A good property manager knows how to listen and communicate clearly, they are proactive, involved, current on regulations, pricing and terms and knowledgeable about the leasing and the property market in general. He or she should also be levelheaded, resourceful, personable and articulate. Ultimately however, a property manager must be adept at building successful relationships with a broad range of stakeholders. 

It is the property manager’s duty to make sure everything runs smoothly, and that requires open and clear lines of communication from the property manager to everyone involved in a building. Conflict is generally a result of misunderstanding, often precipitated by a lack of, or breakdown in communication. Like a good diplomat, a property manager appreciates the perspectives of others, can hear what they are saying, and works to solve problems. The property manager needs to understand and balance the views of multiple interested parties including unit owners [or shareholders], building management staff, the board of directors, tenants, contractors, neighbors and regulators. When things are not running smoothly or there is friction between these various units, it is often because the manager is failing to properly communicate. 

The job of a property manager is a balancing act that requires the agent to anticipate and handle the logistical issues of the building without losing sight of the responsibilities to all the people of the building. Mobile, and digital communication tools should make a property manager or their designate available at all times yet, one of the greatest complaints and frustrations about  property managers today is that they do not return phone calls. They are in charge of supplies, finances, employees, professionals, boilers, and a whole slew of responsibilities that require incredible organizational and multi-tasking abilities, but first, they must be adept at answering questions and dealing with people.

Professional property managers focus on the logistics while still catering to people and will generally split their time 60/40 between being in the field and being in the office. A professional property manager will have a capable staff to manage the office workload and communication demands while they are in the field. An excellent property manager will go beyond by anticipating needs and issues and take proactive steps to address before they become serious matters.

In addition to looking towards the future, a property manager must also be physically present, visiting each building in their portfolio at least once or twice a week—though not on a set visitation schedule. This type of unscheduled visitation allows a manager to observe the operations of a building under normal, everyday circumstances. 

It is the manager’s job to assist the super, explain to them what needs to be done, and provide enough time to handle things in an appropriate manner. In the end, a property manager has to do what is best for the building and community as a whole. Whether the manager fires a staff member, or the staff member fires himself, is a matter of perspective with the end result the same.

When dealing with professionals associated with running a building, such as attorneys, accountants, or other service providers, a good manager must also act professionally. Dealing with lawyers and accountants requires the same basic interpersonal and communication skills needed to work with anyone, with an understanding of exactly what duties a professional must perform.

Whether it be inspecting a boiler, informing the board of a new law, or even making sure the board of directors have all necessary materials monthly, (especially in the event of a new manager or management company taking over) a good property manager’s job is never done. If you have someone who can check the prices of oil or gas against the budget, console a tenant with a sick cat, and mediate a disagreement between two staff members, odds are you’re working with a valued professional.

Source: Cooperator