An apartment community manager is responsible for the day-to-day management of an apartment community and its staff and has commercial accountability for planning, organizing and directing all apartment community services, including front-of-house (reception, concierge, leasing), community outlets (pool, laundry room gym) and housekeeping. In larger apartment communities like mine the community manager assigns responsibilities to department managers. They often have a specific remit (resident services, accounting, maintenance, gardening) and make up the general management team.
As a Community Manager I interact with tenants daily. I oversee the maintenance of property and facilities that the tenants use, such as pools, recreation rooms, the gym, etc. Often, I solve community association type issues and solve legal or environmental issues that may arise, and if necessary to resolve disputes between neighbors.. The manager must strike a balance between customer satisfaction and effective business management, ensuring financial viability, and facilitate a smooth-running customer service, whilst ensuring staff work together as a team.
Apartment Community Management
PROPERTY AND REAL ESTATE MANAGERS are the primary link between the property owner or property management firm and the tenant. Property Managers oversee the day to day management of income-producing commercial and residential properties and manage the common property areas shared by the tenants. Property Managers handle the general financial operations of the property which includes the ensuring payment of mortgages, taxes, insurance, payroll, and maintenance bills. In my position I also negotiate contracts for construction, maintenance, security, garbage removal and grounds keeping services. As a manager I periodically report to the property owners as to the status of their property.
On-site Property Managers are responsible for daily operations for one piece of property instead of looking after a number of properties at one time. On-site Managers routinely inspect the property to see if any repairs are needed, then make arrangements to fix the problem. Each month I collect rents, keep account of all transactions and submit regular reports to owners showing income, expenses, and vacancies. Managers are also expected to enforce rules and regulations and to investigate and handle residents' complaints. When necessary,
I have been forced to serve eviction notices.
An On-site Managers job is also to rent apartments. In addition to running the daily operation of the property, they show units to prospective tenants and collect and review applications. Generally I will check the applicants' credit and verify employment. Ultimately managers are also responsible for selecting the tenant and for completing and signing the rental agreement. When screening prospects for housing, managers must determine and certify each applicant's eligibility according to preset regulations. Some times may duties even include cleaning common areas, changing light bulbs, and making minor repairs to the property.
As a Community Manager I interact with tenants daily. I oversee the maintenance of property and facilities that the tenants use, such as pools, recreation rooms, the gym, etc. Often, I solve community association type issues and solve legal or environmental issues that may arise, and if necessary to resolve disputes between neighbors.
What is A Community Managers Job?
Typical work activities
Typical work activities vary depending on the size and type of apartment community, but may include:
planning and organizing accommodation, resolving resident issues and other apartment community services;
promoting and marketing the business;
managing budgets and financial plans;
maintaining statistical and financial records;
achieving profit targets;
recruiting, training and monitoring staff;
planning work schedules;
meeting and greeting customers;
dealing with customer complaints and comments;
addressing problems and troubleshooting;
ensuring events and conferences run smoothly;
supervising maintenance, supplies and furnishings;
dealing with contractors and suppliers;
ensuring security is effective;
carrying out inspections of property and services;
ensuring compliance with licensing laws, health and safety and other statutory regulations.
I have found that the manager of a large apartment community will typically have less contact with residents but will spend time meeting heads of department and planning and monitoring the progress of business strategies to ensure residents needs are met. I quickly realized that in a smaller establishment, the manager is much more involved in the hands-on day-to-day running of the apartment community, which may include carrying out reception duties or serving as maintenance if the need arises. This larger property requires a both excellent customer care skills and extensive organizational abilities.
Property managers perform an important function in increasing and maintaining the value of real estate investments for investors. In general, property managers oversee the performance of income-producing commercial and residential properties or manage the communal property and services of condominium and community associations.
Most property managers work in the field of property management. When owners of apartments, office buildings, retail, or industrial properties lack the time or expertise needed for the day-to-day management of their real estate investments, they often hire a property manager, either directly or by contracting with a property management company.
