Good vs. Bad Property Managers: How You Can Tell Them Apart

It often takes time to achieve success in property management. A property manager needs years of experience tempered by attention to detail, discipline, and an unwavering commitment to handling responsibility and pressure.

A good property manager is usually a skilled juggler of various tasks, keeping both tenants and property owners happy. In addition to screening residents and keeping properties maintained, property managers are responsible for preserving the value of rental properties. So how does a property manager like yourself become a “good” manager? Here are some of the most important characteristics that a property manager should possess to be successful in their role.

1. Knows the Property

A great property manager knows their properties inside and out. Make it a habit to visit your property with a comprehensive checklist (even experienced managers can forget things at times!) and an inspector. Eyeball the property top-to-bottom and take note of the state of the siding or brick, roof, windows, and foundation, etc.  You should also know the different types of buildings, such as condos and skyscrapers.

This will help you make informed decisions. For instance, maintaining a stable foundation is important when you are managing a 4+1, whereas maintaining an elevator is more imperative in a skyscraper.

It is immensely important to know about the general area as well. This will allow you to provide your prospective clients with pertinent information, like nearby shopping centers, freeway access, and restaurants, etc.

2. Excellent Communication Skills

One of the most important qualities of a good property manager is their ability to work well and communicate effectively with people.

Persuading rental property owners to make specific upgrades or dealing with unhappy residents can be challenging and this is where it is essential for a property manager to put his communication and negotiation skills to work. Stellar property managers also streamline their communication by taking steps, like creating email templates in Gmail or Outlook or using property management software.

 A friendly and positive attitude coupled with high-quality customer service skills is important in developing and fostering fruitful relationships with both residents and property owners.

3. Well-Versed in Marketing Techniques

Although property management is not about being a suave salesperson, property managers have to sell owners on certain capabilities and spike the interest of potential residents. Marketing comes in the picture when drawing rental applicants to your vacancy listings, and creating opportunities like resident events and move-in gifts to boost resident happiness and lease retention.

In California tenancies without a written rental agreement can be terminated for non-payment of rent, causing a nuisance, or based on a 30-or 60 Day Notice of Termination of Tenancy. These are not known as tenancies at will in California. In California a Tenancy at Will is defined as a permissive tenancy where the tenant takes possession of the rental property without an agreement as to payment of rent, and the duration of the tenancy and where the tenant has never paid rent. A 30 Day Notice to Terminate Tenancy-Civil Code § 789 is required to terminate a tenancy at Will.

4. Orientation to Detail

Successful property managers tend to pay close attention to details that protect their owner clients and residents. They stay abreast of all state laws and regulations, such as those related to fair housing. 

With attention to detail, a great property manager can effectively manage all of the different facets of a busy office, such as returning phone calls and answering emails.

5. Professionalism

There is often a fine line between being professional and being personable. Great property managers respect that fine line by maintaining a certain level of professionalism when they deal with internal employees and external parties, such as residents, vendors, customers, and colleagues. Successful property managers never behave rudely or allow their personal biases to interfere with their judgment.

Becoming a good property manager takes time and dedication. Take your first step to becoming a great property manager with the Safe Access for Credit certification (free for CIC clients!)

Keep up-to-date on Rental Housing Laws!

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