Welcome to the wonderful world of property management

The opening extract of the Property Management Excellence PME manual

Welcome to the wonderful world of property management

Property management is a very diverse, challenging and interesting career. No two days are ever the same. What property managers do is mind boggling to some; but to many of us it is ‘all in a day’s work’. Property management is really about people management.

Property managers (tenancy managers) manage the client landlord's obligations as a landlord. The main role is managing the landlord obligation under tenancy law and ensuring the lessor client is aware of their rights and obligations. There is a general duty of care to tenants as well.

The term property manager may not be suitable for the modern world of management, given the main role is managing tenancy, not actually property. Property Manager is a long used 'title' and can often be misunderstood, with some people believing managing property includes carrying out maintenance or works that are not part of the legal scope of the role.

Other matters expected of 'property managers' which are outside the immediate scope of expertise include the handling of private civil matters such as trees and fencing disputes, or matters with neighbours, and the handling of insurance claims (the landlords private civil policy). The world of tenancy legislation can at times be complex and specialised. The property manager (tenancy manager or advisor) is the paid, trained and qualified professional who has reasonable knowledge of legislation and advises the landlord client of their laws, rights and obligations. What must be remembered is generally speaking, tenancy law and regulations are the landlords (and tenant’s) law; not the property managers. Property managers ‘teach and advise’ their client on what is required in legislation, plus advise on best practice and risk management. Property managers, through their main agency legislation are appointed via a management agreement to manage, provide advice and teach their clients their obligations under tenancy and other relevant laws that affect investors (such as smoke alarm and pool laws). If the client is not shown their law, how do they know their law? Less fluff, more fact has been a common mantra of mine for a number of years.

The key role of a career property (tenancy) manager is as follows;

  • Maximise your lessor’s income and minimise their loss
  • Always act in the best interest (both ethically and legally) of your licensee and the lessor
  • Always remember your duty of care to the tenant
  • And remember; your main duty is the following
    • Educate your lessors and tenants to the best of your ability
    • Communicate with your lessor and tenants to the best of your ability;
    • Negotiate with your lessors and tenants to the best of your ability. 

     

Knowledge is power and continual self and professional development is part of the key to successful property management. Property management is a task related profession meaning that the career is made of up of many tasks which require a system to be followed, following up, following through until there is an end or outcome within a reasonable time frame. All tasks should have an end otherwise there are matters outstanding, dissatisfied lessors or tenants plus extra stress placed on property managers.