The field of property management offers a lot of opportunities for the individual seeking a rewarding, challenging and profitable career in real estate. Candidates looking for property management jobs should be aware of the basic structure of many property management companies and of the skill sets that property management companies are looking for in personnel.
Property management jobs are usually found in three main areas; leasing (sales), administration, and management. While most of the property management on-site staff can lease apartments, leasing is typically the responsibility of a leasing consultant. To be a successful leasing consultant, an individual should be proficient and comfortable with all aspects of the selling process, including speaking with clients on the phone, meeting with them face to face and following up until the sale has been made.
Speaking to potential customers on the telephone comprises a large portion of a leasing consultant’s work day. Therefore it is extremely important that the consultant excel on the phone. Ironically, this is the one area that a large percentage of leasing consultants struggle in. This means that there can be a large competitive advantage to those who choose to do well on the telephone.
Being good on the phone is not simply about being able to politely answer a customer’s questions. The successful leasing agent is one who is not afraid of the telephone and is willing to take inbound calls from customers and make outbound phone calls to potential customers. Leasing agents should also be able to effectively sell the customer on the virtues of the community and be able to consistently make appointments for clients to tour the property over the telephone.
The leasing agent is essentially a sales position; therefore it is absolutely critical that agents possess solid sales and people skills. Agents must be able to interact, relate to and connect with a wide variety of people. They must be proficient in providing meaningful and relevant information to customers and must not be afraid of closing the sale.
Administrative property management jobs are often the next step up from the leasing position. The administrative functions of the property are usually the responsibility of the assistant manager, bookkeeper or community administrator. Those with administrative positions generally collect rent, send out balance due and credit statements, process the statement of deposit accounting (SODA) for residents who have moved out, oversee the eviction process, address resident lease violations and do basic to advanced accounting tasks.
It is very important that those with administrative property management jobs be detail oriented, consistent, tenacious, and possess effective time management and organizational skills. It is also important that administrators be able to handle and diffuse sensitive, difficult and disruptive situations that arise. Unfortunately the job of the administrator often requires them to deal with people at their worst.
A property manager should possess the skills required of both the leasing and administrative personnel, along with leadership, coaching and management skills. Most companies also prefer a property manager with previous experience in the industry. Therefore individuals interested in becoming property managers should expect to start their career as a leasing consultant and then work their way up.