate people from very diverse backgrounds, and have nerves of steel, as there are many challenging situations and clients to face.
Business and property management experience
This is preferable, but not always possible. Young people have to start from scratch, and they have to start somewhere. Candidates with prior experience have the advantage, as they can significantly benefit the company, but that doesn’t mean that inexperienced candidates are not going to make the cut.
Sometimes, it’s beneficial for a company to educate and shape an employee according to their needs and specificity. If they ‘raise’ a satisfied and committed worker, it’s a huge success for the company.