Being a successful property manager involves much more than just collecting rent and fixing leaky faucets.

In today’s competitive real estate market, property managers must balance various responsibilities while staying up-to-date on industry trends and local laws. Property management also involves a lot of customer service, so having the necessary skills for that is a must.

To help you stay ahead of your competition, here are 11 elements of great property management that can help you stand out.

How to be a good property manager

1. Stay Current with the Real Estate Market and Local Laws

To make the best decisions and be successful in property management, it’s essential to stay on top of the real estate market and local laws. Regular research, networking, and continuous education are all effective ways to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of the industry.

Regular Research

Dedicate time to researching market trends, local laws, and industry news to make informed decisions in property management. By looking into neighborhood features, property value estimates, and the average prices of listings, you can gain valuable insights into the real estate market and make data-driven decisions. Understand changes in renters insurance, eviction laws, and more.


Building connections with other real estate professionals like property owners and realtors can open up new opportunities and provide valuable knowledge. Attend real estate networking events and conferences and engage with the local community to stay current with the market and build relationships with other agents.

Partnering up with a property management company can also help you expand your network and gain access to resources that you wouldn’t have otherwise.

Continuous Education

Never stop learning! Continuing to educate yourself is key for staying on top of your skills and keeping up with industry changes. Networking, reading online content, and keeping up with market trends are great ways to stay informed about the real estate market and achieve effective property management. You could also consider getting a real estate broker's license.

2. Implement an Effective Tenant Screening Process

Tenant screening is a crucial step in property management. Understanding the most effective ways to implement it is important for finding reliable tenants, improving tenant retention, avoiding legal issues, and protecting your investment.

Background Checks

Utilizing a reliable tenant screening service that offers an extensive screening process, including rental background checks, credit checks, and criminal history checks, is crucial in the real estate industry.

By looking out for warning signs like criminal history, low credit scores, or bad rental history, you can make informed decisions and protect your rental property.

Don’t forget to check references and income and confirm employment to ensure the tenant is reliable.

Consistency and Fairness

Applying consistent and fair screening criteria is essential to avoid discrimination and legal issues. When evaluating potential tenants, be mindful of any discriminatory practices, such as making decisions based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability.

Acquaint yourself with fair housing laws so that you treat all applicants fairly and equally.

3. Maintain Organization and Efficiency

Organization and efficiency are key to effective property management, as they help property managers get things done faster and with fewer mistakes. Try these tips to keep organized:

  • Make to-do lists
  • Focus on high-priority tasks first
  • Delegate responsibilities to other team members or contractors
  • Batch similar items like emails, phone calls, and inspections to avoid switching tasks
  • Set realistic deadlines
  • Minimize distractions
  • Avoid procrastination
  • Utilize technology

By following property management tips like these, you can better manage your time and streamline your processes for tenant management, lease management, maintenance requests, communication with property owners, and more.

Highly successful property managers can follow these tips to stay organized and efficient

4. Build Strong Relationships with Tenants

Positive landlord-tenant relationships are the backbone of successful property management. Go out of your way to make your tenants happy and resolve conflicts and maintenance issues quickly.

Tenant Retention Strategies

Ensuring great communication, offering renewal incentives, keeping the property in top shape, and addressing maintenance issues promptly are all effective tenant retention strategies.

You could also consider giving tenant appreciation gifts or holding community events for your residents to foster goodwill and a sense of community your renters are excited to be a part of.

Conflict Resolution

Handling disputes professionally and maintaining a positive and comfortable living environment requires effective conflict resolution skills. Address conflicts as they arise, bring everyone together to discuss the issue, and work toward a mutually beneficial solution.

Stay on top of maintenance issues as well so that your tenants can enjoy their living space and your rental property remains in good condition.

Active listening, pinpointing points of contention, and striving for a win-win outcome can help resolve disputes efficiently and maintain strong relationships with tenants.

5. Hone Your Adaptability and Problem Solving

In the ever-changing world of property management, adaptability and problem-solving skills are essential for staying competitive and tackling issues quickly. Embracing change, being open to feedback, and exploring new avenues can help you sharpen your adaptability and problem-solving abilities.

The Importance of Adaptability for Your Business

Staying adaptable allows your business to respond quickly and efficiently to changes in the market and remain competitive. It increases your ability to manage change and adjust to new situations, helping your business cope and succeed in unexpected circumstances.

Increase Productivity and Reduce Stress

Developing problem-solving skills can help you address challenges efficiently, increasing productivity and reducing stress. Prioritizing tasks, recognizing when you need a breather, and staying focused on one task at a time can help you stay organized and productive while lowering stress levels. Consider breaking down large tasks like accounting into smaller, more manageable chunks at a time.

