Top 5 Soft Skills Every Landlord Must Possess
There’s no hard and fast rule to predict success in the real estate sector, but possessing the right skills to become a real estate investor certainly helps. Are you a property owner looking to maximize your property's ROI? Do you want to reduce your vacancies and increase your profits?
Stick around because we've outlined the top five soft skills every landlord must possess below:
1. Communication Skills
Communication is arguably one of a landlord's most essential skill sets. As a real estate investor, success often requires that you relate with several professionals. Besides your tenants, you will also have to speak with property managers, real estate agents, lawyers, contractors, and so on. Thus, it will help if you communicate your expectations to each party to achieve the best possible outcome.
However, you should remember that communication is not a one-way street. You also need to engage as an active listener. Doing so will reduce the chances of a misunderstanding since both parties are on the same page.
2. Organizational Skills
Another critical skill every landlord should possess is organization. Being a property manager means managing several tasks simultaneously. And while you might be able to complete all of them by yourself, you still have to keep tabs on what's going on.
For instance, if you have some vacant units, you need to focus on reaching prospective tenants via traditional and online marketing. You'll also need to host home viewings, perform background checks, and draw up a new lease. Of course, that doesn't mean you can neglect your current renters. You still need to make sure they pay rent, resolve all complaints, and settle outstanding utilities. Further, you might even be considering expanding your portfolio. So, you have to scout for a new location, analyze prospective properties, and make a plan to finance your new investment.
Without proper organizational skills, keeping up with all these obligations can quickly overwhelm you. Thus, you must learn to manage your time, energy, and resources appropriately.
Conflict Resolution Skills
Conflict is never far away when your job requires dealing with several people. Thus, it is wise to consider improving your conflict resolution skills. There are different ways you might find such a skill valuable. For example, one of the most common reasons tenants sue their landlords is over security deposit disputes. However, if you can analyze the situation, you can recognize everyone's point and reach an amiable truce. Conflict resolution skills also come in handy in settling disputes between tenants, which will be especially handy for landlords with multi-unit properties.
However, negotiating peace isn't everyone's strong suit. If you're in such a position, it might be best to leave it to the experts. A team of experienced property managers can provide quality service for tenants and owners. After all, the last thing you want to deal with is unnecessary legal trouble.
4. Marketing Skills
Most real estate experts recommend anticipating at least two months of vacancy as a landlord. In other words, vacancies are an unavoidable situation when managing rental properties. However, with the right marketing skills, you can perform better than the competition and keep your vacancies to a minimum.
But it will help if you are diligent in looking for a way to make your property stand out from the crowd. It will help if you also do your due diligence to keep your prices fair. In other words, you need to perform a lot of market research on property rent for your rental type in your area.
If you're leveraging social media trends, you need to stay up to date on the latest happenings. It will also be helpful to be sufficiently technologically savvy to use online listing sites to meet and engage potential renters.
5. Customer Service Skills
Being a landlord doesn't mean lording your property over your tenants constantly. Instead, you should learn to view your renters as your customers. With that mindset, you'll do everything you can to keep them happy and renew your lease.
One way you can showcase excellent customer service skills is by having compassion. It's essential to remember that your tenants are people, not monthly checks. Sometimes they might have unexpected problems that can hinder their cash flow. Instead of writing an eviction notice, communicate with your renters and find out what's wrong. If it's temporary, you could give them an extension and gently remind them about the late payment policy. However, you might consider offering a cheaper unit in your portfolio if it's something more serious.
You can also provide good customer service by offering new tenants a welcome basket, resolving tenants promptly, and sticking to your other obligations.
Different Responsibilities of Landlords and Property Managers
Property management is demanding, and most owners often need help with their duties. A trained expert that acts as an intermediary between landlords and tenants and takes care of managerial responsibilities in the absence of the landlord is a property manager. If you're curious about becoming a property manager, you can search online for more information.
If you're considering or already have a property manager, figuring out your roles could be blurry as they often overlap. However, the key differences between the two often boil down to:
Duties of the Landlord
- Delegating tasks to the property manager
- Setting rental prices
- Signing the lease agreements
- Final rent collection
Duties of the Property Manager
- Attending to tenant complaints
- Maintaining the property in good condition
- Finding new tenants
- Facilitating communication between renters and landlords
Investing in real estate is still one of the safest ventures available. However, that doesn't mean being a property owner is a breeze. There are several responsibilities you have to keep up with, including finding new tenants, resolving complaints, settling disputes, and tracking your finances. You'll find it much easier to complete these tasks with maximum efficiency with the top five soft skills every landlord must possess.
Remember that these skills will benefit your property manager, even though they have different responsibilities. Thus, if you have a professional managing your property on your behalf, you can share this article with them too.
About the Author
Patrick Freeze is a licensed real estate broker with over a decade of experience in real estate and property management. He graduated from Dickinson College before starting Bay Property Management Group which specializes in a wide range of properties, using experience to help make property ownership the profitable experience it should be.