A property manager’s job is one of the most diverse roles in real estate investing. During a single day, a property manager can be a marketer, private detective, customer relations officer, financial records keeper, handyperson, and debt collector.
Even when managing a single property, being a property manager can be overwhelming. The difficulty of the job only increases as the business grows. The only way to deal with this challenge is to find competent professionals to whom you can assign responsibility.
Great property managers know that managing a property is a team sport. They invest effort in the quality of people they populate their team with because the depth of a property manager’s staff and partners greatly influences the caliber of property management clients they attract.
Knowing that team members can give business wings or act as weights to sink it, what should be the criteria for building your property management team? If you are in the process of assembling a property management team, this post will explain what you need to do.
6 Tips for Building Great Property Management Teams
1. Define your goals and objectives
Before building your team, be clear on why you need a team. Without clear objectives, you will end up with team members who are underutilized or unsuited for their roles.
What long-term or short-term goals will these team members help your business achieve? What improvements do you expect to see in the number of property management clients and the efficiency of your processes? When needs are well-defined, it is easier to evaluate potential team members’ ability to fill roles and define the criteria for measuring success.
2. Identify the necessary team members
Once you identify the needs and weaknesses of your business, it is easier to identify the skills required to address those issues. For most property managers, the following are the professionals their business needs: a property manager or assistant property manager for setting the rent, finding/qualifying tenants, collecting the rent, and implementing the budget; a leasing agent to handle communication with tenants; a financial officer to take care of accounting, taxes, etc.; maintenance officer to care for the systems and structures of the building; and a marketing officer.
3. Define roles and responsibilities
Especially when managing multiple rental properties, the exact parts of individuals can become unclear. Overlaps in responsibilities create room for inefficiency. Clearly defined roles make it easy for team members to focus on their job without worrying about getting the support they need from other team members.
Team members who understand what other team members know and do, have a solid foundation for collaboration. A big part of this is communication, a team member’s ability to communicate freely across different levels of the organization. Well-defined roles and information exchange between those roles are vital.
4. Be consistent with rules and policies
Rules and policies give structure to your organization. They help eliminate second-guessing by creating frameworks and procedures for various organizational tasks and functions. But more important than the rules and policies themselves is your ability to enforce them consistently and fairly.
You want to have standardized procedures for repetitive tasks. These help to eliminate errors and build a minimum level of quality in the organization. Standardized processes also create speed and help you identify and eliminate points of weakness in your operations.
5. Cultivate a positive team spirit
Effective communication, clarity around roles, and consistency in implementing rules are some things you need to build a team that works well together. People who like each other will achieve better results.
The ability of your team to work together doesn’t just depend on the quality of people you hire or how diligent you are at ensuring that everyone is pulling their weight; it also depends on how you treat people.
The most important asset of your business is your staff. Leaders who treat employees right equate to employees who treat customers directly.
6. Encourage team members to take ownership
If you hire competent people, you will not need to micro-manage them. You will be fearless in giving them some level of autonomy. This will encourage them to bring their best selves to work.
To get your team members to take ownership of their roles, you also need to sell them an inspiring vision. When people feel part of something great, they require less supervision to do their work. Motivated employees will also initiate the necessary collaborations to get their job done.
To conclude, five of the six tips explained above are about what you do as a leader versus the quality of people you hire. The point is this; the number one key to building a successful property management team is to be a great leader yourself.
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