Other important duties of on-site managers include keeping accurate, up-to-date records of income and expenditures from property operations and the submission of regular expense reports to the property manager or owners.
The work of property managers who do not work on-site is similar to that of on-site managers, except that most of these managers are responsible for multiple properties and supervise on-site personnel. They act as a liaison between the on-site manager and the owner. They also market vacant space to prospective tenants through the use of a leasing agent, advertising, or by other means, and establish rental rates in accordance with prevailing local conditions.
Whats the day to day like?
Offices of most property managers are clean, modern, and well-lighted. Many spend a major portion of their time away from their desks, however. On-site managers in particular may spend a large portion of their workday away from their office visiting the building engineer in the boiler room, showcasing apartments, checking on the janitorial and maintenance staff, or investigating problems reported by tenants. Property managers frequently visit the properties they oversee, sometimes on a daily basis when contractors are doing major repair or renovation work. Real estate asset managers may spend time away from home while traveling to company real estate holdings or searching for properties that might be acquired.
Property managers often must attend meetings in the evening with residents, property owners, community association boards of directors, or civic groups. Not surprisingly, many property managers put in long work weeks. Some apartment managers are required to live in the apartment complexes where they work so they are available to handle any emergency that occurs while they are off duty. They usually receive compensatory time off, however, for working at night or on weekends. Many apartment managers receive time off during the week so that they are available on weekends to show apartments to prospective residents.
Basic responsibilities of a Community Manager
Management for Residential Issues is complicated and requires you to develop then use many skils. My role and responsibilities as the onsite manager involves:
• Customer service
• Occupancy management
• Safety and security
• Emergency management
• Residential relations
• Leveraging Technology
Human Resource Management of Staff -Following Federal, state and local employment regulations to keep the property staffed
• Write Job descriptions
• Interview, recruit, test, hire or termination Employees
• Maintain payroll and personnel files
• Motivate employees and effectively delegate tasks and responsibilities
• Performance appraisals
• Develop communication, basic skills and improve staff
Leasing, Contracts, and Legal Responsibilities Knowing the types of contracts and contract terminology is just the beginning. Managing issues with employees, vendors and residents require a solid understanding of the rules and laws in the community.
• Reviewing the laws that prohibit discrimination, and lease fairly
• Comply with OSHA's regulations
• Develop methods and procedures for working with contractors and vendors
• Manage the bidding process with vendors
• Enforce the responsibilities of the residents and manage issues appropriately
• Sign and terminate leases
• Enforce rules of entry and privacy issues
• Handle disputes
Provide Fair and Safe Housing Put simply the role and responsibilities of the community manager as it pertains to fair housing
• Know and follow Federal, state and local fair housing laws and regulations
• Understand Discrimination and avoid doing it
• Understand the housing needs of older persons, disabled, families, and children and follow Occupancy standards
Marketing Leasing, Advertising and Marketing the property
• Conduct, evaluate and implement market research
• Advertise apartments for rent
• Conduct internal marketing of residents
• Develop and implement marketing plans
Property Maintenance Building a proactive team approach for managing property maintenance issues is essential. All levels of the property staff not just Maintenance share responsibility for the safety, cleanliness, and security of the property. Ultimately it is the community manager who leads
• Determine Exterior maintenance needs
• Develop Interior maintenance standards
• Offer residents ways to perform preventive maintenance
• Maintain the properties safety and cleanliness standards
Provide Safety and Risk Management The roles and responsibilities of the onsite manager as it pertains to the use of risk management in the multifamily housing community are a constant concern.
