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Biz & Co

Breaking Into the Field of Property Management With Brian Setencich

Breaking into any industry is usually a very difficult endeavor due to the increasing barriers to entry. For those unfamiliar, these are the competitor-driven boundaries that are put in place to prevent newcomers from obtaining a market share. So, if a mobile phone company attempts to sell their devices, it is likely that Apple and Samsung will overpower it immediately.

As unexpected as it may seem, barriers to entry are present in every single industry. One of the most overlooked markets, however, is property management. Just consider, for example, the last time that you might have wondered about how competitive property manager jobs are. Odds are, this has not happened very frequently. So, how exactly would someone go about breaking into this field?

Education and Credentials

Expectedly, the first thing that every professional should obtain is the necessary education and credentials. Meaning, they should spend an adequate time getting familiar with the area’s property laws, customer service techniques, and more. Additionally, there are multiple courses that lead to a management-based license. Although these types of credentials are often not made mandatory, they help one establish decent credibility.

Fortunately, most property managers will not have to entertain formal degree programs that last four or more years. Instead, they can obtain the necessary knowledge by doing mini-courses or short-term programs. This means that they will be able to begin their career sooner than the vast majority of other professionals.

Hiring the Best Workforce

According to Brian Setencich, property management is a perfect example of a team-based environment. This is because it revolves around interactions with everyone from the lower-level staff members to maintenance experts. In other words, a single property manager without a team will be futile. The upside, however, is the fact that the manager tends to be the one who makes most of the hiring decisions.

Thus, they are responsible for gathering the best workers who share the same passion. Doing so creates an opportunity to pinpoint those who will fit into the culture well. Additionally, it gives the manager an important ability to lead their subordinates from the early stages of the venture.

Know the Basics of Finance

Contrary to the popular belief, being a property manager does not simply revolve around managing a residential property. Instead, it comes with a series of back-end duties that these professionals must handle on a daily basis. One of these obligations includes monetary dealings that require a good understanding of accounting and finance.  Developing and managing annual operating budgets is an extremely important element of the industry. Analyzing and reporting on monthly budget variances is also vital.

To better understand this concept, Brian Setencich advises thinking about rent-based issues. For instance, if someone defaults on their lease, the manager will be responsible for facilitating a solution to the loss of revenues. This is commonly done by selling the previous tenant's debt to a debt-collecting agency. In order to do so, however, the property manager must understand finance and ask for the right price for the debt. Hence the time value of money can come into play even in property management!

Unbeatable Customer Service Skills

The property management industry is one of the many markets where one's success is directly related to clients' reviews. This is because most tenants will engage in a lengthy research process before signing a lease. If they happen to stumble upon an abundance of negative reviews along the way, however, they will be unlikely to enter into a lease. Thus, property managers must be ready to offer up-to-par customer service that will perpetuate positive reviews. So, how exactly do they achieve this feat?

Well, this is where professionals who want to be successful in property management must work on their networking skills. Besides knowing how to interact with their tenants, they also have to possess the necessary fortitude to hold them accountable.

Beating the Competition

Ultimately, the easiest way to overthrow the competition is to offer leadership and value. In the industry of property management, there are relatively few boundaries that limit one's creativity. For instance, managers can enter into creative lease contracts that make one's monthly rent more attractive.

Regardless of one's ideas, however, Brian Setencich stresses that property managers must always prioritize adhering to all applicable laws. This means having the necessary inspections when needed, using the appropriate software and more.