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Why this matters:

A property manager wears many hats, whether a portfolio is great or small. From finance clerk and repair coordinator, to tenant mediator and social director, a property manager understands how to organize and juggle various priorities on any given day. Time management skills are vital in responding to calls and emails, as well as proactively planning for the unexpected.

What to listen for:

  • An organized process for assessing the organization’s daily needs
  • Familiarity with the many responsibilities of a property manager
  • Willingness to adapt to change and handle whatever duties are required

Why this matters:

A tech-savvy property manager will be able to work independently and efficiently. Property listings may require virtual tours and digital listings. Most offices conduct their invoicing and billing activities through online portals and applications like QuickBooks, rather than manual paper logs. Proficiency in property management software reveals a willingness to learn and succeed.

What to listen for:

  • Experience with at least one type of industry-specific platform
  • Openness to learning new technologies and incorporating them into the workflow
  • Knowledge of trends like smart locks, cloud computing, analytics, and virtual showings

Why this matters:

A proper rental pricing formula is the key to maintaining steady occupancy and maximizing profitability. Even though property owners often set rental pricing, a property manager has flexibility to adjust or recommend rates as needed. A candidate’s process for determining rent can reflect in-depth knowledge of current real estate trends in the local area.

What to listen for:

  • Knowing where to source information for recent rentals and properties on the market
  • Understanding how amenities like a clubhouse or swimming pool affect unit pricing
  • Commitment to negotiating the best possible price, while considering tenant variables

 

Why this matters:

Ethical subcontracting ensures that high standards of excellence are upheld. Friend and family nepotism can be an all-too-common conflict of interest. Knowing how to properly vet contractors ensures that maintenance will be handled without delay and property values will remain high.

What to listen for:

  • Due diligence in researching, reference-checking, quote comparison, and test ordering
  • Commitment to supervising the job from start to finish
  • Aiming for optimal quality, at fair market value

Why this matters:

Any number of surprises can arise, which requires sound judgment and grace under pressure. There could be fires, health emergencies, storm damage insurance claims, tenants fighting, lost pets, or a complaint filed with the Better Business Bureau. Capable problem-solving and management diffuses an unexpected occurrence before it becomes a major catastrophe.

What to listen for:

  • Indications of patience, flexibility, helpfulness, and a positive attitude
  • A thorough assessment of the situation and reasonable solution
  • Proactive measures to plan for unknowns, surprises, and contingencies

Why this matters:

Tenant evictions are among the most challenging responsibilities a property manager may run up against. How effectively evictions are handled reflects on the property branding — which, in turn, affects tenant solicitation and satisfaction. Individuals will need to remain calm, consistent, and solution-focused in these situations.

What to listen for:

  • Respectful regard for the difficult circumstances and stress an evicted tenant endures
  • Firm, unwavering resolve to follow through with standard protocol if rent goes unpaid
  • Understanding that there are legal compliance issues when evicting tenants

Why this matters:

Answers will vary by individual, but general soft skill strengths for this role include patience, detail orientation, excellent written and oral communication, careful consideration, and a good memory. A candidate’s self-assessment provides insight into what they feel is necessary to perform well as a property manager.

What to listen for:

  • A skilled communicator who is pleasant, polite, professional, clear, and concise
  • Introspection, self-awareness, and pride in a job well done
  • Superior organizational abilities to deal with an often rapidly changing environment

Why this matters:

A successful property manager can be cultivated through education and experience, but possessing a natural ability to work well with others is a tremendous asset that ensures positive results in the long run. A good property manager will truly care about cooperation, whether dealing with easygoing individuals or irascible ones.

What to listen for:

  • A communication style that is friendly and approachable, but also stoic and professional
  • Listening skills and a willingness to adapt communication style to various situations
  • Openness to multiple channels of communication, including in-person, email, and phone

Why this matters:

Resilience is an essential trait in managing all the day-to-day intricacies of real estate. Emergencies happen, different types of people come in with all sorts of demands, and there are endless tasks competing for priority. Possessing excellent organization, time management, and coping skills will help a candidate feel confident, in-control, and satisfied at work.

What to listen for:

  • Discussion of positive steps taken to manage the to-do list
  • Healthy balance in life with multiple outlets for stress
  • Ability to convert challenges into learning opportunities
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