• Thu. Sep 21st, 2023

UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | A property manager oversees all rental property operations, including marketing, maintenance, vendor relations, and customer service.

Beginners tend to underestimate the knowledge and abilities required to be successful in this profession. It’s tough to balance both the property-related concerns and the people management skills required.

Whether you want to invest in property to let and manage yourself, or manage property on behalf of others, or if you looking to hire a property manager, it is important to know the secrets that set the most successful property managers apart.

Secret # 1: Think Like an Investor

Successful property managers think like investors. They understand that the goal of managing a property is to make profits. Managers often face challenges where they must innovate to increase their revenue.

Mr Ronald Kizza, a property manager at Excel Properties, explains, that sometimes property managers have to deal with old, unattractive properties for which the owner expects a lot of revenue within a short time. However it is much harder to attract and retain good tenants when a property is not of a high standard. If the structure is not new, you may need encourage the owner to renovate it to attract tenants that are willing to pay higher rates. 

Mr Kizza adds the amount of rent you can command depends not only on what the property looks like, but also its location. Access to amenities such as restaurants, shopping, easy access to main roads, etc. all impact your returns. A good property manager will capitalise on a property’s benefits, and help manage the expectations of property owners where there are inadequacies. 

To further maximise profitability, successful property managers will also screen clients before signing any contracts to weed out potential defaulters or fraudsters.

Mr Kizza recommends, “property managers have to come up with the best strategies of getting genuine clients, because the market is very competitive and clients may make a choice on their own from what they have seen and what they want.”

Secret # 2: Exemplify Responsive Customer Service

Property management goes beyond being a good salesperson. While having the skills to attract new owners and tenants is important, it’s the strong relationships you foster with them that turns them into lifelong, loyal customers. The best way to build these relationships is by always striving to exceed their expectations.

Property managers must serve their customers (tenants and owners) by making themselves readily available to handle any inquiries. Having a pool of responsive and pre-approved contractors or service providers will be helpful for any emergency maintenance work to ensure better tenant retention.

Nathan Amaral, owner of Wakanda Properties, Kampala, focuses mainly on short-term rentals. As such, Nr Amaral’s apartments are fully furnished apartments. He provides not only the furniture, but all the other amenities that you would expect in a hotel; linens, towels, soaps, iron and ironing board, small fridge, microwave, toaster, coffee machine, etc. He strives exceed the expectations of his tenants by anticipating all of their needs.

Secret # 3  Stay Organised

Property management requires a high level of attention to detail and organisation. A lack of organisation can lead to serious issues, such as vendor invoices being misplaced, leading to late payments, or a message from a resident regarding a maintenance problem that falls through the cracks.

Thomas Toye, Owner of Arthur Thomas Properties, manages over 820 rentals. He says having a systemic approach is vital in this business: “There are so many facets to property management it can be overwhelming and complex to keep up with everything. Each property is like a separate business with its own accounting, tenants, and contractors… and of course owners, too. For a property management company, that can be a lot to keep organised, so a systematic approach is critical.”

Mr Toye says that by defining your duties and creating checklists according to deadlines, you are less likely to overlook any tasks. He further recommends investing in property management software to manage all aspects of residents, contractors, owners, leasing agents, maintenance staff, and administration.

Mr Kizza says neglected properties are a sign that a property manager is unorganised. He explains that these neglected properties become even more costly because of the repairs they will need when marketing them. He recommends that property managers reflect and commit themselves to workloads they can handle. 

Secret # 4 Good Budget Management

In the long run, property managers must ensure that their properties remain profitable by diligently tracking and managing finances. A property manager negotiates lease agreements, collects rent, and coordinates vendor and utility payments.

The property manager should have enough money set aside to manage unexpected issues quickly.

“A property manager should keep some money aside for such emergencies, because you cannot wait for the property owner to come and work on the emergency such as power blackout, collapsing walls, shortage of water and any other emergency. You cannot let tenants spend more than a week without power or water unless it’s a general problem,” Mr Kizza explains

If you are looking to hire a property manager or become one yourself, keep these fundamentals in mind. Anyone who works in the real estate industry knows that it is highly competitive. Learning and adopting the techniques discussed in this article can set you or your property manager apart.


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