In the Property Management Game, Nice Guys Finish Last

Smiling male property manager

A property manager has a lot of hats to wear and endless day-to-day responsibilities. In addition to keeping the property safe and well-maintained, a property manager needs to make sure that the tenants are happy and satisfied so that they will renew their leases and spread the good word about the property to other potential tenants.

Part of keeping tenants happy is interaction. Knowing tenants’ names, unit numbers, past issues, and even the names of pets can go a long way toward making tenants feel appreciated and respected. But maintaining a friendly yet professional relationship with tenants is a skill all its own.

One of the problems with becoming too close with tenants is that they can come to feel like they can drop in for a casual chat anytime they feel like it. This can be extremely disruptive, especially on very busy days. Some tenants can also feel that they deserve preferential treatment, which is never good. Another more serious problem can arise when it comes to money.

If a tenant feels that they’re pals with a property manager, they might try to exploit that perceived closeness if they were, for example, having trouble paying their rent or if they were a source of complaints from other tenants. Even worse is when this friendship gives way to business and the tenant feels slighted or misled. That can lead to a whole host of problems that a property manager just doesn’t need on top of his or her workload.

Being friendly, courteous, and professional at all times is a prerequisite for a property manager. Just be sure there are boundaries and limits in place so that business never becomes personal.

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