Tag: Property Management Training

Building Manager Training

Property ManagementWhat training does your building manager need? How much past experience has your property manager and does he have experience with the systems that you use? For example, if you’re using a new computer system to keep track of all work activities, and reporting of expenses you may want to train him on these items. There may also be training required on specialist pieces of equipment that are used within the building to provide service to customers, heating of the building etc. All of this should be considered as part of the building manager training program.

In addition a building manager is interfacing with your customers all of the time and represents the owner of the building in all things. Customer relationship management, dealing with conflict etc may also be required as training for the building manager. If you are getting lots of complaints from tenants, you may want to find out what the fundamental issues are and initiate some sort of training to deal with it. The building manager really represents you to your customers and as a property owner, it makes sense to hire the best!

Building Manager Training – What is Needed

Every buildings needs are different. High rise vs. townhouse condo Residential vs. commercial buildings all have different kinds of equipment that are used to maintain the property outside as well as to maintain the indoor common elements of property. Each time you purchase or upgrade equipment further training may be required. This could be as simple as making sure that they’ve read all of the instruction booklets and maintenance booklets and have developed and adhere to a maintenance program.

Local by laws as well as State or provincial laws change from time to time. It could be as simple as making sure that they read all of the notices, or for a particularly complex piece of legislation, there may be a one-day seminar training session that should be held and attended by all property managers.

Accounting software updates occur all of the time. A one hour training session could be needed by your property manager delivered by the accounting group to ensure that all expenses are recorded properly.

Building Manager Training – CRM Systems

CRM systems or customer relationship management systems are also upgraded on a regular basis. Anytime there is a change property managers and anyone who enters information into the CRM system should be trained on these systems. It could be as short as a one hour seminar, or you may need a more in-depth session for more complex updates and changes.

Equipment training is also valuable to ensure that the equipment is handled properly, and a safe manner for the operator as well as individuals that may be in close contact with the equipment.

Contract management training maybe also needed it contracts are updated. Contracts may be updated based on legal changes necessitated by bylaw changes, or updates based on issues that have been identified in previous contracts.

Communication skills on the job are extremely important in dealing with prospective clients, clients and owners. If your property manager could use better communication skills in terms of verbal and written activities there are one-day training seminars available.

There are always Special needs of the job that required training from time to time. You have a choice of either letting the property manager or the person operating equipment etc. experiment or you can train them properly so that they will operate it in a safe manner and avoid accidents that could damage the property, the operator, or individuals in the area where the equipment is being operated.


Qualifications for Property Management

Weekend House WatchersThe qualifications for property management are pretty loose. Just about anyone can set themselves up as a property manager. The big companies and the serious companies will have trained professionals on staff and people with lots of experience. Some of the smaller companies will hire just about anyone who has had some experience. You need to have experience dealing with tenants. Someone who is handy at looking after property or is available for the job.

Smaller companies and startup property management companies may be light on both experience and qualifications. In addition the board or owners of the property may also not have a lot of experience. They are depending on the property management firm to have the qualifications. They need experience to help them  keep everything legal as well as run the property efficiently and cost effectively.

What are the Qualifications for Property Management to Look For?

The questions most owners of rental buildings and condo board members ask themselves is what should we look for when we hire a property manager. What prices should be paid for the services that are being provided. What services should we expect. On the other hand these companies have an objective to keep everything running smoothly since that maintains their income. But at the same time they want to keep their costs to a minimum.

Many condo or apartment management companies will charge a flat rate per apartment to rent out the unit, to manage the unit and collect the rent. This will include miscellaneous reporting, tax reports, rent rolls and comparison to budgets that have been set up. Some will charge a finder’s fee for renting a unit while others will include this cost as part of their per door fee.

Attending board meetings or owner meetings may be included in the per door fee or they may be extra. Collection services and attending court proceedings may also be included for those situations where tenants skip town and do not pay the rent.

It is important to delve into all of the services that are provided as part of the regular fees and what exclusions are not included. Your property manager’s expertise and qualifications may be a factor in this equation.

Qualifications for Property Management – Government Requirements and Restrictions

Some government jurisdictions are also planning on enacting laws requiring boards and owners to take courses to train them in these areas. This is intended to protect condominium owners who are not on the board and do not always have much of a say in many decisions. The idea is to educate the board, investors and property managers on the functions of a condo board. this includes regulations regarding renting of units and the functions of property managers. The objective is to help everyone avoid costly mistakes and misunderstandings that could cause difficulty for many owners.

