The Modern Property Manager Changing—and Learning—With the Times

As technology has paved the way for easier entry into many career fields, residential property management has taken on many changes—adjusting for a new generation of professionals from degree programs across the country.

Sara Kennedy, CPM, a broker/manager with Marian Realty in Chicago, has been in the property management field about four years. She believes that professional development is definitely an important part of the learning curve. As such, she serves as the vice president of chapter activities for the Institute of Real Estate Management, IREM’s Chicago Chapter #23.

In the short time she’s been involved technology has exploded on the scene. “I've only been in the field about 4 years, so I can't speak to what it used to be like,” Kennedy says. “I only know it now, with computers, cell phones, email, web pages, etc. I think that technology has made property management more intense and challenging, and simpler at the same time. Simpler, because we as property managers have access to our email/telephones 100% of everyday, and are available to our clients on those terms—everything is basically at our fingertips,” she says.

In everyday life, computers/online banking, websites all make our lives better in a way that we can automate almost everything, Kennedy explains.

Technology also brings its unique challenges to the field, Kennedy continues. “We are available 100% of everyday and it is hard to live up to the expectation that we can answer clients and fix problems immediately after they contact us. We are held to a difficult standard, much like the rest of the professional world. It makes trust between client and manager the most important element,” she says.

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