Experts from the Institute of Real Estate Management share their knowledge to start you down the path of management professionalism.

Core Skills Every Manager Needs

  • Service, service, service. With building owners, excellent service means careful planning for property improvement, backed up by clear financial goals and benefits. With tenants, it’s all about well-executed maintenance tasks and frequent face-to-face conversations.
  • Multitasking. One minute you’re working on a complex budget and the next you’re responding to a stalled elevator. Property managers must be able to turn on a dime. Good organizational systems help.
  • Relationship building. Managers don’t oversee bricks and mortar. They work with owners, tenants, and employees, many of whom have conflicting goals.
  • Street smarts. Managers regularly face challenges they’ve never encountered before.

How to Generate Business

  • Study Public records. Use public records ( to find commercial real estate parcels that are facing foreclosure or other legal action. Contact the law firm handling the receivership and offer to do a management plan at cost.
  • Zero in on a niche. Specialize, be it in a geographic area, property type, or business model. Look for a specialization that fits your strengths.
  • Network with brokers, owners, and business people. They’ll know which businesses are expanding, which tenants are considering a move, and which properties are not meeting their leasing goals. That will help you pinpoint owners who are looking to make a management change.

Biggest Mistakes of a New Manager

  • Failing to communicate. Too often, making that call to connect with a tenant or owner gets overlooked. Schedule specific times each day to make regular contacts.
  • Being a know-it-all. If you don’t know the answer, don’t act like you do. Never hesitate to ask your peers for advice.
  • Not doing homework. Managers sometimes let their enthusiasm and desire to make operations run more smoothly trump the numbers. Take the time to do a cost-benefit analysis to demonstrate how a suggested change will make the property more competitive and profitable.

Courtesy of Realtor® Mag, April 2009