10 property manager requirements to look out for

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For more information about how we ensure the success of our property managers, read our checklist, Effective Property Manager Checklist: Achieving excellence.


A Community Association Manager (CAM), also called a property manager, is integral to the smooth functioning of residential complexes and homeowners associations. Whether managing property affairs or fostering a sense of community, the qualifications and skills required for property managers are diverse and multifaceted. That’s why working with a management company that offers training and development resources to property managers is vital.
 

Property manager requirements:

While every community and manager is different, there are some property manager requirements they should have or seek additional training to boost their current skills.
  1. Effective communication skills:

    Community managers serve as the bridge between the association and its members. Strong written and verbal communication skills are crucial for conveying information, addressing concerns, and fostering a positive atmosphere.

    "At the end of the day, our managers need to be proficient in how they communicate with all different types of people," explains Jennifer Fischel, 10 property manager requirements to look out forvice president of operations at FirstService Residential. "We provide training to the managers on the different communication styles that exist and how to adapt their style with other styles of communication so that their interactions are always open, and nothing is getting in the way of clear communication."
     
    Communication skills training covers various topics, such as effective writing, public speaking, relationship-building, creating effective presentations, coaching, and active listening techniques. With this kind of training in their back pocket, your property manager can better understand interpersonal nuances, tailor communication to each recipient, and successfully express their thoughts and ideas to board members, residents, and vendors. By having practical communication skills, they can also avoid repeating explanations and prevent misunderstandings when messages are poorly conveyed.
     
  2. Problem-Solving:

    Unexpected issues are bound to arise. A property manager must be a quick thinker, capable of resolving conflicts, addressing concerns, and finding innovative solutions to challenges. The ability to navigate unforeseen circumstances is a hallmark of an effective community manager.
     
  3. Emotional Intelligence:

    Understanding the emotions and concerns of residents is crucial for a CAM. Possessing emotional intelligence enables effective conflict resolution, fosters a sense of community, and ensures that residents feel heard and valued.
     
  4. Tech-Savvy:

    Like most other roles today, property managers must execute their responsibilities efficiently and become well-versed in technology supporting their job functions. Whether it’s proprietary property management software, accounting software, or an association communication platform, your manager must learn how to use these tools to their full potential.
     
    A great property management company will offer comprehensive and ongoing training on its in-house technologies as they are developed and updated. Technology training instructs property managers on navigating the internal tools used for accounting, communication, tracking work orders, reservations, amenity and service management, vendor invoices, and payment tracking. It is typically offered via online training modules or video instruction.
     
    When your manager is comfortable using all the tools that support your community, they can complete tasks more quickly and proficiently.
     
  5. Strategic Vision:

    Successful property managers possess a strategic mindset, developing and implementing plans that contribute to community growth and sustainability. This involves setting clear goals, analyzing data, and adapting strategies based on community feedback and performance metrics.
     
  6. Community Building:

    Building a thriving community requires proactive efforts. CAMs should actively engage with residents, organize community events, and facilitate opportunities for interaction, fostering a positive and inclusive environment that encourages resident participation.
     
  7. Leadership:

    Successfully managing a community requires strong leadership skills. In addition to being a leader among the staff, a great property manager has the confidence to take the lead in the annual goal-setting process and makes recommendations that meet the board’s objectives and the community’s goals.
     
    A great property management company recognizes the importance that leadership plays in the success of a community and invests heavily in training that teaches self-leadership and people leadership.
     
    • Self-leadership: Enhances the property manager's awareness of their abilities so they can properly improve their leadership skills.
       
    • People leadership: Helps directors and managers develop talent within the property management company through improved coaching and development feedback, motivation, and empowerment.

  8. Financial Stewardship

    One of the most critical aspects of managing a community is understanding its financial position to help expand its resources. A manager who fully comprehends their community’s financials can accurately assess the current budgetary status of the association, better advise the board when making important spending decisions, and set short- and long-term goals.
     
    A knowledgeable property manager can better prepare your association for maintenance needs, repairs, necessary special assessments, and resident delinquencies. This requires an excellent working knowledge of your community’s financial reports, such as its:
     
    • Balance sheet.
       
    • Income statement.
       
    • Cash flow statement.
       
    • General ledger.
       
    • Accounts payable report.
       
    • Account delinquency report.
       
    • Cash disbursements ledger.

  9. Teamwork

    Community associations are unique in that very little is decided by a single person. Group decision-making is at the heart of how a community functions and success often depends on consensus building and cooperation. It’s more of an art than a science, and your property manager needs to be a collaborative leader by learning how to facilitate decision-making on your board.
      
    When your property manager masters these skills and becomes adept at facilitating group decision-making, your board will be better positioned to effectively make more informed decisions.
     
  10. Time Management

    It's essential for a property manager with dozens of calls to make, documents to read, and appointments to keep, to understand how to best prioritize tasks. Time management strategies are crucial to getting the job done in an organized, timely manner. By learning how to be more effective with managing their time, a manager can maximize their time and ensure that they address resident and board needs more efficiently.
Property managers are responsible for ensuring the seamless operation and well-being of residential communities. As the dynamics of community living continue to evolve, property managers must adapt and uphold the standards that contribute to the overall satisfaction and harmony within the communities they serve.

Communities thrive when property managers receive comprehensive training and have access to solid support services, advanced tools, and innovative technology. At FirstService Residential, we are fully committed to our property managers' ongoing education and growth. We invest a significant amount of time and effort into their pursuit of it. They have access to in-person instruction and online training modules through FirstService Residential University that give them the skills they need to excel in their role and help their community thrive.

To learn how FirstService Residential can support the needs of your community, contact a member of our team.
 
Monday December 04, 2023