The responsibilities of property managers include a wide array of tasks, from the physical to the administrative. While many of these jobs involve concrete things—like sending out monthly bills, filing paperwork, or going to meetings—equally important is managing the people involved with the building. That includes everyone from the building’s staff, to the residents to those on the board and committees.
Stephen Elbaz, president of Esquire Management Corp., in Brooklyn says that additionally, a manager needs to deal with employees working for its own company, such as bookkeepers and individual property managers.
“The challenge becomes dealing with the employees in the building that you manage. Some have not been hired by you and have been there many years, and they may have seen many management companies come and go, and you have to manage those people and they might not always want to listen,” he says. “Then there’s the added facet that they may be union employees and that adds an additional challenge, as it’s rather difficult to terminate employees.”
Keeping everyone happy and harmonious is not always an easy task. Many property managers face uncooperative boards, a dysfunctional staff or unhappy residents, and it’s up to them to keep everything working.
Every building seems to have its own methods of human resource management and conflict resolution for managers dealing with dysfunctional, apathetic, or chaotic boards and buildings, and as long as it works, no way is the wrong way.