Posted by: Kenji, on 3/11/13, in Property Management Tips
Property management is not an easy job, considering that they have to keep track of thousands of details regarding tenants, rooms, inspections, and utilities just to name a few. Because of this, we thought we’d reach out and ask some of the best and brightest in the property management to give us their best career advice.
This is what they had to say:
“Property management companies should focus on developing their employees into great teams. They should set high expectations with their employees and demand accountability. They should strive to hire people smarter than themselves and always provide a great working environment. The real key is getting the right people, in the right job positions, doing the right things.”
–Mike Levy, Author of 50 Interviews: Successful Property Managers
“My best advice for owners is: enable your managers and leasing agents to give great customer service and go the extra mile for your residents by having sufficient maintenance and office staff in order to be able to make repairs quickly. The resident experience as it relates to maintenance requests and customer service is such an important factor in resident retention. In the long run, keeping residents happy saves you lots of money. Also, you’ve got to have a great web site that not only represents your community well in terms of design, but effectively captures contact info for leads.
My best advice for on-site staff is to just remember that residents are people too. Of course, you have to be careful in terms of fair housing and you can’t have favorites or best friends from among your residents, but you can be attentive, kind and understanding in your interactions with them. Encourage yourself and your staff to treat residents with respect and consideration. This goes a long way in terms of the reputation of your community both on-line and in person.”
–Crystal Hadidan, Client Creative Director, Resident360
“I have worked with clients ranging from the first time landlord, to the seasoned investor. In both my personal and my business life, I believe in always trying to give back. My client’s needs are always on my mind, and of the upmost importance. If I had to choose 1 piece of advice to give, putting client’s first would be it.”
–Ian Joseph, Managing Broker, Miller Laine Property Management
“I think the best advice that I could give to someone just starting out in this business is to join NARPM®. I say this not because I sit on the National board but because I believe that the education and the networking within NARPM® can’t be beat. I have been in Property Management since 1991 and a member of NARPM® since 1997.
Since becoming a member I have been able to complete all my continuing education requirements for my real estate license. I have had many opportunities to talk and gain valuable information from Property Managers across the country. NARPM® has provided me with the opportunity to grow our company, as well as gain the knowledge that is needed to be a leader in our industry. Property management is a constantly changing industry. You have to wear different hats depending on whom and what you are talking to and about. To be a at the top of your game in this industry knowledge is power and that’s what I get from being a member of ‘The National Association of Residential Property Managers’”
–Leanne Ghiglione, VP of Operations, Dave Poletti & Associates
“If you are a new entrant to the property management field, work for the most highly regarded professionals who will teach you the most. The best way to enhance your career is to have the best mentor and to work for the best companies possible. Finding these companies takes research and patience. Just taking the first job that comes along may not be the best career path in the long run, however, you have to demonstrate your worth to the best people as well. The best people look for the best people, because they can.”
–Linda Day Harrison, Founder, theBrokerList
“Call people back. I am a stickler for communication. It is essential to running a successful business. With my busy calendar, if I can call everyone back, I expect the same from my staff. Communication will make or break your business.”
–John R. Bradford, III, MBA, MPM®, RMP®, Broker & Firm Owner, Park Avenue Properties
“I would have to say that the most important advice I would give any person or persons attempting to either perfect what they have or to start out fresh would be to seek education in their field of expertise. Surround and associate yourself with your successful peers. Just as one would not ask for advice on jewels from a baker, we should only seek knowledge and advice from those who do this for a living and succeed. Always be open minded enough to know that you do not always know. Never stop learning.”
–Rob Ferrier, President, First Class Management
“To excel in the property management business, one must be the Ultimate Jack-of-All-Trades: accountant, lawyer, broker, handyman, psychologist, janitor, sales man, web designer, photographer, trusted confidant, copy writer, financial advisor, and 24-custormer call center.”
–Trevor Henson PMP, Corporate Officer, First Light Property Management
“Take advantage and embrace any provided training from your company and be of the mindset that you also need to self-educate. Education makes you thirsty for more. Do not feel out paced by social media and the speed that things are shifting but do self pace your routine with the goal of ultimate self empowerment. Be present. Be prepared. Be profound.”