Rent increase legislation is popular in many jurisdictions by politicians who are going after the popular vote. Since more people rent than there are owners, these laws often are passed by politicians who are going after votes. They do not really care about the investment needed to maintain a building. Rents will be allowed to increase by a calculated percentage each year based on many factors. Rent controls and rent legislation is another area that property managers need to have expertise in or at least access to.

The smaller companies may not be able to afford to have someone on staff who is familiar with the methodology of how rent increases are calculated. As a result this could be another additional cost. The last thing a landlord wants to encounter is a charge by a tenant that rents have been raised too high and have to rescind some of the rent increases. It is costly and looks bad for the landlord and usually means less maintenance work is completed around the building.

Check out the qualifications for property management carefully before you hire a property manager. Take the appropriate educational courses to set yourself in a good position.


Property Manager Training

Property ManagementProperty management training can be learned on the job and in the classroom. There is nothing like on the job training for many professions, including property managers; however no one wants to pay for someone to be trained on the job and have to live with their mistakes. Most property managers will take a variety of courses these days to certify them for property management and to ensure that they understand the basics of what it takes to manage a building and all of the associated tenant issues. A well-trained property manager can save you thousands of dollars in better tenants and reduced expenses! Better tenants cause less damage and some will even spend small amounts improving their units in return for great service and good relations with the property manager.

Property Manager Training

Other Aspects of Property Management

Property management is also much more than just dealing with maintenance of various components that are required to keep a building safe and operational. There can be a lot of interaction with clients. This interaction can be with the owners who want status updates, who want see that their money is invested wisely and spent in a manner that makes sense for them and the tenants. Above all they would like the opportunity to continue making a profit going forward in time.

There is also a lot of interaction with tenants as well. In one respect the property manager is representing the owner. They are the interface that the tenants see possibly every day and their frustration etc with owner policies can be taken out on the property manager. The property manage is also the guy who can help the tenants with a lot of minor issues which enhances the reputation of both the owners and management. It is the property manager’s job to interpret the guidelines imposed by the owner and apply them to many different situations that may arise with tenants and with the building he or she is responsible for.

Property Management is a People Job

In many cases property management must also be a people job. With all of the interaction with tenants, owners, various trades that come to the property to do some kind of work and guests of the tenants, property managers need to have excellent people skills as well. Diffusing a situation that could erupt and involve all tenants for example can make for a far more harmonious workplace as well as save everyone a lot to time, energy and emotional distress. Property managers must be good at dealing with and managing people without getting everyone upset.

Property management training does not always cover these practical aspects of managing a building. Really this is more about interactions with customers and management. It is about dealing with problems and solving them. It is about people management, conflict management and communications. Not all property management courses cover these areas or provide training in communications for example

Local Bylaws and City or State Laws

Another area that property managers must pay attention to is local laws and bylaws that might affect the day-to-day decision-making when it comes to dealing with tenants, trades and city inspectors. Most people do not even realize that in some cities there are bylaws covering a multitude of issues and as a property manager it is your job to be aware of those that may affect your job and the building you are responsible to manage. If you decide to move to a new city to take a property management job, some time should be spent getting to know all of the local bylaws that might impact your new job.

At the very least, spend some time reviewing the major ones that could get you or your owners in a spot of trouble.


Apartment Manager Training

.Property ManagementApartment manager training can cover a very large set of responsibilities for building maintenance which can include all outdoor facilities, indoor common areas and tenants units. Depending on the size of the building, this work may be split between several people or one person may be responsible for everything. Some training courses will be generalized and cover all aspects while others will focus on specific functions. Then there is also lots of on the job training as well that covers the companies processes and customer needs. Whatever you do, always use common sense when making decisions about managing an apartment and if you do not know, ask someone for advice. There are lots to learn and you really never want to stop learning.

Apartment Manager Training – Managing the Apartment Grounds

Outdoor apartment management training would include setting contracts for all landscaping activities, monitoring these activities and verifying the quality of the work. This would also include garbage removal and disposal, snow clearing if applicable and keeping the entrance area and parking areas clean and free of any debris. the apartment manager may also complete some of the on site repairs as well as perform some of the regular maintenance activities.

Indoor apartment management training also must cover the heating systems, arranging for elevator maintenance, cleaning of all common areas and any painting or repairs that must be arranged for. The apartment manager may do some of this work themselves or they may be responsible to hire contractors to do the work on the behalf of the building owners following applied guidelines.

