By Miles Felstead - Miles Felstead Realty
Here are the rules of engagement to help you make your mark in property management.
Property management requires a complex skill-set and the following eight guidelines will get you off to an excellent start.
Being a great communicator will simplify situations, alleviate possible tension, provide clarity and remove ambiguity. Remember to never meet aggression with aggression, as this only escalates issues. It is important to respond to your landlords and tenants in a timely manner, and always give clear instructions to your tradespeople.
Property management is a service industry, and the ability to be empathetic to your clients (owners and tenants) is crucial. A property manager who listens and relates to a person’s plight will achieve better and quicker results, with less anger and frustration along the way.
3. Decision making
You must be capable of making decisions on behalf of the owner and/or tenant, depending on the situation. Pushing problems to the bottom of the pile to deal with later will only create a ticking time bomb. Procrastination and poor work organisation can have adverse effects on your business and will also cause you stress.
4. Time management
You always have to be prepared for the unexpected as a property manager. It is crucial that you plan your week constructively and make sure you have time set aside for routine tasks, such as annual inspections and checkouts.
5. Attention to detail
Inaccurate ingoing condition reports can cause major problems at the end of the tenancy when checkout is being completed. When a condition report is returned and there are considerable variances, the tenant should be contacted, an inspection arranged and the issues inspected. Any variances should then be rectified and confirmed in writing and attached to the report. If there are any cleaning or maintenance issues, these should be noted and photos taken.
Continuing training and education enables you to keep current with industry practices, developing trends and technology. You also need to be up to speed with legislation and legislative amendments as your clients depend on you to have a clear understanding of the legislation.
Building a sound relationship with an owner – as well as the tenant, to a degree – requires perseverance in building a fair amount of trust. You also need to be very resilient because owners, tenants and tradespeople may lay blame for issues on you.
8. Admin skills
Admin underpins all real estate tasks, particularly property management. A lack of speed and skill in administrative tasks and lack of computer literacy will see you constantly running out of time and not achieving the myriad daily tasks necessary in business.
Miles Felstead was aided in the writing of this article by the Property Management Chapter committee members.
This article was first published in the April 2013 edition of the REINSW Real Estate Journal.