10 skills to look for when choosing a property manager

Jul 7, 2022 | by DiJones

These days, savvy investors know that a high-performing property manager can be the driving force behind achieving the best returns on any investment property.

A property management role requires specific skills and in-depth knowledge, and making sure you find the right person for the job is a key part to ensuring the success of your investment property.

We look here at 10 skills that property investors should be on the look out for when the time comes to find a property manager for their investment.

1. In-depth knowledge of the local rental market

Maximising rental yields means understanding the ins and outs of local rental markets and tailoring an investment property strategy to suit current market demands. A top manager will be constantly studying the market and ensuring that your investment property is positioned to attract the best tenants and maximise rental return.

TIP: Ask your manager about current market conditions and how they plan to attract the best tenants for your property.

2. Effective organisational skills 

Property management entails a lot more than simply finding a tenant. Your manager needs to liaise with contractors, keep good tenants happy by dealing quickly with any issues that arise, make sure your needs as an investor are being met, and keep scrupulous records of everything related to the tenancy. Theirs is an ongoing commitment that requires efficiency and strong organisational skills to make everything runs smoothly.

TIP: Ask if your manager has a network of contractors and make sure they give you a clear picture of how they manage your investment in terms of inspection frequency, record-keeping, and routine maintenance.

3. Emotional intelligence

Often overlooked, emotional intelligence is a key factor to look for when you are choosing who best to manage your property. Someone who is flexible enough to understand when patience is required or if an assertive approach is needed to get things done will be a huge asset on your property management team.

TIP: Ask a manager to tell you how they would respond to a specific challenge, such as a tenant who is temporarily unable to meet their obligations.

4. Problem management skills

Not every tenancy is perfect. It’s imperative that your property manager has the ingenuity and experience to deal with any problems that arise efficiently and effectively. Difficult tenants, burst pipes, sudden vacancies … all of these things and more can have a negative impact on your rental yields and investment strategies. A top property manager will have the knowledge, tools, and skills to manage problems with minimum fuss and disruption to you.

TIP: Ask how your manager would deal with an unexpected vacancy or a plumbing emergency on your property.

5. The ability to think like an investor

When it comes to strategising about current investments or buying an investment property, knowing that the person representing you and managing your interests has a similar mindset to yours can give you great peace of mind. By having a thorough understanding of what a property investor’s goals and needs are, a high-performing property manager can make an enormous difference to successful real estate investing.

TIP: Make sure your property manager has a working knowledge of investment basics. Of course, your accountant or financial advisors are your main port of call for investment advice, but your manager should be versed in the basics and have a thorough understanding of your goals as an investor.

6. Knowledge of the fiscal and legal requirements of your investment property

A great property manager will stay up-to-date on state-specific tenancy laws to ensure that your tenancy agreement is valid and protects both landlord and tenant. They should also have a working knowledge of the fiscal requirements of property investment to ensure their records comply with the required standards.

TIP: Ask how your manager keeps up-to-date on current legislation.

7. Technological knowhow

These days, communication, organisation, and record-keeping all depend on technology. Agency-specific software or industry platforms can help everything run smoothly and a great property manager will use and offer a range of useful tech to maximise efficiency.

TIP: Ask your manager to show you any apps or tech that they will be using to manage your investment property.

8. Property management experience 

The more experience a property manager has, the deeper their knowledge will be and the more practiced they will be in every area of property management. Of course, every professional has to start somewhere, so it’s important to find out if newer managers are supported by an experienced team, who will guide them and help them help you get the best out of your investment property.

TIP: Don’t be afraid to ask for references from previous clients or even tenants. It’s also a great idea to ask if your manager can expect support from their wider team.

9. Great communication skills

One of a property manager’s key roles is to act as the intermediary between tenants, landlords, and contractors. The ability to communicate clearly and effectively is essential to ensuring that all parties are well-informed and on the same page regarding the tenancy. A high-performing property manager will have excellent spoken and written communication skills and will communicate promptly and clearly with all parties throughout the tenancy.

TIP: When you approach a potential manager, check how quickly and effectively they communicate with you over the phone, in person, and in writing.

10. The X-factor

It’s hard to define, but when you come across it, you instantly recognise it. A truly exceptional property manager will make you, as an investor, feel entirely confident that your property is in the best possible hands. Attention to detail, in-depth knowledge of the industry, and strong interpersonal skills will combine with that extra something to present as the ideal person to take on the challenges of managing and maximising returns from your investment property.

TIP: Check your own emotional response to your manager. Do you feel immediately comfortable with them and confident in their abilities?

Summing up 

It’s so important to find a property manager with solid experience and a wide range of skills, who will work with and for you to make the most of your investment property. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you first approach a potential property manager and make sure you explain your own expectations to them so that they can help you realise your investment goals in the most effective way.

Other property investing articles and resources 

Guide to property investment success in NSW

9 ways property managers help add value to investment properties

How to review the performance of your investment property

Property investment in NSW FAQ’s

How much rent can I charge?



DiJones Real Estate, together with their directors, officers, employees and agents have used their best endeavours to ensure the information passed on in this document is accurate. However, you must make your own enquiries in relation to the information contained in this document and seek advice from your financial advisor, broker or accountant to ascertain its application to your circumstances.

This information is provided subject to our Terms and Conditions.