Anyone who owns or manages a rental property knows real estate is a competitive industry. To be successful, it’s important to have a wide skillset. A good landlord or property manager is committed to ongoing education and developing a variety of different skills. Not only does this allow you to be adaptable in a fluid market, but it also fosters trust with your tenants. Here’s a look at six essential skills that will give you a competitive edge:
- Strong Communication Skills
Landlords and property managers need to be able to communicate effectively with others. This includes not only tenants but also other real estate professionals and various contractors. Effective communication is essentially about coordination; it requires listening skills and the ability to deliver clear messages to make sure everyone is on the same page. You should also ensure that your tenants have multiple ways to get ahold of you and that you stay responsive to any questions and requests they have.
- Organization Skills
Organization is one of the most vital skills you can develop, especially if you manage multiple properties. From screening applicants to keeping track of rent payments, having well-organized processes in place will help you streamline your workload and multi-task efficiently. Good organization also minimizes stress. By defining your duties and creating organized to-do lists and deadlines, you can ensure you’re not missing anything.
- Staying Knowledgeable on Relevant Rental Laws
Landlords and property managers should familiarize themselves with all relevant rental laws. This includes what is and is not permitted in advertising, tenant selection, and lease agreements. Rental laws are always changing and can vary greatly by location, so it’s crucial to stay on top of the ones that affect your properties. With a firm grasp of the applicable laws, you can eliminate the chance of unintentional violations and potential legal issues.
- Marketing Skills
Many landlords and property managers overlook the importance of marketing but eventually, you’ll need to advertise a vacant rental. Knowing how to write a compelling listing as well as how to reach prospective tenants can make a significant difference in how long it takes to find the right resident for your property.
- Think Like an Investor
Property managers and landlords alike benefit by thinking like investors. This means having a firm understanding of the goal of a rental: to make money. Thinking like an investor and keeping an eye on the market allows you to make informed business decisions. It’s recommended to have an idea of where the local and national market is heading over the next 3-5 years. Consider factors like changing demographics, how much supply is likely to come to the market, and whether your area is likely to see a drop or growth in population.
- Become Tech Savvy
Like most industries, real estate is becoming increasingly digital – especially as younger generations of tenants enter the rental market. This means you should be savvy with the digital tools available to you. Tenants will increasingly expect the ability to communicate through online portals, access important documents like leases digitally, or pay rent online. Embracing these tools not only meets their needs, but many technological tools will streamline your processes, aid organization, and give you a competitive advantage.
While you might feel like some of these abilities don’t come naturally to you, they’re easy to develop and implement into your daily operations. By being adaptable and taking the initiative to evolve your skills, you’ll be setting yourself up for success.
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