A condo Property Manager must wear many hats and be able to work in an ever changing environment with multiple demands. Skills developed in other professions and industries will enhance the experience and enable the smooth transition into a property management career. What skills will benefit the aspiring Property Manager? There are many but these top five skills will provide a solid foundation for this career transition.
Customer Service/People Skills: Property Managers must be able to develop strong relationships with people. In condominium management managers must work with volunteer boards of directors who are essentially the “bosses” but often bosses with little or no experience in managing properties. What these board members do have is a vested interest in the well-being and financial stability of their homes so the ability to bridge this gap and guide the client in the right direction is essential. Besides the board of directors; managers interact with whoever happens to own or rent a unit in their buildings. Residents can become quite distressed with issues relating to their homes. The ability to appreciate their perspective and diffuse situations is tantamount to gaining their trust.
Budget Management: Condominiums, depending on the size of the property, have large budgets that must be managed. Bringing the experience of managing a large corporate budget will benefit you greatly in this career. You should be familiar with financial documents with the ability to read and interpret the data contained in these statements.
Money management is an essential skill for the Property Manager. They are required to present the financial details of the building to Board members who will often have many questions. In order to gain the confidence of your board and residents being conversant in finance is crucial.
Communication Skills: The ability to write professionally is not a lost art in the property management field. Presenting written information to your board in a form of management updates is a regular occurrence. Presenting poorly written documents filled with grammatical and spelling errors will undermine your authority. The ability to communicate through a well written email is also essential; you don’t want to leave your message up to interpretation. Clear and concise writing skills are crucial in this field. If writing is not a strong point enrolling in a business writing course is strongly recommended before considering a career in property management.
Along with written communication, oral communication is also of significant importance. Property Managers must be able to persuade their board members and residents and relate information clearly. Public speaking courses and organizations such as Toastmasters are resources to help improve the art of the spoken word. The ability to get your ideas across is critical to ensuring the message delivered is the message received.
Conflict Resolution: Experience in bringing groups and individuals together into a compromise will benefit the aspiring Property Manager. The capacity to present solutions that will resolve the differences between “warring factions” is a very desirable trait in this field. People are generally very passionate about their homes as it is usually their largest financial investment. They will often not want to budge on their opinions and requests. Taking a course in conflict resolution can circumvent the need to hire a mediator when situations become tense.
Organizing/Managing/Coordinating: There is a lot going on in property management and often the immediate needs and complaints can supersede the larger projects and initiatives. If you are not organized it can snowball into an unmanageable mess. The ability to keep your “to do” list in order, keep regular events calendared and ensure everything that must receive your attention does and in a timely manner can be a tremendous challenge. If you have ever held the responsibility of bringing together people, resources, and events this skill set will translate well into your new career as Property Manager.
Condominiums are definitely here to stay as an affordable alternative in home ownership. This is a career that will endure as it is local and booming with new construction especially in large urban centres. Skill sets developed in other business environments can easily translate into a successful career as a condominium Property Manager and these five transferable skills will provide a solid foundation for that transition.