4 Ways Property Managers are Underappreciated Rockstars November 20, 2014 | Samantha Dubrow

Guest coauthor: Kelly Adighije, Senior Mechanical Engineer for Baumann Consulting

Every building has a property manager, and whether we realize it or not, we interact with them every day. For tenants, they make sure the building is comfortable and running smoothly. They make a continuous effort to minimize tenant complaints, by addressing issues before their full impact is felt.

For building owners, property managers ensure buildings maintain high quality standards, which ultimately lead to near full occupancy. Property managers are responsible for finding tenants and keeping them happy.

While tenants’ and building owners’ concerns are at the top of their priority list, property managers also

 

  • make sure their in-house team is operating efficiently, which includes helping building engineers maintain the building,
  • ensure that utility payments are in control and made on time, and
  • understand their building’s effects on sustainability for the community.

 

As you can imagine, property managers are pulled in quite a few different directions and have competing priorities to satisfy everyone’s needs. Property management is a critical profession, which is often overlooked. The job requires a tremendous amount of flexibility, experience, and the ability to handle criticism in stressful situations.

In general, property managers are not recognized for their effort, but are ridiculed if something goes wrong. Below, you will find four ways property managers are helping you every day, along with a few tips for how to show them you appreciate their hard work.

 

1. Property Managers Fulfill Building Owners’ Needs

The top priority of a property manager, much like the top priority of any employee, is to satisfy the boss. In this case, their boss is the building owner. To understand how property managers approach this, we must consider what building owners’ goals are. Building owners are looking for

 

  • someone to reliably manage their building,
  • their building to be nearly fully occupied, and
  • a way to make a profit on their building with minimal effort.

 

The great thing about property managers is that they are able to help fulfill all of these needs, while still keeping tenants top-of-mind.

 

2. Property Managers Find Tenants and Keep Them Happy

A large part of a property manager’s role is to find new tenants. Their goal, in order to satisfy building owners, is to find, market to, and sell to prospect tenants, and get them to sign long leases, to guarantee that the building stays occupied.
While looking for new tenants, property managers also need to look after their existing tenants. This requires responding to complaints and fixing problems quickly. Additionally, property managers work as a liaison between tenants and building owners, and also handle any conflicts between tenants.

 

Oftentimes, there is a conflict of interest between building owners and tenants, and it’s the property manager’s responsibility to make hard decisions and set priorities.

 

3. Each Property Manager is a Jack-of-all-Trades

To keep building operating at a high quality standard, it is the property manager’s responsibility to keep up with day-to-day maintenance. Relevant operations include anything from general maintenance and equipment repairs to collecting rent from tenants and paying taxes. Because of the high demand of day-to-day projects, along with the unpredictability of the job, property managers have a short-term rather than long-term view for their buildings.

 


4. Property Managers Stay on Top of Their Budget

Balancing all of the priorities listed above and still staying in line with their budgets can be very challenging for property managers. When building owners and property managers discuss annual budgets, the budget generally covers basic maintenance with very little wiggle room. Because of their limited budget, some of the capital left over after basic maintenance must be saved for emergencies. This makes it especially difficult to invest in solutions, even if they will make the property manager’s job easier.

 


How You Can Show Your Property Manager Appreciation

Property managers live and breathe the life of their buildings, and understand how they operate better than anyone. Taking the time to build a relationship with your property manager will be beneficial to both of you, so you can give them feedback, and they can feel open to making suggestions about investments that will help the building operate with high performance.

Step 1: Thank them when you see them.
Step 2: Give them feedback.
Step 3: Listen to what they have to say.
Step 4: Empower them to take initiatives.
 

In conclusion, giving property managers the autonomy to make building improvements is a great decision, because they’re the ones who know the building best. They deserve to be trusted with the responsibility of identifying opportunities to reduce waste and costs to take control of their buildings, and you should encourage them to take action.

About The Author

When Samantha isn’t writing for the blog or managing our HR like a champ, she studies Organizational Psychology at George Washington University.