Managers are all important members of a business as they can either help boost it or they can cause it to fail. In the current property environment that businesses have to try and sustain themselves in, it is important for all mangers to have a well rounded personality. In this you can easily understand why it is so important to get the real estate manager who has the right attitude, skill sets and experience.
Depending on the type and size of your real estate holdings, property managers will need to use different skill sets. If you have just a few apartments or single family homes that you are renting then your property manager will need to have very good communication and customer skills when dealing with your renters. If your real estate holdings are quite large then personnel management skills will become very important. You never want to get a property manager that is in the business only for the money.
Small Real Estate Holdings Management
Maintaining a 100 percent occupancy rate is of primary importance for the smaller real estate manager. After all having a 10 or 20 percent vacancy rate can put you in a very large negative cash flow situation very quickly. Your manager will need to keep your rentals occupied and the tenants happy. He or she will need to not fall victim to a tenant's hard luck story on why the rent was not paid on time.
Your manager will also need to be able and willing to take care of minor maintenance problems such as painting, plumbing, electrical and carpentry work. After all, managing your property will not be a full time job and if your manager can take care of minor maintenance problems himself, it would go a long way in maintaining a positive cash flow.
Medium Real Estate Holdings Management
The primary difference between small and medium real estate holdings management is his ability to manage independent contractors. Your property manager will not have the time to do a lot of the maintenance himself. What you are looking for is someone that can develop a relationship with other small business or independent contractors that can do most of the maintenance on your properties but not pay full price for that service.
Your real estate manager will need the ability to see a maintenance problem and determine if the problem has to be fixed right away or if it can wait a few days. If it can wait a few days then your property manager will need to make arrangements with one of his independent contractors to get the job done in a timely fashion. Independent contractors will usually give you a price break if they can do the work around their schedule.
A great place for property managers to start building relationships with independent contractors is to talk to people that work at Home Depot, Ace Hardware and other home repair businesses. Talk to someone in the paint department if you need painting done or the electrical department if you need electrical work done. Someone is always looking for extra work. Independent contractors will require a lot of supervision to make sure the job is done up to your standards.
Large Real Estate Holdings Management
The primary difference between small or medium and large real estate holdings management is his ability to manage employees. Your property manager will have several full time employees. Dealing with employee benefits, vacations, keeping track of sick days and personal days off is an art form and can quickly get out of hand and become cost prohibitive if it is not done correctly.
The Perfect Real Estate Manager
The perfect real estate manager is one that you have trained yourself. If you have a lot of real estate properties consider dividing it up in to small holdings. If you have four or five property managers and one is not doing the job to your satisfaction then fire that person and give that property to the manager that is doing the best job for you. After a few years you will end up with one or two perfect managers.
This would be much better than turning your properties over to a large property management company and finding out a couple of years later that you suddenly have a 30 percent vacancy rate and all of your properties are in need of major repairs because the minor repairs were not taken care of.