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How to “shop” for a property manager

When my wife and i got our first baby, we were very anxious about the thought of bringing in a 3rd party to take care of our bundle of joy. At first, we wanted to get a house help who would do everything else in the house apart from touching our baby. However, as fate would have it, after my paternity break and my wife’s maternity break, it was time to leave our small prince in the arms of our house help. Just before my wife’s maternity break was over, we decided to spend some money and time in training our house help on a few things. This is a list of the courses we trained her in.

  • Basic first aid.
  • Fire fighting and prevention.
  • Care and use of electronics.
  • Basic safety and health in the house.

Apart from our house help appreciating the extra certificates that she got for studying some of these courses, we felt that we had equipped her enough to take care of our only son.

Property management  can be equated to taking care of a baby. As the property owner, you don’t just want the property manager to pay the bills and collect the rent. You want the property manager to preserve the status of the building and extend its economic life.

Just because the property manager has a degree in Real estate or Land economics is not enough. He  needs to constantly improve himself to adopt to the various needs that the building presents. Just like our house help, a property manager needs to do additional courses in the following areas to make him better suited for his job.

  • Health and safety.
  • First aid.
  • Fire fighting and prevention.
  • Basic course in procurement since he will be in charge of sourcing and managing outsourced services.
  • A basic course in conflict resolution since tenants will always have conflicts.
  • Basic accounts.
  • A course in facilities management especially when managing institutions.
  • A basic course in criminology especially if the building is prone to terror attacks.
  • A basic course in sales and marketing to increase the occupancy levels to close to 100%.

In addition to all these, a property manager needs to be allowed to have flexible working hours or shifts. What use is there of having a property manager who only works 8 am-5 pm while the tenants in the building leave the offices at midnight? How will he ever know how the night guards work?

The owner of the building needs to vet the property manager, not just the company that has hired him. If you are bidding for a job with the international companies, you will need to show the competencies of the people who you will employ to do the job.

Of what use is it to vet the general manager of a real estate company and then have him deploy an under qualified person to manage your hard earned investment? Some real estate companies manage so many buildings, the general manager that you met in the golf course probably doesn’t even know with certainty where your building is.

Lastly, the property manager needs to be well remunerated. Just like our house help, when she’s happy, then our baby is happy. Your property is your baby, ensure the property manager is well paid.

The book, “The ABC of REAL estate investment in Kenya” will make you a wiser investor.

Order a copy of the book by sending an email to  info@kariukiwaweru.com

Kariùki Wawerù

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