6. Maintain Professionalism

Professionalism is essential in property management, as it creates a positive atmosphere, gains the trust of tenants, and ensures everyone is treated with respect. A property manager who balances friendliness with firmness and is responsive to inquiries and concerns can help demonstrate professionalism and commitment to customer service.

Friendly But Firm

Treating tenants, vendors, and colleagues with respect while maintaining firm boundaries is essential for a professional yet friendly demeanor. Be assertive and consistent in setting boundaries with tenants while still respecting their needs, values, and opinions.


Responding promptly to tenant inquiries and concerns shows professionalism and dedication to providing excellent customer service. Open and proactive communication, active listening, and keeping tenants informed are all crucial aspects of responsiveness in property management.

7. Don't Be Afraid to Outsource

It's all right if you can't do it all. In fact, you often shouldn't.

Outsourcing tasks in property management, such as maintenance and accounting, can save time and money while ensuring reliability and compliance with regulations. By delegating certain tasks to outside professionals, you can focus your efforts on other important aspects of property management.


Outsourcing maintenance tasks to reliable contractors can ensure timely and quality work, maintaining the value of your property and keeping tenants satisfied.

Research and obtain references to find top-notch contractors to handle maintenance tasks in your area.


Hiring professional accounting services can help you manage your finances efficiently and ensure compliance with tax regulations. By outsourcing accounting tasks, you can focus on other aspects of property management and rest assured that your finances are in good hands.

Having a reliable accounting team can help you make informed decisions about your finances and ensure that you are meeting all of your obligations. They can also provide valuable insights into how to maximize the profits of your rental business.

8. Be Proactive

Being proactive in property management, especially when it comes to maintenance and inspections, can prevent issues from escalating and keep tenants happy. Implementing preventative maintenance measures and conducting regular inspections are essential for maintaining property value and addressing potential concerns before they become bigger problems.

Preventative Maintenance

Implementing preventative maintenance measures, such as regular inspections, tests, servicing, and replacements, can help keep your property in good shape and reduce repair costs.

By actively maintaining your property, you can spot potential issues early on and extend the life of your equipment and facilities.

Your tenants will be grateful that you've stayed on top of these tasks as well, since it helps to ensure that their living space is comfortable and in working order.


Regular inspections are crucial for identifying potential issues and ensuring compliance with local laws. Prepare a checklist, be present during inspections, and address any issues that arise promptly to maintain a well-maintained and safe property for your tenants.

9. Know Financial Management and Budgeting

Even if you outsource your accounting, understanding basic financial management and budgeting is critical to successful property management. Analyzing past financial data, breaking down costs, and using an integrated accounting system can help you make informed decisions about your property’s finances.

By understanding the financials of your property, you can make better decisions about how to allocate resources and manage costs. You can also use financial data to identify problems.

Setting Realistic Budgets

Creating realistic budgets for property expenses, maintenance, and improvements can maximize your return on investment (ROI). By categorizing and tracking expenses, you can gain more insight into where money is going and identify areas where costs can be reduced for a more realistic budget.

By understanding the costs associated with owning a property, you can make informed decisions about how to allocate resources and maximize your ROI. With a well-crafted budget, you can ensure that your investments are sound.

10. Master the Art of Communication

Clear and precise communication is necessary for successful property managers to avoid misunderstandings or disputes. Practicing active listening and ensuring clarity in messaging can help you build strong relationships with tenants, vendors, and other involved parties.

Active Listening

Active listening is crucial for truly understanding the needs and concerns of your tenants and finding the most effective solutions. By maintaining eye contact, avoiding distractions, and paraphrasing what the speaker said, you can demonstrate understanding and build trust with your tenants.

Showing that you are listening and understanding their concerns will help to build trust and create a positive landlord-tenant relationship as well.

Clarity in Messaging

Clear and concise communication is key to avoiding misunderstandings and ensuring all parties are on the same page. Be mindful of your audience, choose the right medium for your message, and express yourself respectfully to avoid making accusations or causing confusion.

Pay attention to the structure of your message, as well as the language you use. Make sure your message is easy to understand and that it conveys the right tone. Consider the context of the case as well.

11. Be Tech-Savvy: Use Property Management Software

Embracing technology and utilizing property management software can streamline processes and increase the efficiency of your property management business. Landlords, individual property managers, and property management companies can all benefit from these programs.

Here are some common features of property management software:

  • Tenant screening
  • Accounting tools
  • Marketing tools
  • Maintenance request management
  • Lease management
  • Document storage
  • Rent collection
  • Automated late fees

By automating tasks, managing finances, and keeping track of tenant information, these features of property management software can save you time and help you stay organized.

DoorLoop offers all these features and more, including communication tools to help keep property owners, property managers, tenants, vendors, accountants, and other parties on the same page.

Schedule a free demo with DoorLoop today and see how property management software can take your property management to the next level.

David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!