Whether they’re managing a small walk-up building in the city center or a sprawling development in a more suburban area, property managers handle a wide array of tasks, from physical stuff to administrative chores. While many of these jobs can be described in concrete terms (like sending out monthly bills, attending meetings, and filing paperwork), one important component is harder to pin down: the actual management of people—specifically, building and association staff members.
A manager might only have to coordinate operations with a single superintendent, chief engineer, resident manager (or whatever term they’re called), or he or she might work with any number of doormen, porters, custodians and others, depending upon the size and type of community.
But even a great, experienced property manager may not be an expert in human resources management. That’s why a good understanding of HR—through knowledge of best practices and continuing education courses—is an important part of running a peaceful, efficient community. Having these skills will enable property managers to improve their staff members’ performance, while making their own jobs and others’ jobs much easier in the process. All of that can be achieved, with the added benefit of fewer headaches for the board and residents.
Staff, Not Jobs
In the context of property management in a city like Chicago and its outlying communities, human resources is concerned with having qualified people doing their jobs correctly—and that happens with the right leadership.
“Property management is all about staff,” says Jim Stoller, president of The Building Group, a condo management firm in Chicago. “HR is our highest cost and biggest concern—you’ve got to get the right people in the right places.”