Not everyone has the time or skill to effectively manage a property—let alone several properties. To succeed in the industry, you’ll need to have a number of different tools at your disposal.
In this article, we’ll cover the tools and skills you’ll need to succeed. We’ll warn you in advance that very few people have all of these skills; that’s why so many turn to third parties like property management companies to help them run their properties properly.
There’s a lot of information to cover, so let’s get started!
Excellent time management skills
When managing properties, you have to juggle obligations to tenants with personal and other professional obligations. In order to retain tenants and build your reputation, you’ll need to respond quickly to any concerns they might have. To attract new tenants, you must be able to show your properties promptly while leaving time for any questions or concerns they may have.
That, of course, only covers part of the active portion of property management. You’ll also need time to manage your investments—ensuring they’re profitable, look for new investment opportunities, and more. We recommend investing in scheduling software to help you manage your time effectively.
A strong, working knowledge of federal, provincial, and other laws
Want to build a deck for your tenants? Thinking of adding an extension to one of your buildings? Looking to build a second house on your property? Want to evict a problematic tenant?
You’d better know the law.
Our property management firm is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba. To operate effectively, we thoroughly understand landlord and tenant rights, both governed by the Residential Tenancies Branch. We also have a deep understanding of the City of Winnipeg’s by-laws.
Your circumstances may be different—you may be in another city or province or even a foreign country. The advice remains the same, however—study the law, know your rights, know your tenants’ rights, and understand what you are and aren’t allowed to build and develop.
You’ve got a great property—it’s in the perfect location, beautiful and well-maintained, and all the fixtures and appliances are brand new. You’re offering it at a great price. The tenants should come rolling in, right?
Not if you don’t know how to market your property.
We’ve seen excellent properties fail to attract tenants because of poorly worded Kijiji ads. Beautiful spaces that could easily be rented out if only their owner knew how to list them.
To succeed, you’ll need to know how to stage virtual walkthroughs, leverage social media and sites like Zillow to your advantage, and even make your own search-optimized website for your properties. You’ll also want to use traditional methods, like open houses and print ads. Check out all the marketing services we offer!
It’s easy to get bogged down in the nitty-gritty of managing a property. You never want to forget that, at its core, this is an investment opportunity—you need to be crunching numbers regularly.
Count pennies. Need to replace light bulbs? Throw them in a spreadsheet. Bought cleaning supplies for the common area? Spreadsheet. We highly recommend getting a credit card dedicated to nothing but your building expenses to make tracking all of them simpler.
You’ll need to acquire data and use it to set rents—all while making sure not to raise them too swiftly and to always raise them within the rules set out by local regulators. You’ll also need to know when it’s time to invest in more properties. Sound financial management skills are key. For more information on our reporting services click here.
Maintaining a building isn’t always easy work. You probably already know how to change light bulbs and mop floors—but do you know how to fix minor plumbing and electrical problems? Are you able to assess when you can tackle a problem yourself and when it’s best to call a professional?
Knowing how to handle minor maintenance concerns yourself is a huge plus for property management, but unless you’re an electrician, a plumber, a carpenter, and more, you’ll need to call for outside help on occasion. View all out maintenance services.
Other important skills
We’re really only touching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to property management skills. You’ll need interpersonal skills. You’ll need tech skills. You’ll need to know when to kick tenants out and when to give them a pass. You’ll need to know a lot.
You can and will learn some of these skills on the job—but the best way of ensuring that you have all the skills you need for your investment to succeed is to hire a property manager.