Property Management: 9 Essential Qualities of a Third-Party Manager

Learn what skills are needed to be successful in property management.

April 1, 2010

Property management is often in demand when the brokerage side of business is slow. However, success in this specialty doesn’t come easy. Here are the skills you need, experts say.

Commitment to customer service. You need to respect your tenants and empathize with their concerns.

Sense of balance. Managers serve the sometimes conflicting goals of the owner and the tenant. Being able to keep the two in balance makes for a great manager.

Staying cool under fire. Whether they’re dealing with broken water pipes or owners’ budget questions, managers are always on call.

Ability to sweat the small stuff. Accounting for every dollar and knowing every inch of a property are part of the job.

Willingness to listen. Serving tenant and owner goals can’t happen unless you learn what all of the stakeholders really want. Talk less; listen more.

Courage to address small problems before they grow. Whether it’s fixing a leak or warning a tenant of an inappropriate behavior, managers have to act quickly and decisively.

Confidence to lease successfully. Except at very large properties, showing space is an essential part of the manager’s responsibilities.

Objectivity. The tenant in 2A may remind you of your mom, while 3C seems like a potential prison inmate, but you have to apply the same rules to both. Other-wise, you’re asking for a lawsuit.

Education. Keep your knowledge sharp. The Institute of Real Estate Management, an affiliate of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATON OF REALTORS®, offers virtual seminars, online courses, and books for managers.

Sources: Joe Greenblatt, CPM®, president and CEO of Sunrise Management in San Diego; Bob Toothaker, CPM®, senior executive managing director, CB Richard Ellis, South Bend, Ind.; Wes Stevens, Carmel Partners, Arlington, Va.