There’s nothing easy about property management. If there were, more and more people would invest in real estate and manage day-to-day operations.
But investors can master property management by developing a series of skills that are uniquely suited to owning and operating real estate investments. At HUNTAHOME, we’re intimately familiar with these skills, because we use them every day as we provide DFW property management services.
If you have real estate investments and you want to become a better property manager, here are 7 skills you should focus on developing.
You’d be amazed at how many management challenges can be avoided simply through proactive communication. The more you communicate with your tenants, with contractors and service providers, with neighbors and others, the easier property management will be.
Given modern technology, you can even automate much of your communication. For example, software platforms can help you generate automatic messages that remind tenants when rent payments are due, when rent payments are late, when lease renewals are coming up, as well as other significant landmarks.
Real estate investment is a secondary activity for most of our clients. Given that owners are often managing properties in addition to working full-time jobs or managing large portfolios, it’s essential that they be exceptionally well organized.
Good organization means staying on top of maintenance schedules, tracking revenue and expenses, analyzing new opportunities and creating an investment strategy that can serve as a roadmap for the future.
Again, digital tools help make organization far easier than it might have been in decades past. In fact, you can find many property management tools that are designed to help owners stay organized while managing various tasks.
Real estate investing won’t get you very far without tenants occupying your units. That’s why any property manager needs to have a flair for marketing. That’s not to say you must be a marketing expert, but you should understand the marketing mix (product, place, price and promotion) and how it applies to your target audience.
For example, a single property is a product. The property’s location is the place where it will ultimately be sold. The rent you offer is the price. And front-yard signs, MLS postings, website and social media posts and ads, as well as print media are channels you can use for promotion.
Again, you need not become a marketing guru. But understanding basic marketing principles and making sound marketing decisions will help ensure that your properties remain full.
4. Customer Service
There’s an element of customer service to property management that many owners miss. Some owners are overly protective of their investments, and they hound their tenants about the smallest of things. It’s fine to be protective of an investment — but remember that tenants are also customers to be served.
Happy tenants want to stay longer, which reduces vacancy rates. Happy tenants leave great reviews. And happy tenants also refer others to you. Developing customer service skills is the best way to keep tenants happy.
To be successful with real estate investing, you need to understand basic budgeting and finance. You’ll likely have monthly debt service and other expenses related to your investment. You’ll also likely see monthly cash flow and year-over-year appreciation of property value. When you develop basic budgeting and finance skills, you can quickly analyze your situation at any given moment — and make decisions and develop strategies in response to that situation.
Becoming a savvy, experienced real estate investor takes time. That’s why curiosity is such a vital skill for owners and managers to developer. A healthy amount of curiosity means that you’re always learning more about real estate investing, about property management, and about the market where you’re operating.
Yes, you can be successful without dedicating much time to learning about the things listed above. But curiosity about the industry will help accelerate the learning process and make you one of those savvy, experienced investors well before others with less curiosity.
Things don’t always go as planned. That’s true in real estate investing and property management, just as it’s true across a range of other industries.
Remain flexible. While you may develop quarterly, yearly and multi-year plans, know that the road to scaling your portfolio and achieving your goals is long and winding. There will be progress, but it will often come in fits and starts. Flexibility will allow you to regroup and recalibrate whenever the unexpected occurs so that you can get back onto a path toward meeting objectives.
Here’s a bonus skill for you: delegation. It’s almost impossible to scale your real estate investment business and achieve the success you’ve dreamed of without delegating to capable vendors.
At HUNTAHOME, we handle property management in Dallas and Fort Worth for owners who have developed their delegation skills. Our team is great at communicating with tenants and contractors on behalf of our clients. We market properties, provide strong customer service and track budgets to maximize cash flow. And we always stay flexible in this dynamic business.
If you need property management in Fort Worth or Dallas, trust the experienced team you’ll find at HUNTAHOME. Contact us today and learn more about our DFW property management services.