There is a common thread running through people who achieve greatness. Alexander the Great and Robert E. Lee were the smartest military strategists ever, Muhammad Ali and Rocky Marciano were two of the greatest boxers in history and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven were the most exceptional composers of all time. Their commonalities were undoubtedly passion for their work, loyalty to their constituents and the habit of always delivering more than is expected. A great apartment manager is no different in terms of passion and loyalty.
Before You Start Managing Property
It’s a good idea to get some formal training, such as the certificate program for real estate management at Baruch College. Education won’t necessarily prepare you for greatness, but you’ll have a good background from which to springboard your career.
Regardless of the quality of an education, they can’t teach you passion and loyalty. Those attributes come from the heart, and if you aren’t already passionate about this field of endeavor or if customer loyalty seems like a foreign concept, you will never be an exceptional property manager/owner. If you buy the apartments strictly to make money with little regard for your tenants’ satisfaction, you might be better off hiring an experienced property manager to take care of them.
Go Out of Your Way to Get It Right
Every detail matters in the property management business, and your tenants have differing ideas about which details are most important. The same applies to prospective renters who may be considering renting your apartment. American apartment owners can tap into resources such as the American Apartment Owners Association for tools and tips that keep you on top of your game.
A great manager will keep the property in immaculate condition: manicured lawns and landscaping, a tidy parking lot and well-maintained exterior lighting. Keep a high curb appeal—it will attract new business as well as give your existing tenants a sense of pride in where they live.
Amenities are important and even vital in certain instances. If the apartments across the road offer coffee makers and hair dryers to short-term holiday renters, you have to do the same. If you have special amenities like a hot tub or pool, maintain it with the right supplies and make sure everything up to date and working properly. Make sure you mention all the extras you provide in your marketing efforts (newsletters, signs, website, fliers and brochures), too. If you don’t mention that you provide a free iron and ironing board, prospects will just assume you don’t.
Let current and prospective tenants know when you upgrade or improve your property, especially if it enhances safety or security. It isn’t exorbitantly expensive to add or upgrade the security equipment. For instance, a DIY alarm is less expensive than basic cable in most metro areas.
Keeping Tenants Happy is a Profitable Affair
When you give tenants more for their money, they are more likely to renew their leases and complain less. They’ll also give you the best kind of advertising out there (free of charge): positive word of mouth.