Regardless of the Condo or HOA, I believe the following to be critical attributes of an effective Property Manager:
- Trustworthy – You are entrusting your homes to this person, you cannot have peace of mind unless you have someone on-board that you can trust.
- Likable – This is high on the list because if you are not likable, you will not last for long.
- Communicator – If you cannot clearly communicate the issues, the solutions and the status of what is happening, people lose faith quickly.
- Responsive – All the volunteer board members may not be aligned regarding priorities. Figuring out how to be responsive without chasing your tail is a true skill.
- GTD – Gets Things Done – There are plenty of people that try and get by on personality, talk and empathy – but in the end, a successful manager needs to make things happen.
- Leader – This is much more important when there is large staff, but it is still important with no staff, because someone has to lead the contractors and establish credibility as the liaison for the board.
- Knowledge – At a bare minimum, knowledge of 718 and/or 720, basic facilities and grounds maintenance and budgeting and finance. The rest of the knowledge that you require depends largely on the community.
The hardest part of all this is how do you know if someone really has these attributes? The only people that know are the ones that have worked with this person in the past. That is why references and reputation are so important. If you hire a reputable property management company that has a track record of high-performance employees – as reported by their clients – then you remove the risk. Your property management company should ultimately be responsible for making sure you have an effective Property Manager.
Ultimately, you should focus on hiring a firm – rather than a person. For information on what to look for in a Property Management Company, click here.
by Dan Tiernan, COO, Campbell Property Management