What Does a Property Manager Do? (With Job Requirements)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated January 30, 2023

Published July 26, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Property managers have the responsibility of maintaining a building and providing a safe residence for tenants. The work they perform every day contributes positively to the well-being of the renters and the property owner. Understanding more about what a property manager does can help you decide if this career is suitable for you. In this article, we answer the question, "what does a property manager do," review the required skills, outline the salary and outlook of the career, and review the requirements for the job.

What does a property manager do?

A property manager oversees residential, commercial, or industrial buildings or facilities that are rented or leased out. They manage the care, maintenance, and day-to-day operations of these properties. The owner of a building employs a property manager to take care of tenants and any issues that might arise. A property manager has several primary duties that include:

Administrative duties

Property managers handle the administrative duties of a particular facility or building and may have staff to assist them. Administrative tasks include reviewing tenant contracts, processing rental applications and credit checks on tenants, and maintaining an accurate inventory on space for rent or lease. A property manager also processes rental or lease payments and follows company procedures with late or missing payments. They communicate to tenants on behalf of the owner, informing them of changes to the property, maintenance schedules, or other critical information.

Another area of administration is the marketing and advertising of the building or facility. For example, when dealing with retail space, they may work with a marketing company or in-house marketing department to advertise and attract potential renters to the location. With residential rental buildings, the property manager advertises spaces for rent or lease.

Related: 10 Administrative Skills for the Workplace

Financial duties

A property manager typically has financial duties, such as collecting rent and managing an operating budget. The property manager ensures that the facility is operating within budget and fills all available spaces with tenants. Watching shared utility charges, such as electricity or water consumption, and bringing significant discrepancies to the owner's attention is also a typical responsibility of the property manager. They account for repairs, maintenance, or special projects, ensuring that all financial costs stay within budget.

Depending on the property owner, a property manager can also create an annual budget and provide monthly reviews and reports to watch for challenges or discrepancies. They can also review annual property tax assessments and initiate any appeals as requested by the owner. A property manager keeps watch on the market value of the real estate in the area and makes suggestions for rental increases or decreases based on this information.

Maintenance duties

A property manager oversees the maintenance and repair of the building or facility, either independently or with the help of a maintenance person or department. Maintenance includes indoor cleaning and maintenance of common areas. Repairs include plumbing or electrical issues within the rented spaces. Outdoor maintenance includes lawn mowing, snow clearing, and parking lot maintenance.

A property manager also acts as an intermediary between tenant and owner for any suggestions for property improvement. If a tenant wishes to complete renovations or enhancements, the property manager can negotiate the terms and conditions of the construction. They also oversee any facility improvements, such as upgrading lighting fixtures to energy-efficient bulbs. As part of their maintenance duties, a property manager ensures that the building conforms to all by-laws and standards of safety.

Related: How To Improve Your Management Skills

Communication duties

A property manager works as a liaison between the property owner and tenants, providing open feedback and communication. They must develop a positive working relationship with the facility's tenants and communicate regularly on any issues that affect the property. A property manager also deals with concerns from either the owner or tenants regarding bylaw infractions, maintenance issues, security, and potential risks. They ensure tenants follow all rules and bring forward more significant matters to the property owner. A property manager also inspects all rented spaces regularly for risk assessment and potential insurance or liability claims.

Related: Communication Skills: Definitions and Examples

Supervisory duties

Depending on the size of the facility, a property manager may supervise other people on the management teams, such as maintenance and administrative staff. They oversee the work completed by these individuals to process reports, complete cleaning and maintenance tasks, and other duties as assigned. In addition, when outside vendors or contractors come onto the property, the property manager acts as the point of contact, supervises the work, and signs off on the invoice or contract.

Related: 12 Skills for Effective Supervisors

Skills required to be a property manager

There are several vital skills a property manager must have, including:

Communication skills

A successful property manager must have a solid foundation in communication skills, including writing, reading, listening, and verbal communication. Since they deal with a wide variety of people, a property manager must be transparent in their instructions and requests to tenants and provide concise information to those around them. In addition, they must be able to negotiate with tenants, bylaw officers, government officials, and contractors. Listening to tenants' concerns and asking questions for those interested in renting space are also critical skills.

Related: How To Improve Communication Skills

Customer service skills

A property manager must have highly developed customer service skills. Acting as the operating director of the building on behalf of the property owner, a property manager must maintain good relations with tenants and surrounding neighbours. They must handle tenant complaints and issues respectfully and positively by treating renters as customers. Creating a positive customer experience by having open lines of communication and expectations helps aid in this process.

Related: 15 Customer Service Interview Questions and Answers

Organizational skills

A property manager must remain organized with various projects, tenant occupancy, and daily operations. When there are many obligations happening at once, time management and prioritization are essential. Despite their jobs being office based, a property manager is often out of the office, showing units to potential renters, interacting with contractors or maintenance staff, and answering phone calls. They must be able to multitask and handle interruptions throughout their day while remaining organized and on task.

Related: Developing Proficient Organizational Skills

Interpersonal skills

A property manager must have the demeanour and personality traits to work with various kinds of people. Since they deal with contractors, tenants, employees, and property owners, they must have tact and respect when communicating with others. Skills in diplomacy, with the ability to problem-solve, are also beneficial. A property manager also needs patience and flexibility when dealing with tenants and acting as the intermediary between renters and owners. Problems can often take time to resolve, especially when they involve multiple parties. Remaining calm and adaptable promotes a good working relationship when working through these issues.

Related: Interpersonal Skills: Definitions and Examples

Average salary and outlook

According to Indeed Salary information, the national average salary for a property manager is $58,153 per year. The number and size of properties they manage, as well as their location, experience, education, and skill level can affect their salary. According to the Government of Canada Job Bank, you can expect property management positions to remain balanced over the next ten years. The Canadian government predicts appropriately 11,900 jobs to become available by 2028, with around 11,700 qualified candidates entering the workforce during the same period. This prediction makes the career of property management a balanced and moderate choice.

Related: How to Write a Property Manager Cover Letter (With Example)

Property manager requirements

There are often several requirements companies look for when hiring a property manager, including:

Education

Many real estate owners and property management companies require a solid educational background for property manager positions. Typically, the minimum requirement is a bachelor's degree related to property management, real estate, business, or finance. This is especially important for commercial or industrial facility property managers who handle a larger building with considerably more tenants and potential issues.

Related: How to Become a Property Manager (With Useful Skills)

Experience

Depending on the property owner's or company's requirements, a property manager usually has experience with managing buildings or facilities. It is common that larger facilities and financial budgets require more experience for the responsibilities associated with the position. A candidate may begin their career with a smaller residential property and gradually work their way up into larger and more complex facilities.

Certification

Many provinces and territories require property managers to register with their regional real estate association since they show units to potential tenants, collect rent and other payments, and complete leasing, rental, and other legal agreements. This certification or registration ensures that the property manager understands the legal obligations of their position. It also protects the tenants and renters by ensuring that property managers understand legal agreements and tenant rights.

Salary figures reflect data listed on the quoted websites at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organization and a candidate’s experience, academic background and location.

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