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It’s all too easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day tasks of maintaining a property management business. To succeed as a property manager you need to keep honing your skills and service abilities.

In this article, we reveal 27 habits of highly successful property managers. The habits will help you:

  • Improve your approach to technology, reporting, and communication create a killer playbook to grow your client base
  • Stay organized and get out from under day-to-day tasks
  • And more

These habits have worked for others so they should also work wonders for you.

1. Make communication a core competency

communication a core competency

To succeed as a property manager communication is key. Create templates for everything. Templates help make the communication process quicker and hassle-free.

You can use your property management website to help you do this. Keep maintenance request forms on your site. This will allow tenants to download and submit a form whenever they have a maintenance request.

You should also take advantage of property management software to make your communication more efficient. Using a software will help you keep things tidy instead of you having to compile owner statements every month.

2. Successful property managers do not procrastinate

Successful property managers have developed habits built by years of dedication and deliberate purpose. You need to be consistent in achieving your purpose.

Stay focused on trying to eliminate procrastination and unnecessary distractions.


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3. Get up to speed and stay current on all things related to property management

Always be learning. Always be teaching. Property owners want to feel a sense of assurance and security that their property manager is well-conversant with the local market inside and out. Get up to speed with things like laws and regulations, local rent rates, emerging trends, etc.

4. Positive attitude

Positive Attitude

With significant highs and nerve-wracking lows, the housing market can be likened to a roller-coaster ride. To be a successful property manager you need to maintain a consistently positive, can-do attitude.

How you manage yourself during the turmoil can make or break your potential as a property manager.

5. Develop a system of finding the right tenant

To avoid any future landlord-tenant issues, you need to have a clearly defined system for screening and finding quality tenants. Your chances of finding the right tenant are higher if you have more people to choose from.

Do proper screening. Have a background check done. Take a deposit. Have your paperwork in place. Simple!

6. Be a forward thinker

Forward Thinker

Due to innovations, the property management industry is evolving pretty fast. Software, mobile, and cloud technology are making property management processes easier and more efficient. To keep up, you need to be willing to adapt to and embrace these changes.

7. Have a long-term strategy and set goals

You’d be surprised by the number of property managers that seem to fail in this regard. Don’t be a manager that surprises their clients with a large invoice out of the blue.

Having a long-term strategy and setting goals makes you thoroughly focused and motivated.

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself to help you set a long-term strategy.

-How has your property management business performed in terms of tenant retention?

-Are there procedures that can be improved to better serve property owners and your tenants?

-What can be done to lessen costly affairs?

-Are your tenants and property owners satisfied with the service they’re receiving?

-How efficient are you at collecting rents, deposits, etc.

-Are you consistently acquiring new clients?

8. Be decisive

Once you have made your decision, stand by it. Every person has different ways of making decisions. Some people make decisions on gut feel. Others make them intuitively. And others make them after thinking through all ramifications.

Whichever way you make a decision, stand by it, and deal with problems that arise immediately.


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9. Successful property managers are curious

One habit of successful property managers is curiosity. As such, always be on the look-out for better and more innovative ways to accomplish your goals.

10. Engage your residents

Engage your residents

Know your residents from a personal perspective. Take the time to engage the people living in the properties you manage. You might be surprised by the information you get from a quick chitchat.

Below are four ways property managers can improve resident engagement.

-Implement engagement strategy basics

-Aim for transparency across all relationships

-Align contact center objectives and business goals

-Train your staff to provide consistent, high-quality service that resonates well with tenants

11. Create a Playbook for growth

Most property managers are always on the look-out for growth opportunities. They want to manage more properties in the future than today. But how do you do this? Some top places to start with include local real estate groups, property management networks, and online marketing.

12. Present a well prepared, clean and tidy property

clean and tidy property

The first impression you make matters significantly. The photos in your promotion need to communicate effectively. If you present your property well, you’re more likely to attract a good number of prospects.

Again, make sure to do a proper inspection of the rental property before the tenant moves in. A pre-tenancy report allows you to identify if there are any issues beforehand.

13. Be self-driven

Successful property managers have an innate desire to achieve success. They avoid distractions at all costs and instead preoccupy themselves with growing and improving. Go above and beyond to make sure you achieve your objectives.

Dedicate yourself to discovering innovative solutions. Join associations. Conduct research. Attend seminars and remain consistent.

14. Complete quarterly inspections

Property managers need to conduct thorough and regular inspections. Failing to do so may void insurance coverage. As things stand, you need to complete and log inspections on a 3-month basis. You may need to hire the services of an inspector.