• Minimize risks to residents
• increase resident safety
• Minimize risks to staff
• Handling emergencies
• Reduce Liability and optimize insurance
Financial Management You use basic investment principals. Preparing budgets and marketing strategies and achieving targets for the business - plays a major role
• Calculate and interpret financial records and reports
• Interpret financial data to assess property operations and efficiency
• Use financial data to prepare budgets and financial statements, plan for property improvements and to make financial forecasts
Apartment Community Analysis Analyze the local community market and respond with targeted marketing plans
• Regularly assess the unit pricing mix and effectively revise rental policies • Conduct an analysis and identify opportunities to build return
• Identify the economic benefits of modernizing, repositioning or improving the apartment community and then maximize profitability
» More About Property Management
Most worked for real estate operators and lessors or for property management firms. Others worked for real estate development companies, government agencies that manage public buildings, and corporations with extensive holdings of commercial properties. About 4 out of 10 property managers were self-employed, and over a quarter worked part time. Training, Other Qualifications and Advancement
Most employers prefer to hire college graduates for property management positions. Degrees in business administration, finance, real estate, public administration, or related fields are preferred, but persons with degrees in the liberal arts are often accepted. Good speaking, writing, and financial skills, as well as an ability to deal tactfully with people, are essential in all areas of property management.
Most persons enter property management as an on-site manager of an apartment complex, condominium, or community association, or as an assistant manager at a large property management company. As they acquire experience working under the direction of a property manager, they may advance to positions with greater responsibility at larger properties. Persons who excel as on-site managers often transfer to assistant property manager positions where they can acquire experience handling a broader range of property management responsibilities.
Previous employment as a real estate agent may be an asset to on-site managers because it provides experience useful in showing apartments or office space and dealing with people, as well as an understanding that an attractive, well-maintained property can command higher rental rates and result in lower turnover among tenants. In the past, many persons with backgrounds in building maintenance have advanced to on-site manager positions on the strength of their knowledge of building mechanical systems, but this is becoming less common as employers are placing greater emphasis on administrative, financial, and communication abilities for managerial jobs.
Although most persons who enter jobs as assistant property managers do so on the strength of on-site management experience, employers are increasingly hiring inexperienced college graduates with bachelor's or master's degrees in business administration, finance, or real estate for these jobs. Assistants work closely with a property manager and acquire experience performing a variety of management tasks, such as preparing the budget, analyzing insurance coverage and risk options, marketing the property to prospective tenants, and collecting overdue rent payments. In time, many assistants advance to property manager positions.
The responsibilities and compensation of property managers increase as they manage larger properties. Most property managers are responsible for several properties at a time, and as their careers advance they are gradually entrusted with properties that are larger or whose management is more complex. Many specialize in the management of one type of property, such as apartments, office buildings, condominiums, cooperatives, homeowner associations, or retail properties. Managers who excel at marketing properties to tenants may specialize in managing new properties, while those who are particularly knowledgeable about buildings and their mechanical systems might specialize in the management of older properties that require renovation or more frequent repairs. Some experienced property managers open their own property management firms.
People most commonly enter real estate asset manager jobs by transferring from positions as property managers or real estate brokers. Real estate asset managers must be good negotiators, adept at persuading and handling people, and good at analyzing data to assess the fair market value of property or its development potential. Resourcefulness and creativity in arranging financing are essential for managers who specialize in land development.
Attendance at short-term formal training programs conducted by various professional and trade associations active in the real estate field is often encouraged. Employers send managers to these programs to improve their management skills and expand their knowledge of specialized subjects, such as the operation and maintenance of building mechanical systems, enhancing property values, insurance and risk management, personnel management, business and real estate law, resident/tenant relations, communications, and accounting and financial concepts. Managers also participate in these programs to prepare themselves for positions of greater responsibility in property management. Completion of these programs, together with meeting job experience standards and achieving a satisfactory score on a written examination, leads to certification, or the formal award of a professional designation, by the sponsoring association. In addition to these qualifications, some associations require their members to adhere to a specific code of ethics. Some of the organizations that offer such programs are listed at the end of this statement.
Managers of public housing subsidized by the Federal Government are required to be certified, but many property managers who work with all types of property choose to earn a professional designation voluntarily because it represents formal industry recognition of their achievements and status in the occupation.