The Development of a Successful Property Manager
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Becoming a Great Community LeaderSuccessfully managing a community’s staff requires strong leadership skills. That’s why training property managers in this area is so important. 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 to make recommendations that meet the board’s objectives and 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 around self-leadership and people leadership.
Self-leadership: Enhances the property manager's awareness of their own abilities so they can properly improve their leadership skills.
People leadership: Helps property managers hone their skills in communication, coaching, motivation and empowerment to develop talent within the community.
Community Financial StewardshipOne of the most important aspects of managing a community is understanding its financial position to accurately assess the current budgetary status of the association, better advise the board when they are making important spending decisions and set priorities for both short- and long-term goals.
A knowledgeable property manager can support the board in determining maintenance needs, repairs, necessary special assessments and resident delinquencies. This requires a good 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
Training in this area is critical to your property manager’s success as it directly impacts the financial health of your community.
Making Decisions as a GroupCommunity 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 both an art and a science, and your property manager needs to be a collaborative leader by learning how to facilitate decision-making on your board.
Training a property manager on group decision-making involves instruction in areas such as conducting effective meetings, negotiation, consensus-building and collaboration styles.
Those learned skills can be applied to the many techniques that are used to build shared agreement and prevent conflicts, such as creating forums, having open houses or town hall meetings, forming committees and task forces and establishing a sense of ownership.
A property manager with strong coordination skills can also align your community and board, so that important association projects don’t fall by the wayside, and policy decisions don’t become stagnant.
When your property manager masters these skills and becomes adept at facilitating group decision-making, your board will be in a better position to make more informed decisions more effectively. They can also make improvements throughout the community and elevate their resident experience.
Using Software and Technical ToolsLike most other roles today, property managers who need to execute their responsibilities efficiently must become well acquainted with the technology that supports their job functions. Whether it’s proprietary property management software, like FirstService Residential Connect, accounting software, or an association communication platform, your manager must learn how to master these tools to their full potential.
A great property management company offers comprehensive and ongoing training on its in-house technologies as they are developed and/or updated. Technology training instructs property managers on how to navigate the internal tools used for accounting, communication, tracking work orders, reservations, amenity and service management, vendor invoice and payment tracking, and 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.
Communicating with Boards & ResidentsEffectively supporting the diversity of people and personalities that make up a community requires purposeful communication. Property manager training will cover various techniques for communicating with different audiences and types of people, such as board members or residents.
"At the end of the day, our managers need to be proficient in communicating with all different types of people," explains Jennifer Fischel, vice president of operations at FirstService Residential. "We provide training to our managers on different communication styles and how to adapt their own style to 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 a variety of 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 effective communication skills, they can also prevent misunderstandings that arise when messages are poorly conveyed.
Managing Time EffectivelyPrioritization skills are essential for a property manager with dozens of calls to make, documents to read and appointments to keep. Time management strategies are crucial to getting the job done in an organized, timely manner.
Your property manager's day is always busy and never the same. By learning how to be more effective with their time, a manager can ensure that they are addressing resident and board needs in the most efficient manner.
At FirstService Residential, we are fully committed to the ongoing education and growth of our property managers, and we invest time and effort into their pursuit of it. Our managers have access to an array of mentors ensuring that they are aligned with best practices. They also have access to both 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 your community thrive.
For more information about how we ensure the success of our property managers contact FirstService Residential today.