Property Managers: A One Man Band?
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Juggling a portfolio of diverse properties is never easy. The needs of one building aren't likely to be the same as the others and they're even less likely to run on a maintenance timetable that fits perfectly with the next one. However, if as it balancing the specific needs of a building wasn't enough to stress even the most hardened property manager out, then perhaps it's their own skill set that might.
Can property managers be a one man band?
It's quite right to respect that people managing building portfolios will all differfrom one to the other and have expertise that is stronger in some areas over others.
While one may excel in financing, for example, being able to work out bank reconciliation fees and maintain clean balance sheets, paying contractors on time and so on, another person might excel in scheduling maintenance work, or details associated with security.
Of course it's enjoying these kinds of individual challenges and aspects of property management that makes it such a rewarding job.
However, it would be unrealistic to think that any one person can manage all the requirements of building management and maintenance alone. That's because one would have to be an expert at everything, from accounting to sewage management, to be able to carry out the job - this person simply doesn't exist.
In response to an upcoming change in policy regarding property management in New South Wales, Australia, K. S. Stephen from Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, summed it up perfectly. He explained that in reality, property managers can't be truly proficient at all of the complex duties expected of them.
"Property management requires skills in building laws, accounting, landscaping, electricity, water, and sewage management, lift management, engineering, and human resources. No one person or professional can claim monopoly or overall knowledge of all these skills involved," he said.
How can property managers ease the burden?
The support of one's own company and sharing the workload with fellow property managers can of course help lift the burdens placed upon any property manager, but property management software too could end up being an invaluable resource.
For those who feel their organisation isn't quite as timely as it should be, online property management software companies create tools tools which can alert them to the collection of rent, planned maintenance operations and surveyor schedules for the inspection of gas and electrical appliances.
For those who aren't mathematically-minded, there are reporting tools to calculate invoices, total rental payments and other contractual finances.
For those who also struggle to write reports, as well as deal with their maths, there are advanced analytical and reporting tools available - presented in easy-to-digest graphs, or in formats that can be saved and transferred digitally.
Finally for those who aren't able to locate things long in the past, there are advanced archiving features which keep historical records of work done to buildings, collection of rents, tenant correspondence and so on.
These kinds of examples suggest that while it's true there's no such thing as a one-man band in property management, there are ways to cover up the weaknesses of any property manager.
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