Managing Tenants in Apartments

Tenant units are tricky in the sense that no one but the tenant can enter the tenants unit unless arrangements are made ahead of time with appropriate permissions. Repairs and upgrades must be booked with both the tenant and the contractor who is scheduled to do the work. All processes of this type must follow appropriate local bylaws as well as federal and local state or provincial laws.

Another area that is often neglected is the interface and reporting to the owner or owners of the property. depending on how involved the owners are with their property, this can take a great deal of time to provide status updates, reports and discuss issues the owners may be concerned about. Most property management companies provide monthly cash flow reports and tenant occupancy reports to the owners. They may also provide a brief status report as well to the owners to keep them informed regarding any issues the owners are concerned about.

Apartment Manager Training – Attend Board Meetings

Attending board meetings and annual meetings are another area that property managers must do. Their duties at meetings such as these is to provide budgets, based on input from the directors, provide updates on current cash flow and alignment with the current year budget, provide updates on various situations that are of interest to the owners and the board. They may be requested to assess various improvements, request quotes and report back to the board with  recommendations. They may also be requested to keep minutes and issue them to the board or the owners in general.

This is an entire different area of skills that are required including everything from public speaking, preparing reports, budgeting, requesting quotes and dealing with complex situations. In some situations there will be conflict between the board and the other owners about various policies. It is usually up to the board to set the policy and the property manager to implement the policy. If something is unclear,  you may want to refer the issue back to the board for clarification. Skills in dealing with conflict may also be required when owners or the board are at odds with each other. These skills can be developed on the job, but then training in public speaking etc can be obtained separately and independently. These skills will add many benefits to the current job as well as all future job opportunities.


Building Management Training

Building Management TrainingBuilding management training covers a lot of subjects that superintendents and rental managers need to know while on the job. Property managers must learn all of the theory as well as the practical side of doing the job. These courses cover everything from looking after garbage disposal to dealing with tenants who do not look after their units and skip town without paying the rent. There are processes to use in these situations and laws that apply. Often these laws are local in nature by state or province. In addition property management will vary greatly depending on whether the building is a residential building or whether it is a commercial building. Security, heating, parking etc to name a few will be significantly different for these types of buildings. Property management also involves the management of contracts for work that is completed by outside contractors. Grounds maintenance, snow removal, heating plant annual checks and so on will need to be monitored and checked for quality work.

Building Management Training – Rental Management

Rental management is part of a building management. Advertising for tenants, qualifying tenants based on income and records from other locations, with or without pets and children and a host of other criteria that come into play without breaking any prejudicial laws is complex. Bad decisions cost money for the tenants as well as the owners and must be carefully considered. Most jurisdictions will not allow for discrimination in any manner at all, so property rental managers must be well aware of the laws in this regard.

Building Maintenance

Buildings must also be maintained. Systems need to be monitored and budgets prepared to help ensure that repairs are completed on time and that there is money in the budget to handle both known maintenance items as well as emergency repairs. All of these things and much more is covered as part of building management training. Routine maintenance plans should be drawn up and prepared. Each plan will depend very much on the type of building, whether it has elevators or not, underground parking, exercise rooms, pools, etc. Every building is unique and while many activities will be the same, many will also be different. A good property manager will be on the ball and make sure that they have captured everything that needs to be done to maintain the building properly.

Insurance

Building managers must also carry liability insurance to cover them in case there are situations that develop leaving them liable for claims by tenants or the owners if they are under contract to the owners. Many owners will hire a property management company to manage a building on their behalf hence the reason to make sure that the property manager has adequate liability insurance. Building construction is also different depending on whether you are dealing with a high-rise condo, townhouses or single family homes. The technology is also different as well, all of which must be managed by the building management team.

Building Management Training – Security

Another aspect of building management which training should cover is security of the building. Malls are property management situations which need to have a security team in place to deal with everything from stealing to pick pocketing to loitering. Apartment buildings have much different requirements and the really expensive places will have a concierge who provides services to tenants such as calling taxis as well as providing soft security for the building. These requirements must be managed by the property management company based on the requirements of the owner as well as the type of building that is managed. Experienced property managers will be prepared to recommend the appropriate level of security based on the area the building is in, the history of the building and the needs of the tenants.


Building Management Training Courses

Building management training courses are well worth the effort it takes to study and pass the courses. After all if you are going to be looking after a building that is worth hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, and this is a huge responsibility. Many investors, tenants as well as guests and people working at the building depend on you doing your job properly, being able to deal with routine issues as well as any emergencies that may occur. This is an important job and requires a person who takes responsibility seriously and will keep their building looking it’s best.

