Property managers have a lot on their minds. There are board meetings to attend, legal issues to wade through, phone calls to return, emails to answer and a constant parade of maintenance issues to contend with at any given time. The job is tough -- especially if the person with the job is interested in going above and beyond the call of duty. What are the qualities of a good property manager? And what makes a good manager great?
Fred Prassas is currently serving as president of the Chicago-based Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), a nationally-certified organization for real estate management professionals. Prassas says that fundamentally, a good manager has a strong grasp of leadership and organization -- after that, the other pieces fall more easily into place.
Leadership & Organization
“Managers have to have a strong sense of leadership because they’re working with such tremendous diversity,” Prassas says. “There are boards, staff members and vendors who are all looking to you - a good manager can direct the process.” Prassas says that while “the board is the boss,” a competent manager is always able to make decisions that are in keeping with the wishes of the residents. In addition, leadership qualities usually rub off on the other employees in the company. “The ability to create a team and teamwork-oriented environment is very important,” Prassas adds.
But leadership wouldn’t be of much use unless it was executed with organization in mind. “When you’re dealing with things like project management, accountability and staff management, the person in charge needs to be one who can handle it all in an orderly way,” says Prassas.
Gary Wilkin is founder of Wilkin Management Group in Mahwah, New Jersey and has served as the company president for more than 25 years. Wilkin agrees that a good sense of leadership is the main ingredient in a good manager.