Property management is the operation, control and oversight of real estate. It is a demanding profession because there are many facets such as managing the accounts and finances of different buildings and participating in or initiating litigation with tenants, contractors and insurance agencies. A property manager needs to be informed on applicable municipal, county, state and federal Fair Housing laws and practices.
Also, the property manager is the liaison between the board, the property owners, residents and personnel. Good communication is an essential and crucial skill for a property manager. Just as important is understanding the processes and systems used to manage the property, including acquisition, control, accountability, responsibility, maintenance, and disposition.
Property managers need to have good listening skills because some owners just need to speak to someone regarding their apartment. Also, a property manager should be organized, honest and responsive. Another trait is business savvy because you are running a business (the co-op) and need to negotiate with all vendors to get the best price to be most efficient for your property otherwise you are wasting co-op money.
Property management is a fairly new profession. America developed fairly big cities and the real estate industry formed and property management was not far behind. Many investors bought land and property and hired others to manage and maintain it. After the Depression, the size and scope of property management rapidly developed to become what we know today.
There are a few ways to start in property management. In New York City, there are very active chapters of professional organizations, which provide opportunities for education, continuing education and accreditation. Having a business and financial administration background corresponds well to property management. New York City’s property managers do not have to have a license but if they collect rent and handle tenants, then they need a real estate broker’s license.
Most days, a property manager will pick up checks, review projects and work with vendors. These seemingly mundane tasks are required to keep everything running smoothly at the buildings they manage. However, a property manager’s job is never dull and he or she needs to be prepared for whatever is thrown at them. For example, a massive storm can hit and flood buildings and the property manager needs to take care of the residents and deal with the insurance company. At times, a property manager will have to go to housing court to testify at a hearing because a tenant failed to pay rent or breached a provision of the lease. Property managers have a wide range of duties from physical to administrative but the most important duty is working with board members to provide the best environment for all residents.
Property managers have a tough job but if you love what you do, it makes the tough things easier and loving your job makes for a successful property manager. When you help people, you are making a positive change in the world around them.
If you serve on a co-op board or condo board and need professional property management services, contact All Area Realty Services and find out why our over 30 years experience and loyal clients makes us experts.
All Area Realty Services is New York City’s leading real estate management company specializing in full-service property management for cooperative and condominium boards in the Manhattan area.