Property Management Best Practices: How to Know if You Have an Excellent Property Manager

Let’s face it: hiring the right property manager to care for your valuable real estate investment is essential. When you’re entrusting the day-to-day operations of your condo or building to an individual or an organization, making sure that they are capable and competent is the best way to preserve your rental property’s value, maximize your revenue, keep your tenants happy, and to protect yourself from legal liability.

In many ways, recent changes to the Ontario Condominium Act were brought about to protect condo property owners from mismanagement. These changes include training and licensing requirements for property managers to ensure that they possess an established minimum amount of experience and industry knowledge.

Since individuals and property management companies all take different approaches, these standards are in place to help make sure your property manager is, at the very least, competent. But what exactly does it mean to be an excellent property manager?

We’ll examine six best practices that will let you know if you’ve got an outstanding property manager taking care of your rental inventory.

6 Qualities of an Excellent Property Manager

Prior to the 2017 changes to the Ontario Condo Act, there were few legal requirements governing who could act as a property manager, or establishing how they should operate. Now, anyone wishing to work as a Condo property manager has to be licensed by the Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario (ACMO) with demonstrated competency in the areas such as:

  • Condominium Law
  • Physical Building Management
  • Condominium Administration and Human Relations

But beyond these minimum requirements, there are additional skills an excellent property manager should have, and in many cases they can be difficult to teach. Your manager has to wear several hats at once, and they have to have the skillset to be able to juggle these multiple responsibilities.

They Maintain Strong Industry Relationships

In the course of fulfilling their duties, your property manager will have to source and work with contractors, tradespeople, and other suppliers. With so many bad actors out there, it’s essential that you are getting the right people to do the work efficiently and cost-effectively. And in many cases, sourcing good suppliers and contractors boils down to word-of-mouth and industry contacts. That’s why your property manager should have been around long enough to have formed solid working relationships with the people you’ll need to keep your property in top shape.

Beyond sourcing people to do the work, they’ll have to be managed in a timely and efficient manner. Condo boards, in particular, will want assurances that these vendors can be relied upon to provide services when needed. Leveraging these industry relationships means:

  • They’ll know who to contact when issues arise
  • They can often get to the bottom of disputes such as poor performance or billing problems quickly and easily
  • They will only work with people in whom they have confidence
  • You won’t have to worry about inadvertently hiring inferior service providers.

They Are Committed to Professional Development

Getting licensed to operate as a property manager in Ontario requires a minimum level of training and education. CMRAO offers continuing education courses to ensure that anyone working in that capacity has the necessary skill set to act in a competent and capable manner.

However, one characteristic of a strong property manager is a demonstrated commitment to ongoing professional learning and development beyond the required minimums.

Are they dedicated to continuous learning? Do they stay on top of the latest industry trends and news? Do they exchange knowledge and expertise with others?

Look for someone who demonstrates a passion for learning and teaching. Examples include being active in online industry forums, sharing ideas via social media, or acting as a mentor by publishing articles on business blogs like business-frontiers.org.

They Have Excellent Interpersonal Skills

Along with their general industry knowledge and expertise, your property manager has to be tactful and diplomatic. This is especially true when dealing with tenants, residents, and condo board members. They should have superior dispute resolution skills and be comfortable handling complaints, both responding to them quickly while ensuring that they don’t jeopardize relationships with other stakeholders.

They are Organized and Detail-Oriented

Managing a property means juggling several important tasks at once. At any given time they’ll need to be keeping tabs on:

  • Building repairs and maintenance activities
  • Scheduling inspections
  • Preparing reports and communications
  • Performing rent collection and financial duties
  • Issuing RFPs and sourcing suppliers
  • Tracking and responding to changes to policies, by-laws, and other legal issues
  • Communicating with tenants and others

So, attention to detail is critical, and those property managers with a track record of organizational skills and who employ proven project management practices are more likely to ensure that things go smoothly.

Excellent Dispute Resolution Skills

When disputes do arise, your property manager will be relied upon to make sure they don’t escalate further and get resolved as quickly as possible, to everyone’s satisfaction. Because your rental properties don’t operate in a vacuum, you’ll need to make sure that everyone involved can work together, and won’t reduce the efficiency of your day-to-day operations.

At the end of the day, you’ll retain quality tenants and provide incentives for condo boards to act in your best interests.

Ownership of a Great Set of Core Values

Finally, your property manager should be grounded in a strong set of core values to ensure that as a client, you’re receiving the best service possible. At ICC, we’ve built a team around the following core values:

 

  • Integrity: We strive to build strong, long lasting relationships by delivering trustworthy, honest and strict ethical processes. 
  • Commitment: We are committed to our profession, loyal to the people around us and focused on learning and personal growth. All with a view to enhancing our clients’ lives and making our communities a better place to live.
  • Care: We truly care about our clients, each other, the image we project for ourselves and the residents in our communities. Caring is the promise we make to ourselves and to others when we are trusted with the management of their single biggest investment.
  • We deliver WOW: It’s all about the experience. At ICC, we go above and beyond the call of duty and provide true value to our clients.

 

The fact that your property manager must have the proper certifications, experience, values and training to operate in Ontario doesn’t necessarily mean they will do great work for you. By looking out for these five best practices, you’ll be well on your way to hiring the property manager that will maximize your ROI and help you get the most out of your real estate investment.

ICC Property Management is the award-winning property-management company of choice for condo owners throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Our licensed and certified management team has extensive experience with all aspects of condo management in Ontario, and they’re ready to help you get the most out of your property. Request a free management proposal and get started today!



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