Yesterday, I covered the responsibilities you take on when you adopt the role of property manager. Today I’ll cover some of the skills of a commercial property manager. These are the talents they should have and the behaviors they should exhibit. Before you decide to do the job yourself, make an honest evaluation and see if these are characteristics you possess:
If you have a single track mind and devote heavy attention to the task at hand, then being a property manager isn’t for you. A manager must be able to quickly switch from project to project as new demands sporadically arise. Prepare to be interrupted a lot in your job.
More than a few times, you’ll be in the middle of drafting a contract when a tenant will rush into the office with news of a big problem somewhere in the building. You’ll be forced to put down the contract, pick up the phone and possibly not return to your paperwork until the following afternoon.
If shifting mental gears quickly is uncomfortable for you, consider turning to a third party for your property management.
One of the most vital skills of a commercial property manager is organization. There will be lots of different activities going on in your building to keep track of. Tenant files, maintenance repairs, inspection dates, rent payments, and more will all need to carefully filed and maintained.
To succeed as a property manager, you will have to create a system to keep it all organized and quickly available. Trust me, if an issues arises with a lease, you’ll want the paperwork in your hands as soon as it can be.
If organization isn’t your strong suit, a third-party property management firm should be hired. They will file the paperwork and take the stress of tracking it all off your shoulders.
Property managers are constantly thrust out of their comfort zone and into new experiences. The best are those who dive in head first and tackle them with gusto.
As manager, you will wear many hats around your building. One day you may be shaking hands with the mayor, while the next you’re frantically reading about plumbing as one of your toilets erupts sewage onto your newly renovated floor. To excel as a property manager, you must learn to treat these moments of panic as learning experiences.
If you enjoy your comfort zone and experience anxiety leaving it, a third-party firm will relieve you of the worries.
As a property manager, you’ll be interacting with your tenants frequently. If you’re rude or difficult, they may not be so quick to sign the lease again when it expires. And then you must spend your valuable time searching for a new tenant to fill their spot!
To succeed as a property manager, you must be an active listener who cares about a tenant’s experience in your building, but a shrewd negotiator when the situation calls for it. Occasionally, you may even be called to act as arbiter in confrontations between two tenants. These circumstances are always easier when there is a mutual respect between you and your renters.
If interacting with potentially dozens of people doesn’t sound appealing, save yourself the hassle and talk to a third-party management company.
If you feel like you have the skills of a commercial property manager and have time for the responsibilities, give property management a try! For those who don’t feel the same, I’ll spend time tomorrow covering how to find a good property management company.
Troy Muljat is a Washington State certified commercial appraiser and broker with over 25 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry. He holds the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) and Certified Property Manager® (CPM) designations through the National Association of Realtors.He specializes in brokerage, leasing, property management, development, and commercial appraisal.Visit TroyMuljat.com for more information about Troy.