By Jeffrey S. Lapin, CPM®
Property management is a noble profession. Property Managers are also financial managers, maintenance supervisors, relationship managers, construction experts and much more. In fact, few other jobs have the depth and breadth of knowledge and experience required to do the job competently. Yet, very few of us grow up yearning to be a Property Manager. And even fewer get advanced degrees in property management.
Most of us (myself included) fall into this profession. Many are asked by a boss, relative or friend to “Just keep an eye on my property.” Of course few of us know in advance what it means to be a Property Manager until we actually have the keys in hand and take over the property.
Once we are the one on whom tenants depend to keep them safe, owners depend upon to collect the rent and get it in the bank while enforcing the terms of the leases and vendors depend upon to contract out work and get them paid, reality hits us big time. It’s a lot of responsibility. Suddenly, someone who used to leave the office at 5 pm, go home and get a good night’s sleep is a 24/7 caretaker with a multimillion dollar asset in his/her care.
But it’s a great profession and those of us who have managed properties for a while (in my case, over 36 years) know how rewarding it is to do the job well and help our owner/client realize the goals they have for their real estate assets. We know how great it is to help tenants solve problems and have them thank us for all our hard work. And most of us get a great deal of satisfaction when the property runs right, our rents are collected, our bills are paid and our tenants are happy.
As I enter my fourth decade in this noble profession, I am dedicating myself to sharing the information that I’ve accumulated over many years with less experienced members of the occupation. I know that there are few formal training or education resources available to the average Property Manager.
Online classes offered by many of the larger property management companies to their employees are insufficient to impart the knowledge needed to perform this job well. Similarly, the online offerings by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) and the Building Owners and Managers’ Association (BOMA) suffer from the same shortfalls – they simply cannot offer the one on one instructor and student networking experience as live, instructor led classes.
This is not to say that the current educational offerings for the profession are totally without merit. IREM and BOMA still offer excellent instructor taught classes all over the country. I have been fortunate enough to teach such classes and they are as rewarding to me as they are to the students I teach.
But I’m on a mission to advance this great livelihood by helping others meet the daily challenge through sound policies and procedures that are tested and proven by time. I invite you to read the articles I have and will post here and to attend one of my classes. I promise you that you will learn a lot, have a lot of fun and grow to love this job as I have.