Quarterly inspections can save a landlord thousands of dollars.

Below are reasons to conduct regular inspections of your rental properties.

-Preserves the value of your property

-Identifies needed maintenance and repairs

-Confirms no illegal activity is taking place

-Increases tenant retention

15. Get your paperwork in order

Get your paperwork in order

Let’s face it. Property management can seem onerous. There are a ton of formal processes that need to be taken care of. Make sure to keep in line with industry best practices to avoid issues arising.

Proper file management can save you tons of time if ever faced with a legal dispute, audit, a Fair Housing claim, etc.

Important tenant files may include:

-Property maintenance notices

-Rent payment records

-Move-in and move out inspection paperwork

-Security deposits and security deposit refunds

-Correspondence regarding approval

-Eviction paperwork

-Lease violations and corresponding action records

16. Find opportunities where others see obstacles

Most people become successful because they’re able to solve problems others can’t. This is especially true in property management. Come up with clever ways to make the situation work, rather than the other way round.

Also, attract more owners by demonstrating the benefits of property management versus self-managed properties. You can sweeten the deal with incentives, discounts, and referral fees.

17. Learn, from mistakes, from colleagues, from your network

To become an influencer in this industry you need to keep learning. And in doing this don’t just stick to learning about managing a property. If you don’t understand technology, read about the different software and online marketing methods available. If you don’t understand finance, educate yourself about accounting.

Being successful requires you to be knowledgeable about a variety of things. You don’t have to be an expert in every field but you should have a basic understanding.

18. Be organized

Be organized

Without question, property managers need to have impeccable organizational skills. The property management industry is one in which chaos is the norm rather than the exception.

With good organizational skills, you’ll be able to handle chaotic situations with ease. Luckily there’s technology to help in this regard. According to a survey conducted by Buildium, 81% of property owners said property managers ought to use technology.

Technology is the edge property managers can use to stay organized, find good tenants, and keep up with maintenance issues.

The following are some organizational and planning tips for property management professionals:

-Have a communications protocol with the property owner

-Have a protocol for an unhappy resident

-Know what you’ll outsource

-Always have a contingency plan

-Minimize paperwork as much as you can

19. Have clearly defined expectations

Whether you’re a professional or looking after your home, this is the most critical habit you have to adopt. Every property manager wants to have a successful relationship with their tenant.

For this to be possible, you have to know how formal or informal your relationship with the tenant is going to be. Being too strict may stifle a positive relationship, while being too casual may create room for abuse.

20. Managing your time is key

Managing your time

Any successful person can swear by this. With multiple people, multiple problems, and multiple clients to deal with, managing your time is key. When you’re able to master productivity, you become extremely focused.

To be good at this, begin by developing a routine and stick to it. Create a large, visual to-do list and prep your workstation for the next day.

Do not be stuck to your desk answering emails from dawn to dusk. Block out parts of your day to tackle the different elements of your role.

21. Successful investors act with integrity

To stand out from the crowd you must do what you commit to doing. There are so many people in the investment business that are full of “wind.” If you commit to doing something always make sure to do it.

Acting with integrity will build you a positive reputation in the industry. Always remember that your company’s name is on the line. A good reputation is a recipe for more business.


All-Inclusive Online Marketing Checklist For Property Management Companies

Move one step closer towards growing your business

22. Be proactive

When you get ahead of things, it reduces problems. Inspect, insure and inquire before trouble hits.

Send out surveys. Enable recurring payments. Send out reminders to every tenant five days before rent is due. Require renters insurance. And have a recurring inspection cadence.

Software can help you get most of these done efficiently. So invest in a good one.

23. Be confident

The journey to becoming a successful property manager requires hard work. It takes a lot of time to master the craft. Be confident now that you’ve become a trusted resource and a knowledgeable industry provider.

24. Avoid falling into the complacency trap

complacency trap

The property management industry keeps changing every single day. You need to keep abreast with the latest trends lest you risk falling into the complacency trap.

This will help you become better equipped to handle any eventuality.

25. Be dependable and available

Being available when owners and/or tenants need you is important. Respond to emails and phone calls in a timely manner. Your job description requires you to work with many people and it’s your job to keep them satisfied.

Property management is a fast-paced and highly competitive niche. As such, it is necessary to have skills and abilities that help keep you ahead of the pack.

With unwavering self-discipline and determination, these habits will help improve both your professional progress and personal life. Start implementing them asap!