The apartment industry is booming and choosing a career in multi-family housing promises both job and financial stability. Not to mention it is one of the best professional communities in the country! Many people start as a leasing or maintenance professional, however management is usually the goal. Being a manager in the apartment industry takes a combination of very specific skills to be successful. Below we have listed the top 5 skills needed to be an efficient and admired apartment manager.
1. Ability to Communicate with Various Employees
Unlike most management positions where you are instructing and overseeing a certain type of profession, apartment managers must communicate efficiently with many different types of people in their day-to-day. A typical week entails communicating with tenants regarding apartment complex rules, due dates, repairs and rent collection. It also involves assigning and overseeing the work of apartment staff, such as janitors, plumbers, electricians and receptionists. Often, an apartment manager must also hire outside workers to perform tasks for the complex, such as contractors to make structural repairs and improvements, landscapers to care for the grounds, or staffing companies to help find employees.
2. Continued Education
One of the most attractive aspects of the apartment industry is that it does not turn away non-degree holders. This means that you can expect to have a successful career and climb the ladder without ever attending college. This does not mean education is not valued, programs such as YARDI and other apartment-related software must be mastered to be a successful manager. There are also multiple certifications that one can achieve within the industry. Luckily, your local Apartment Association offers educational classes in all the subjects that matter in the industry.
3. Experience in the Industry
The apartment industry rewards those that stick around. You can expect to become a manager in two to five years if you make your goals clear to your management and take advantage of all the continued education you are offered through your property and Apartment Association. Smaller properties are much more likely to hire or promote a manager who has no management experience, while a larger property looks for prior management roles. In general, apartment owners seek managers with experience and knowledge of landlord-tenant laws, bookkeeping, rental deposits, leases and rental collections.
Accounting is a skill that you will learn naturally working in the apartment industry. The level of accounting becomes higher when you enter management, often having to report earnings and losses to apartment owners. If your goal is to go into management, you would do well to take an adult education class at your local community college in accounting to gain an edge.
Flexibility is an important skill within any management role, but especially in the apartment industry. There are constantly issues popping up that need to be taken care of immediately, from maintenance issues to resident complaints. There is also the task of having to keep your employees happy and engaged to avoid turnover. Effective apartment managers know that they must have contingency plans for all situations. Outsourcing is a fantastic way to keep up with it all, from hiring needs to complex maintenance issues. Keeping a flexible attitude is a must.
Being in management in the apartment industry can be extremely rewarding. Apartment managers are among the best people in the world because they know that above all, people are the most important aspect of their job.