For every great property manager diligently looking after their clients’ valuable investments and ensuring good tenants are well looked after, there are unfortunately stories out there of those who are failing to do their job.
A great property manager who understands the industry and what the job actually entails can make the difference between a good investment and a bad one, and help property owners make the most of their return on investment.
It’s a job that requires plenty of interpersonal skills and a sound knowledge of the industry in which they operate according to Abel McGrath Head of Property Management, Kate Jones.
“It’s often what investors don’t see going on behind the scenes that separates really good property managers from the rest of the crowd,” explains Ms Jones.
“Outstanding communication skills, attention to detail, honesty and knowledge of the relevant legislation and local area are among the most important traits to look for in a good property manager.”
She says when seeking out a good property manager to look after your investment, talking to friends and family is a great place to start.
“Back this up with some online research about listings and the agency itself and then meet with a short list of contenders to find the best agency to meet your needs,” Ms Jones says.
“Use it as an opportunity to ask lots of questions and select an agency that is innovative and planning for the future in terms of your property and the industry’s needs.”
A good property manager will also need to multitask while remaining focused on attention to detail.
Ms Jones says although the industry tends to be dominated by women who tend to bring that detail oriented approach and a certain level of care to the role, both men and women bring equally valuable skills to the table.
She says regardless of gender, one of the most fundamental qualities a good property manager should possess is the ability to communicate clearly and concisely.
“Equally important is the ability to listen to the requirements of your clients and to remain solutions focused,” Ms Jones adds.
Ms Jones says although property managers are employed to work in the best interests of property owners, it’s important to set a good relationship base with all parties in the first instance.
“This will help in times where you may need to negotiate or come up with solutions that best facilitate a resolution.”
She says it’s also important to keep pace with legislative changes and industry movements.
“If a property manager isn’t constantly up to speed with this, it con open up the landlord and the agency to the potential of fines and litigation.”
Ms Jones says good conflict resolution skills are vital for property managers dealing with a variety of clients and stakeholders.
“It’s important to be able to listen and to acknowledge people’s feelings and emotions regardless of whether they are a landlord or tenant.”
Bond inspections, she says, can often be a point where potential conflict may arise.
“Sometimes it can take someone slightly removed from the situation to state the facts as they are and to arrive at a reasonable conclusion,” Ms Jones adds.
“Being open and honest in terms of communication is therefore key, as is an ability to diffuse potentially volatile situations and reduce stress for all involved.”