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Career Guide: 10 Skills You Need to Be a Property Manager

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Breaking into property management is easier than you think, but you can’t go in unprepared. Here are 10 property management skills you need to thrive.

Have you ever considered becoming a property manager? There’s certainly a lot of benefits to that type of work.

It’s flexible enough to compliment all sorts of lifestyles. Plus, it’s a job that’s in demand no matter where you live in the country (or even abroad!)

But, like any job, there are more difficult aspects of the work you have to deal with.

To be successful at handling issues that arise, it’s important that you possess a certain skill set. It’s okay if you don’t, you just might find that this kind of job isn’t for you.

Breaking into property management is easier than you think. However, you should be prepared for what the job entails. Here are 10 property management skills you need to thrive.

1. Patience

As a property manager, you will be interacting with all kinds of people. Not just your tenants, but contractors and maintenance workers as well.

Some of your interactions will be positive, but other times your patience will be tested. Construction work falls behind schedule, tenants can be high-maintenance, the list goes on.

If you’re someone with a short fuse, dealing with that on a regular basis might be too much. This work is best suited for someone who is calm and able to deal with tough personalities and situations.

2. Assertiveness

Though having patience is important, that does not mean you’re so patient that you become a doormat. Being a property manager requires that you balance keeping your cool while also being assertive.

Unreliable tenants might try to constantly hand in rent late. Workers might not correctly perform the job they were meant to do. In these situations, you must be able to stand your ground.

Needing to be assertive is something that will come up a lot as a property manager. Confrontation isn’t fun for anyone, but you do have to be comfortable with it.


3. Organization

As a property manager, you will be in control of many moving parts. Keeping track of rent checks, maintenance requests, inspection appointments, and more.

A tenant might need mold removed from their attic (which you can learn more about here). It’s your job to coordinate an appointment that works for the tenant and the cleaning person.

You have to be organized enough to juggle other people’s schedules as well as an ever growing to-do list.

4. Be a People-Person

As we mentioned before, being a property manager means interacting with all types of people. If you don’t like engaging with others on a constant basis, you won’t like this job.

Having an outgoing, friendly personality will serve you well. You’re the face of the property. Being unpleasant could end up deterring future tenants from wanting to rent the space.

5. Self-Motivated

Flexible work that can be done on your own time is a huge advantage. Plus, you don’t have to worry about having a boss breathing down your neck all day.

However, since you don’t have someone else keeping you accountable, you have to be self-motivated. If you’re a big procrastinator, this could be stressful for you.

6. Attention to Detail

Property managers are the eyes and ears of the dwelling. They should be the first ones to notice things that need fixing.

Having an acute attention to detail means noticing right away that a stair might be loose. With some self-motivation to get it fixed right away, you can avoid someone getting hurt.

7. Clear Communicator

As a property manager, you will be the one speaking with contractors. Being clear and concise can help avoid costly miscommunications.

With tenants, you will be the one explaining what is expected of them. For people to correctly follow rules and instructions, they have to know what they are.

You should also have good written communication skills. So much of your interactions with tenants will be through emails.


Thoughts are often lost in translation through emails and texts. You have to be extra careful that your words will be interpreted correctly.

8. Experience

To be successful at this job it helps to have experience. There are plenty of jobs out there that can prepare you for this kind of work.

Having been a manager in any capacity will help you understand what this job entails. All managers deal with other people’s schedules, put out logistical fires, and interact with a range of personalities.

If you’ve never been a manager before, you still might have applicable experience. Perhaps you’ve worked freelance from home. Then you know what it takes to be self-motivated and organized.

Think of your resume and decide if any of your past jobs have prepared you to take this on.

9. Professionalism

Being patient and friendly is important when dealing with tenants. In addition to that, you have to know how to maintain professional boundaries.

Of course, that’s easy to do with tenants you don’t jive with.

But, there will be tenants you really like. You’ll get to know them and possibly their family on a personal level. Having that familiarity can end up clouding your judgment.

As hard as it may be, you have to be able to keep a professional wall up. That might sound cold, but you have to be a manager, and not become a friend.

10. Flexible

The flexibility of this job is a two-way street. You get to enjoy the luxury of not having a 9-to-5 job. But, that also means you can’t leave the work behind the second you clock out.

You might get a call at 3 am that a pipe has burst and the basement is flooding. Sending it to voicemail because you don’t want to get up isn’t an option.

Do You Have These Property Management Skills?

These are the 10 property management skills you need to have if you want to be successful in this work. Go-getters with a take-charge attitude will likely find this job to be very rewarding.


Are you interested in more articles like this one? Then check out these property management blogs.