What Do Property Managers Do?

I am often asked why my business, Barrett Property Management, Inc., became so successful in such a short period of time.  I tell people there a three secrets to being a top notch property manager in Nevada County and Placer County: communication (the key here is keeping all parties happy), excellent tenant screening (no cutting corners no matter who the applicant is), and excellent relationships with my vendors (paying them when invoices are received, sending repeat business to quality vendors, etc.).

After I place new tenants in a Grass Valley, Nevada City, Penn Valley, Colfax or Auburn CA rental property, they often tell me “Thank-you!” And my response to them?  “Thank-you, you make my life so much easier!”  You see, when you do not cut corners in the screening process, it is almost impossible to not end up with quality tenants.  Quality tenants translate into a property that cash flows, not only because they pay their rent on-time or early, but because they take excellent care of the property as well.

Besides having quality tenants in the Nevada County and Placer County properties I manage, the other key to running a successful property management company in Nevada County and Placer County CA is excellent communication.  Maintaining a clear communication pathway between Owners, Tenants and Vendors alike is key to not only having a successful working relationship, but keeping all parties involved happy.  The simple truth is that when people are heard, they feel so much better, no matter what the situation.

Read below to find out what the Institute of Real Estate Management has to say about the top skills/tasks property managers must have and must be able to do in order to be successful!

What Do Property Managers Do?

March 25, 2016 | Ron Gjerde

What do real estate managers do? If your top answer is “managing property performance”or “enforcing property operating policies and procedures”, you may be surprised.

Over 1,400 property managers across North America responded to our job analysis survey, which asked practitioners to rate the importance of 156 essential activities and 111 areas of knowledge in the performance of their job responsibilities.

The highest agreement among all respondent groups was not the real estate management-specific knowledge, but the importance of cross-functional skills. The term “cross-functional” is used because they are skills and knowledge that are needed to successfully perform a variety of industry specific tasks and responsibilities.

Of course, industry-related knowledge about finance, maintenance, risk management, marketing and leasing, and other property operations continue to be rated as important. What is telling, however, is that cross-functional skills (i.e., people or soft skills) rank even higher. Of the top 21 ranked knowledge statements, 19 are cross-functional skills (including all of the top 15 ranked items).

Top Rated Knowledge Statements

  1. Communications (e.g., oral, written, electronic)
  2. Problem solving
  3. Interpersonal skills (e.g., listening, diplomacy, responsiveness)
  4. Time management
  5. Customer service
  6. Critical thinking
  7. Business etiquette
  8. Conflict resolution
  9. Leadership
  10. Motivation
  11. Professional ethics
  12. Emotional intelligence
  13. Negotiation strategies and techniques
  14. Team building
  15. Delegating
  16. Property operating policies/procedures
  17. Coaching and mentoring
  18. Presentation skills
  19. Managing property performance
  20. Management styles
  21. Networking

By clustering cross-functional knowledge statements into a single “soft skills” function, we see the more expected industry-specific knowledge areas emerge, as seen below in the top ten task and knowledge areas for real estate managers.

Knowledge areas

While the value of cross functional skills is certainly not unique to this industry, real estate management is a sophisticated business. It requires the utilization of the latest technology to increase operating efficiencies, maximize revenue streams, and monitor property performance. However, the survey results confirm that real estate management is still essentially a personal service profession. Real estate managers realize that because of the individual relationships they have with building owners, tenants/residents, and employees – managing people and relationships are just as important as managing buildings.