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The days of property management simply being a case of finding tenants, collecting rent, and performing inspections are well and truly over, if they ever really existed at all. The modern property manager now wears more hats—and requires more skills—than ever.
New to property management, brushing up for that big promotion, or deciding what to look for in a fresh hire? Our top 10 Property Management skills and qualities are well worth a look.
In many ways, Property Management could just as easily be called people management. Every day, property managers have to deal with tenants, property owners, tradies, colleagues, and more. That’s why communication skills appear on nearly every Property Management job description.
Clarity, empathy, and honesty are all core components of strong communication and apply equally to the written and spoken word. Sometimes it’s necessary to be strong and assertive, while at other times a softer touch will get the better outcome. Developing strong communication skills will help when choosing the right approach for any situation.
Property managers are now expected to manage larger portfolios than ever before, and that means organisational skills are a must. While some people are naturally better at tracking their tasks than others, practice, as well as the right tools, are game changers when it comes to fitting more into the day.
Many of the more advanced property management software options, such as our own Console Cloud, include tasks and reminders to ensure nothing gets missed. Similarly, productivity aids such as Todoist, Trello, and Asana can make it simpler to keep jobs on track. But these tools are generally only as effective as the way they’re used, so staying organised is still a skill worth practising.
A central aspect of organisation—but important enough to deserve special attention—prioritisation is an essential skill in Property Management. While to-do lists can make completing routine tasks much more straightforward, property managers rarely have days where they can afford to calmly complete and tick off items. An unexpected phone call, emergency maintenance issue, or schedule reshuffling is rarely far away, so being able to quickly re-prioritise is critical to performing the job well.
Seasoned property managers are able to shift their attention quickly to tackle new tasks as they emerge, without letting less urgent, but still necessary, tasks fall by the wayside.
Historically Property Management has lagged a little behind other industries when it comes to adoption of new technology. But that has changed rapidly in recent years, with no signs of stopping now.
Where in-house servers and paper notepads filled with reminders were once ubiquitous, cloud technology has taken over, allowing entire offices to access all their data and Property Management processes remotely online. Tenants can now flag maintenance issues via smartphone app, and owners can check their statements and investment details simply by logging on to an online portal.
More change is inevitably coming to Property Management as the industry adopts new technology. That means the capacity to quickly master new tools and take full advantage of their benefits is a key skill to nurture.
Property Management is a fast-paced industry that rewards highly motivated individuals. Being a good property manager isn’t just about showing up; it’s being ready and able to tackle challenges whenever they arise.
It's a job that requires thinking quickly to solve problems, a genuine desire to help clients—whether property owner or a tenant—and the capacity to do so with a smile. Not all Property Management duties are pleasant, particularly chasing down late rent payments, so a positive and enthusiastic mindset can make all the difference.
Since some of the interactions a property manager has are guaranteed to be less than cordial, a healthy dose of professionalism is a must-have. Whether dealing with an unhappy owner or ill-tempered tenants, the importance of keeping a cool head can’t be overstated. Not only is it more effective, it’s just good customer service.
Property managers also deal with plenty of sensitive information, have frequent access to trust accounts, and enter homes regularly for inspections. All of these activities require a high level of trustworthiness and professionalism.
The more an owner makes in rent and the less they spend on maintenance and other expenses, the likelier they are to stay with their current real estate agents. That’s why a good property manager should always be looking to maximise returns for their owners.
Having a well-developed head for investments allows property managers to notice trends and patterns when it comes to the rental industry. This aids in making smarter decisions and providing sage advice, which can be the difference between keeping and losing a client.
Eye for detail
When you’re dealing with other people’s investments, handling financial transactions, and managing crucial safety and legal liability issues like smoke alarms and pool fences, you can’t pay too much attention to detail.
Software has come a long way in terms of issuing automated reminders and putting property management on rails, but there’s still plenty to get your head around. Not only will having an eye for detail make it easier to stay on top of things, catching minor issues before they snowball into major problems will save you time in your day and money for your owners.
Desire to learn
There’s lots of room for an ambitious property manager to advance their career, both within Property Management, the broader real estate industry, and beyond. And the best way to do that is to practise new skills and work towards certificates and additional qualifications.
Possessing a hunger for on-the-job learning is an incredible asset in a property manager. There’s no shortage of opportunities either: taking a business, law, or marketing course, getting to grips with a new piece of software or tool, or attending professional development sessions.
Ingenuity and innovative thinking are valuable skills in almost any job, and working as a property manager is no exception. Each day—each minute, even—can present new challenges and situations.
Being able to think outside the box to solve problems makes it much easier to bounce back when things turn out unexpectedly. Every property, owner, and tenant is different, and a property manager who recognises that and can adjust is much more likely to enjoy a successful career.