Every residential property has its own idiosyncrasies. Some are old and need frequent repairs, some are new and have unknown flaws and issues. Some are in great neighborhoods but come with high rents and tenants with high standards, and some are in bad neighborhoods and have issues with drug deals, vandalism, and burglaries.
Understanding these problems is an important part of a property manager’s job, but it’s just as important to understand how leadership works. No matter which properties you manage or how big your staff is, there are a few universal leadership qualities that will serve you well no matter which way your property management career goes.
If you want your staff to listen to you, then you need to listen to your staff. The reason you have a staff in the first place is because you can’t do everything yourself, and the reason you have different teams like maintenance and front desk services is because you need a variety of skills to keep the property in good shape and keep all the tenants happy. Your staff knows things you don’t, and you can only lean on their knowledge if you listen to what they have to say.
The chief job of any leader is to have the final word and make the big decisions. Making those decisions can be harder than it sounds, especially since making the decision means taking responsibility for the results whether they’re good or bad. Being a good leader means knowing when you need to make a decision even if you aren’t sure it’s right and not trying to blame others if things go wrong. Doing so might hurt your property management career in the short term, but showing integrity can often help your long-term strategy.
Team morale is also the responsibility of the leader. You need to look confident and in control even when things aren’t going your way because that will inspire your team members to work their hardest. You should also come up with incentives and perks that will give your staff something specific to work for. Without a good source of inspiration, your staff will never perform at their best.
If you want your property management career to take off, then you need to understand what it is to be a good leader. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re reaching for the upper levels of management, leadership skills will always serve you well. So learn about your team, find out what they expect from you, and always be the best leader you can be.