What Are Property Manager Skills? Definition And Examples
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 5 June 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Property managers are real estate professionals who handle the daily operations of commercial and residential properties. They require both industry-specific knowledge and soft skills to complete their tasks efficiently. If a career as a property manager interests you, knowing the essential skills for the role can help you secure the right job and advance in your career. In this article, we discuss what property manager skills are, list the critical skills for the role and also share tips on how to develop these skills and highlight them during the hiring process.
What are property manager skills?
Property manager skills refer to a unique set of skills that helps property managers perform their duties and responsibilities efficiently. Property managers handle various tasks like property maintenance, tenant and vendor management, property finances management, marketing available rental units and acting as a liaison between the property owner and tenants. Besides communicating with tenants and resolving their issues, property managers often work closely with maintenance and cleaning crews and external vendors like painters, electricians, plumbers and carpenters.
The actual skill-set of property managers varies depending on the type of property they manage. For example, commercial property managers require extensive knowledge of commercial leases, while residential property managers handle residential tenant agreements. Even though the tasks of property managers vary depending on their role and company, there are a few essential hard and soft skills that help all property managers handle their tasks efficiently. Having the right combination of skills like communication, finance management, organisation and basic building maintenance knowledge can help you excel in your role as a property manager.
Examples of property manager skills
Here are some of the crucial skills that can help you excel in your property manager role and advance in your career:
Property managers regularly interact with various stakeholders, like landlords, current and potential tenants, contractors and real estate vendors. Strong communication skills can help you resolve disputes, placate upset tenants, market vacant properties and build strong professional relationships with all stakeholders. Developing active listening skills, professional and friendly verbal skills and concise writing skills can help you handle various situations efficiently and interact with stakeholders across various channels like phone, email, text or in-person meetings. Ensuring prompt communication by being readily available to answer tenant requests and queries can help you earn the trust of all stakeholders.
A vast majority of the property manager's day-to-day responsibilities involve administrative work like maintaining records of rental payments, updating rental contracts and lease agreements, tracking maintenance contracts and financial records of the property. Staying well-organised and maintaining a meticulous track record of all transactions makes it easy to plan and coordinate various tasks. You can use digital tools like spreadsheets, accounting apps and cloud storage to streamline and organise all work-related documents and transactions.
A part of property management involves marketing the properties under your profile to prospective tenants. Being aware of basic marketing techniques like writing engaging social media posts and catchy property descriptions and shooting creative property tour videos can help you attract the right tenants. You can also join an online marketing course to improve your marketing skills and add more value to your employer, helping you advance in your career.
Customer service skills
Customer service is a highly valued property manager skill and can help you interact efficiently with customers, which in this case are current and prospective tenants. Developing customer service skills can help you answer the queries of tenants and solve their complaints and enquiries with professionalism, poise and efficiency. Prioritising customer service can help you build better relationships with tenants and enjoy increased retention rates.
Knowledge of rental and other real estate laws
Knowing national, state and local laws and regulations regarding tenancies can help you handle customer queries efficiently and accurately. It also helps you explain the various rules and terms before signing a lease agreement with the tenant. Remember that rental laws and taxation rules are likely to change. Staying updated with the latest regulations can help you excel in your role and provide the right guidance to current and future tenants.
Money management skills
Property managers handle the finance, budgeting and accounting of properties under their control. Being adept in money management can help you keep track of all inbound and outgoing payments accurately. Besides accounting and bookkeeping, having a basic understanding of property taxation can help you save taxes for your employer. You can use property management tools and software to help you with income and expense tracking and rent collection to help reduce your financial workload.
Property managers deal with various stressful situations like delayed or missing rental payments, disputes among tenants and conflicts with contractors and maintenance vendors. Developing skills like flexibility and adaptability can help you handle these stressful situations with ease. Being empathetic can help you understand tenant issues and negotiate the best possible solutions with them, building trust and earning the respect of tenants.
While being adaptable is important, there are situations that require you to be assertive. Tough scenarios like demanding late rental payments from tenants or evicting problematic tenants require you to handle the situation with poise, professionalism and assertiveness. Keeping a well-organised record of late and missing payments, complaints by neighbours and contract breaches can help you describe the situation succinctly to tenants with sufficient proof.
Real estate managers use plenty of digital tools and software to monitor, track and follow-up tenant and contractor payments. Knowing how to handle digital tools efficiently helps you reduce your workload and improves work efficiency. Staying up to date with property management tools like online rental collection portals, digital tenant contracts improves customer experience and may help you earn a competitive advantage at the workplace.
Building maintenance skills
As a property manager, having a basic understanding of how buildings work can help you carry out your tasks efficiently. It helps you identify potential maintenance troubles and alert corresponding contractors and explain the situation clearly to concerned tenants. It helps you prioritise maintenance tasks based on their urgency and severity. Learning basic maintenance skills like minor electrical repairs, plumbing and carpentry work add extra value to customers, enhancing your proficiency and relevancy at work.
Tips to develop property managerial skills
Here are a few tips to help you develop and build property managerial skills:
Practise lifelong learning. Staying updated on changes in local and national rental rules and laws and other emerging trends in the real estate industry helps you stay relevant in the field and adds value to your customers and employers.
Develop a positive attitude. Property managers handle and resolve plenty of disputes daily as part of their role. Developing a positive, can-do attitude helps you resolve these issues amicably, while maintaining your professional image.
Enrol in relevant certifications and courses. Joining a skill-development webinar or training programme can help you learn practical tips and insights to develop specific skills. Completing relevant certifications gives you an advantage during the hiring process as it boosts the value of your resume.
Be self-driven. Successful property managers have a firm commitment to self-learning and growth. They achieve their objectives and develop their skills by attending industry seminars, real estate fairs and other events.
Learn from your mistakes. Successful property managers use mistakes as learning opportunities to develop their skills. For example, if you are not well-versed in bookkeeping and accounting, you can get the help of seniors or join courses to overcome this limitation.
Widen your professional network. Networking with other professionals in your industry helps you hone your communication skills, boosts your confidence and builds rapport with people in your community. It can also provide you with the opportunity to meet new vendors, helping you secure beneficial maintenance contracts for work.
How to highlight property managerial skills
Use the following tips to show your proficiency in relevant property management skills during the hiring process:
1. Include relevant skills on your resume
Use a spreadsheet to make a master list of all your professional skills. Next, read the job description carefully to identify the skills that the employer is looking for. If you have the required skills, you can highlight and quantify it under the previous work experience section of the resume. Alternatively, you can also list the relevant skills as a separate section on the resume to make it easy for the recruiter to identify your skills and to differentiate your resume from that of the other candidates.
2. Highlight your skills during the job interview
Take the time to research and prepare for property manager interview questions and practice your answers by including the skills you wish to highlight. Interviewers might ask behavioural interview questions to evaluate your experience and expertise as a property manager. You can use examples from your previous jobs to highlight how you used your skills to overcome various challenges at work. When describing your skills to the recruiter, explain how these skills are a benefit to the company and how you use them to achieve your professional goals.
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