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Qualities of a Resident Manager

by Rick Suttle

Running and operating apartments, condos, resident halls and housing communities would be nearly impossible without experienced resident managers at the helm. They meet and show people units and homes, answer their questions, collect monthly rent, coordinate repairs and maintenance, and prepare budgets and financial reports. If you want to be a resident manager, you probably need a bachelor's or master's degree in business administration, finance or real estate -- and some key qualities that are common in successful resident managers.

Organized

Because of their multitude of responsibilities, resident managers must have systems in place to accept new residents, paint and repair units of departing tenants, and keep records of payments. This requires organizational skills and a little help from assistants and contractors. But as a resident manager, you are accountable for all activities, including inspections and the resolution of complaints, so you must maintain project logs to keep track of everything you do. This can include the sales and expense report you send to the property manager each month.

Service Oriented

Resident managers must be customer-focused because tenants are the ones who generate the revenue. In this profession, you use customer-service skills to answer calls from people looking for housing, and then scheduling appointments for them to see the units. Customer service also includes having all available contracts and information available that customers need to make decisions about your complex.

Communicator

All resident managers need communication skills to explain terms of leases -- even to those who know very little English. You also need to explain tasks to coworkers and maintenance workers so they understand their assignments. On a higher level, these professionals must convey results of new advertising campaigns to their owners, and interact with pubic officials, policemen and reporters when tragedies or robberies occur.

Persuasive

Resident managers sell people on the idea of living in their complexes, condos or dorms. You would use persuasive skills to convince prospective tenants to sign leases. Some people, for instance, may think your rates are too high. Consequently, you might stress the extra amenities at your complex -- including the swimming pool, jacuzzi and fitness center -- that would save them money on gym memberships. These professionals also use persuasive skills to negotiate the highest rates for their employers, giving them latitude to reduce rent for tenants and still meet sales goals.

Tactful

If you are involved in disputes with tenants for excess noise or damages, you must be tactful in deciding when to evict them. Violate their rights and you might find yourself on the local evening news. Tact involves handling conflict without yelling or threatening tenants. It also requires a business-like demeanor and fair treatment for all residents.

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