There are plenty of people who think their jobs are difficult: politicians or professional football players, for example. Then there are those who know for certain their jobs are difficult. They’re called professional property managers.
While others may have to deal with angry voters or a 250-pound offensive lineman charging toward them, property managers are tasked with creating the perfect living environment and keeping dozens if not hundreds of people happy 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“There’s a general sentiment among some managers that people don’t realize how hard working the managing agent is,” says Enid Hamelin, director of marketing for Bernstein Real Estate in Manhattan, and a former member of the board at her own building. “If they are a good agent and their work is seamless, they are taken for granted. The job is 24/7 and managers have to be available for anything that might come up. It’s important that people realize that this job requires dedication, and it’s a special person who can do it. They put their families on the back burner.”
Few people actively seek to burden the professional life of a property manager. There are certain issues that arise, though, that can throw wrenches in the smooth-running management machinery. Fortunately, these issues can be curbed with the proper awareness and willingness to change.
However, do not for a moment think that property managers are looking for sympathy. “Property managers exist to assist association boards in processing the business of the association,” says William Cannon, a property manager and sales agent at the property management firm Schermerhorn & Co., based in Evanston, Illinois. “You are working with people on very personal issues. These are their homes, and the responsibilities are huge. I don’t look at how people can make things easier for me, I look at how I can make things easier for people. That is my role in these relationships.”