Effective Training: The Development of a Successful Property Manager
Communities thrive when property managers receive comprehensive training and have access to strong support services, advanced tools and innovative technology. Because a property manager’s role requires answering the needs of residents, supporting the association’s board and working to ensure operational success, thorough training from your property management company equates to a successful and thriving community. In short, effective training gives your property manager the tools to find solutions.
Becoming a Great Community Leader
Successfully managing the staff within a community requires strong leadership skills. That’s why training property managers in this area is so important. In addition to being a leader among the staff, a great property manager has the confidence to take the lead in the annual goal-setting process and makes recommendations that meet the board’s objectives and community’s goals.
A great property management company recognizes the importance that leadership plays in the success of a community and invests heavily in training that teaches self-leadership and people leadership.
Self-leadership: Enhances the property manager's awareness of their own abilities so they can properly improve their leadership skills.
People leadership: Helps directors and managers develop talent within the property management company through improved coaching and development feedback, motivation and empowerment.
Community Financial Stewardship
One of the most important aspects of managing a community is understanding its financial position in order to help expand its resources. A manager that fully comprehends their community’s financials can accurately assess the current budgetary status of the association, better advise the board when they are making important spending decisions and set priorities for both short and long term goals.
A knowledgeable property manager can better prepare your association for maintenance needs, repairs, necessary special assessments and resident delinquencies. This requires a good working knowledge of your community’s financial reports, such as its:
- Balance sheet.
- Income statement.
- Cash flow statement.
- General ledger.
- Accounts payable report.
- Account delinquency report.
- Cash disbursements ledger.
Training in this area is critical to your property manager’s success as it directly impacts the financial health of your community.
Making Decisions as a Group
Community associations are unique in that very little is decided by a single person. Group decision-making is at the heart of how a community functions, and the whole board should be in alignment on decisions to advance the overall vision of the community. Success often depends on consensus building and cooperation. It’s more of an art than a science, and your property manager needs to be a collaborative leader by learning how to facilitate decision-making on your board.
Training a property manager on board alignment involves instruction in areas such as conducting effective meetings, negotiation, consensus-building, collaboration styles and the group decision-making process.
Those learned skills can be applied to the many techniques that are used to build shared agreement and prevent conflicts, such as creating forums, having open houses or town hall meetings, forming committees and task forces and establishing a sense of ownership.
When your property manager masters these skills and becomes adept at facilitating group decision-making, your board will be in a better position to make more informed decisions more effectively.
Using Software and Technical Tools
Like most other roles today, property managers who need to execute their responsibilities efficiently must become well acquainted with the technology that supports their job functions. Whether it’s proprietary property management software, accounting software, or an association communication platform, your manager must learn how to use these tools to their full potential.
A great property management company will offer comprehensive and ongoing training on its in-house technologies as they are developed and/or updated. Technology training instructs property managers on how to navigate the internal tools used for accounting, communication, tracking work orders, reservations, amenity and service management, vendor invoice and payment tracking, and is typically offered via online training modules or video instruction.
When your manager is comfortable using all the tools that support your community, they can complete tasks more quickly and proficiently.
Communicating with Boards & Residents
Effectively supporting the diversity of people and personalities that make up a community requires purposeful communication. Property manager training will cover various techniques for communicating with different audiences and types of people, such as board members or residents.
“Fundamentally, being proficient in how one communicates with different audiences is a critical skill for great managers," explains Brian Butler, senior vice president at FirstService Residential. "We provide guidance and coaching to managers on how to adapt their own style and how to recognize opportunities for more effective communication with varied audiences. It is important that our interactions with residents are clear and transparent and nothing should get in the way of good communication."
Communication skills training covers a variety of topics such as effective writing, public speaking, relationship-building, creating effective presentations, coaching and active listening techniques.
With this kind of training in their back pocket, your property manager can better understand interpersonal nuances, tailor communication to each recipient and successfully express their thoughts and ideas to board members, residents and vendors.
By having effective communication skills, they can also avoid having to repeat explanations and prevent misunderstandings that arise when messages are poorly conveyed.
Managing Time Effectively
It's essential for a property manager with dozens of calls to make, documents to read and appointments to keep, to understand how to best prioritize tasks. Time management strategies are crucial to getting the job done in an organized, timely manner.
Your property manager's day is always busy. But by learning how to be more effective with the management of their time, a manager can maximize their use of time and ensure that they are addressing resident and board needs in a more efficient manner.
At FirstService Residential, we are fully committed to the ongoing education and growth of our property managers. We invest a significant amount of time and effort into their pursuit of it. In addition to the training that managers undergo to obtain their management license, our managers also attend regular training sessions throughout each year. They have access to both in-person instruction and online training modules through FirstService Residential University that give them the skills they need to excel in their role and help your community thrive.
For more information about how we ensure the success of our property managers, read our new guide, Achieving Excellence: The Development of a Successful Property Manager, or contact FirstService Residential today.
Download our guide
For more information about how we ensure the success of our community managers, read our new guide, Achieving Excellence: The Development of a Successful Property Manager.Download our new guide