Property managers are often employed by owners of rental properties to handle related tasks for them. In other instances, property managers are hired for their services by owners of second homes or vacation homes who can’t be physically present to oversee the maintenance of their property. Whatever the purpose, property managers play a vital role in the upkeep of the property in the absence of the owner.
With that said, it’s important to be selective about your choice of property manager because the wrong one could cause you to lose your investment. While technical skills are critical to their role, soft skills are just as important. For your reference, these are the essential skills that make a successful property manager:
1. Strong communication skills
This is the most essential skill that every property manager must possess because the lack of it could cause a slew of problems for you, especially if their job is to oversee a rental property. With strong communication skills, the property manager knows how to start a dialogue with a tenant, listen when needed, and speak up when necessary. Communication skills will also help in vetting tenants, discussing repairs and maintenance checks with contractors, and talking to every other important personnel related to the upkeep of a property. Likewise, strong communications will help you and/or your tenants with things related to the HOA, if your property belongs to an HOA-regulated community.
You can find out whether or not the property manager has strong communication skills when you interview them for the job.
2. People skills
People skills is a general term used to cover everything about people relations and is closely related to the above. In a nutshell, a good property manager can forge and nurture relationships and partnerships not only with their client/s, which are the property owners, but also with everyone who is and will be involved in all things related to your property, from tenants to contractors, the HOA board, and the like.
Suffice it to say that a property manager who lacks people skills shouldn’t be in any type of job that involves constant interactions with others, especially professionals offering services for the maintenance of your property.
3. Leadership skills
A property manager who possesses strong leadership skills knows when to lead and when to let others take the spotlight. Leadership isn’t focused on managing a team alone; more importantly, it is focused on building and teaching others so they too can become leaders someday. This skill is important in a property manager because it allows them to be open to suggestions from others while also being able to take the reins when necessary. A good leader teaches the team as much as they learn from them.