–Jonathan Saar, VP of Marketing, The Training Factor
“Embrace technology, respond well to change, and adapt and innovate. The property management industry is growing and evolving. What are you doing everyday to leave your mark or build a legacy?”
–Brenton Hayden, CEO and Founder, Renter’s Warehouse
“Learn to do your job, whatever it is: leasing, administrative, maintenance, and do it with joy. If you hate your job, it will show and you never want your Residents to see that. We’re in the relationship business, so build trust, maintain integrity, and have a sense of humor. Educate yourself in this field. Finally, embrace a mentor if you are as lucky as I am, to have a fantastic one!”
–Mindy Sharp, Senior Community Manager, McKinley Inc. (LinkedIn Profile)
“The best career advice I can give is to remember that all NOI is local so your onsite team must know more about the community and market than anyone else in the company. That said, your onsite team must also be trusted to make the decisions about how to operate the community. If you don’t trust your team, replace them with people you do trust – otherwise, just move to the community and run it yourself!”
–Doug Chasick, The Apartment Doctor
“My best advice? Communication is key. Learn to listen more and talk less. If a client is upset, just hear them out first. Once they feel they have been heard, then a resolution is much easier to achieve.”
–Jennifer Stoops, Regional Sales Manager, Park Avenue Properties
“When I first got started in this business, a wise man told me that the two golden rules of property management are:
- Get the property in rentable condition.
- Price it right.
If we do these two things, we have a very good chance of being successful. If we don’t do these things, we will certainly fail.
It seems simple and obvious, but people get it wrong all the time.”
–Duke Dodson, Owner, Dodson Property Management
“This is a tough industry so the best advice I can give to someone new to property management is to associate yourself with an organization of your peers who will be a resource and support system for you. NARPM has been this for me and has played an integral part in my career and success as a property manager. I would also encourage everyone to be a student of their industry, become and expert and resource and never stop learning and looking for ways to improve.”
–Danny Harlow, VP of Operations, Park Place Property Management
“Get a good staff of people who believe in the company culture. Have a good software program that you can rely on to be consistent and responsive. Treat your owners honestly and your tenants fairly. Know the expectations of your clients and exceed them — set the bar high. This will make your tenants and owners “ambassadors” of your business. Word of mouth is the best advertising you can get.
We believe that we can help everyone … and we do what we can for clients and customers. If we can’t help them, we plug them into other resources (or PM’s) who may be able to help.
Always look for new systems, or technology, to grow your business and allow your business to grow.”
–Jorgette Krsulic, Property Manager, Colorado Casa
“Before deciding your career decide what you want to do with your life. Select a career that makes you happy every day and also in line with your life goal. If you cannot work in your chosen field right away work part time and do not lose sight of your goals. That is what I did.”
–Mohamed Sulthar RMP, President, Sulthar Properties
“You’ve got to follow your passion. Real estate takes a leap of faith starting out because you are starting a job that provides no salary and no guarantees. You have to use the passion to fuel you to jump right in and hit the ground running. Try to find a successful property manager in your local marketplace and see if they would be willing to mentor you. You would be surprised at how much some people are willing to help out. It may even lead to a job!.”
–Dustin McClure, Property Manager, McClure Property Management
“To be successful in this business several things must come together. Obviously having owners who care and value what you do– day in a day out, sets the culture for an organization. Location always matters however being the best at what you do matters even more! The goal is to have associates that will ‘slay dragons’ for you, and who always go the extra mile. If you show me a broken property, I will show you a broken staff every time. The key is putting the right people in the right positions as excellence always follows that! Leadership by example is what raises the bar and my definition of a great leader is ‘someone who will take you to a place you could not take yourself’.
This is the greatest business in the whole wide world as anyone with the right smarts, the right attitude, in the right organization can get ahead!”
–Joy Anzalone, Chief Operating Officer, Burton Carol Managment
Do you have advice you’d like to add to the list? Feel free to submit it below and we’ll add it, as well as announce your contribution on Twitter!