Training courses will cover everything from real estate services, to professional ethics to professional liability. There actually are so many items to cover that the course we reviewed was over 16 pages in length just for the table of contents. It is important for property managers to understand the different laws that apply to commercial buildings, to condominiums, to co-operatives and residential buildings. Owners have rights as do the tenants of the building. The local bylaws may also vary by town and city even in the same site.

Building Management Training as a Diplomat

Often the property manager is caught between the owners and the tenants in many issues. They must be able to keep both parties satisfied while staying within the local laws that protect tenants as well as owners. They have to strike the right balance, know the laws and know when to push back to keep both sides working in a fair manner. They also must be able to manage the expenses and stay within the budget set by the owners of the building. If there are emergencies, they must have the expertise to know how to deal with these emergencies and manage the cost of repairs.

There are also laws that deal with renters and how you need to manage situations involving rent increases, vacancies, renting units, expelling units and collections. As a property manager, particularly if you are managing a large building, there may be multiple people in your organization each managing an element of the overall job. There could be a rental manager for example, while another person looks after maintenance etc. Each will be an expert in their particular field, however someone must be able to cover for them while they are on vacation or away on training.

Ultimately there is one person responsible for everything and this person must also ensure that all of the people in the organization receives the appropriate building management training to allow them to do their jobs properly and legally.Time management, people management, relationship management, are just some of the soft skills that property management teams must take into account in order to be successful. Leadership skills, communications skills and writing skills are also important to ensure that these managers not only know their subjects, but they can also communicate what they need to when reviewing a dispute for example.

Training Updates

Property managers who have been on the job for some time can also benefit from training. These people have a great deal of experience and can be relied on to do a good job. However they need training updates from time to time on changing laws, technology changes and perhaps computer courses to adapt to new software programs.  Most people will appreciate the value of keeping up to date.

This training is well worth the effort and money it takes. On the job experience is also very important. You can learn from the experts and from managers who have been in the business for some time. Set up a weekly review meeting to go over issues, concerns you may have and to discuss general guidelines for your property. In creasing communication can only help you when you are responsible for large buildings.


Property Management System

Property Management SystemA property management system must have a many features that help the property manager. They help manage the rent of the units they are managing but many other activities around the property. They must  keep track of all cash flows which include rent income and expenses. All work orders that are associated with the property for repairs and maintenance that need to be completed are included. Some owners want a lot of detail so they can review how costs are being managed and others do not. This is something that can be used by the property manager to differentiate your business from other competitors.

Property Management System – Information Readily Available

They must have these reports and information available should the board call for the information or the board asks for an audit of all cash flows and expenses. It is common for an audit to be completed every year to assure the owners that all cash flows are correct and that owner policies are being adhered to.

As a property manager you always need to be prepared to provide all of the information as needed. An excellent property management system will allow you to meet your own property management needs as well as the owners of the buildings that you are managing.

Reporting should be excellent as well so that the manager can quickly tell how many units are rented at what rent level, who is coming up for renewal and how much money is being spent on each unit. Units that are triggering a lot of unnecessary expenses should be flagged in some manner so that they are brought to the attention of the property manager immediately. Sometimes there are a lot of incidental expenses which by themselves are not very expensive, bit over a year can add up to more than expected.

Information for Owners from Property Management Systems

Reports also need to be available for the owner or investor of the building. Accounting reports showing the total income and expenses by all categories with bottom line summaries is usually the minimum that is required. These reports should allow drill downs to individual units that may have higher numbers than what are the average for advertising or repairs as an example. While paper copies are helpful, with today’s systems, online reports that allow browsing of the results and drill downs into more detail should be available.

Investors also want alerts for high expense, for rent renewal, for non-payment of rent etc. There are many items that should be tracked with property management software which helps the senior management team manage large numbers of units and stay on track with various issues. Weekly reviews and monthly reviews of all of the top line numbers with exception analysis should be the norm. A good property management system can help a great deal to make this process smooth, while providing the answers at the same time.

Complex Property Management Software

Property management software is becoming more and more complex all of the time. Property managers either must invest in training for their people to learn how to maintain and use these systems or they need to hire someone who knows your software inside out so they can deliver all of your needs. There is nothing more frustrating when the support people from the software company tell you that a feature or report is available, when your people should have been able to deliver these results from the beginning.

Software systems can be expensive, but they can deliver significant results. Invest in appropriate training for your system and utilize the train the trainer approach to keep everyone up to speed on all of the features. Once you have mastered their use, your customers will be impressed with the information provided and your attention to details which is enabled by the property management systems you are using. Invest wisely and use your customers requirements as a means to select the best system for your needs.


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