Beyond Rent Collection: The Five Secret Skills of Great Property Managers

Beyond Rent Collection: The Five Secret Skills of Great Property Managers

Property management extends far beyond the routine task of rent collection. Great property managers possess a diverse set of skills that go beyond mere financial transactions. At Vintage Real Estate in Tampa, Florida, founder Dave Sigler has been in the property management business in Tampa Bay for nearly two decades. He’s seen it all, and has identified the five most important standout skills that the best property managers possess. By mastering these skills and embracing the multi-faceted nature of their job, the best property managers not only ensure the financial success of the properties they manage but also contribute to creating positive living environments for tenants and maintaining strong relationships with property owners and real estate investors

Skill One They Have Excellent People Skills

Starting with the obvious, Sigler states, “One of the most underrated yet essential skills of a great property manager is people skills. From maintaining positive relationships with tenants and property owners to coordinating with maintenance staff and vendors, effective communication is a must in property management.” Clear and concise communication not only fosters positive relationships but also helps prevent misunderstandings and conflicts.

Property managers must be adept at listening to the concerns of tenants, addressing issues promptly, and communicating changes in policies or procedures. They must be able to adapt their communication style to different situations and individuals. Empathy is particularly important during challenging times. Great property managers understand the importance of showing empathy, actively listening to tenant and landlord concerns, and working towards solutions that prioritize the well-being of all parties involved.

Whether negotiating lease terms, handling a complaint, or providing updates on maintenance issues, the ability to convey information in a professional and empathetic manner is crucial.

Skill Two: They Have Legal Savvy

Great property managers have a comprehensive understanding of local, state, and federal laws governing real estate. They have robust knowledge about fair housing laws, building codes, proper eviction procedures, and they stay current with legal changes and updates. According to Sigler, “Less experienced property managers or DIY landlords often lack the legal knowledge needed to protect the landlord, and sometimes aren’t aware of new legislation at all. For example, we found many in our industry were not even aware of the addition of the Hillsborough County Tenant Bill of Rights that threw the Florida industry for a loop in 2021, or CS/HB 1417 in the summer of 2023.”

Staying abreast of legal changes and updates is imperative for property managers to protect the interests of both tenants and property owners. Proactively addressing potential issues and navigating legal challenges seamlessly is only possible when property managers are well-informed and have systems in place to adapt to changes in the law.

Skill Three: They’re Good with Numbers

Great property managers are adept at handling financial matters, including budgeting, rent collection, accounting, and negotiation. Mastery of financial management is essential to ensure the property remains profitable year after year.

Negotiation is also a fundamental aspect of property management. Great property managers excel at negotiating lease agreements, resolving conflicts, and securing cost-effective deals with vendors. Whether it's negotiating lease terms that satisfy both tenants and property owners or ensuring competitive pricing for maintenance services, effective negotiation skills are a cornerstone of successful property management.

Skill Four: They’re Tech Savvy

In the age of digital transformation, Sigler embraces cutting-edge technology for streamlined property management at Vintage Real Estate. “We use sophisticated software for tasks such as financial management, tenant screening, and maintenance tracking”, he states. “The best PMs are able to use and understand all these pieces of software easily and take advantage of all the robust reporting functionality available in the platforms.”

Furthermore, data-driven decision-making is becoming increasingly important in property management. Analyzing data on rental trends, market fluctuations, and property performance allows managers to make informed decisions that benefit both tenants and property owners. Great property managers embrace technology as a tool to enhance their overall effectiveness in managing properties.

Great PMs also use technology for digital marketing. From writing and publishing great property descriptions, to audience research and targeting, having digital marketing skills helps them get your property rented faster than the competition. Having data analytics skills is essential not only for effective digital marketing but for other tasks such as setting appropriate rental rates. Sigler says “Anyone can look at the complex graphs published by the big real estate leaders, but not everyone can understand the data and make strategic decisions based on findings.”

Skill Five: They Can Keep a Cool Head

When you own a rental property, things come up. The best property managers know how to keep a cool head at all times. In emergency situations, whether it be a simple plumbing problem or a hurricane, the property manager's capacity to react promptly and efficiently can be the difference between calm and chaos.

What happens when a tenant is late on rent? What if your tenant is breaking the rules or damaging the property? Those conversations aren’t easy, and the beauty of hiring a skilled property manager shines through during moments like these. After all, a harmonious relationship between property owners and tenants contributes to the overall success of a real estate investment. 

Whether it involves orchestrating repairs following a sudden water leak or mediating disputes between neighbors, property managers must demonstrate quick and decisive decision-making abilities. The capability to assess situations, analyze potential outcomes, and make well-informed decisions proves instrumental in maintaining the seamless operation of rental properties.

Best Property Managers in Tampa, Florida

The role of a property manager extends far beyond the routine task of rent collection. Exceptional property managers possess a diverse skill set that includes effective communication, strong negotiation abilities, a comprehensive understanding of property laws, problem-solving prowess, tech-savviness, empathy, and strategic marketing skills.

In the realm of property management, Vintage Real Estate Services stands out in Tampa Bay. They excel in not only the fundamental aspects of rent collection and property maintenance but also in navigating the intricate details that can take your real estate portfolio to the next level. Contact Vintage today for a free rental analysis on your Tampa-area property.


Dave Sigler, MPM RMPC

Owner/Broker Vintage Real Estate Services

David Sigler is a Florida native who grew up in Fort Lauderdale Florida. He attended the University of Central Florida where he received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. David has since become a licensed General Contractor & Real Estate Broker. He has been active in Florida real estate and construction for over 15 years. During the Great Recession he was forced to refocus his ambitions and landed on property management. Starting with a handful of homes that could not be sold, he grew his portfolio and eventually bought the brokerage. With his experience, knowledge, and resources, his company prides themselves on successful turn-key residential investment solutions. He now manages hundreds of homes covering 5 counties and his construction company provides maintenance services to his management company as well as other local managers. David is an active member of the National Association Residential Property Managers and has served on the Florida State Board for over 6 years in many different roles; most recently as the NARPM Florida Chapter President (2019). Active in the GTR community, he has served on the property management subcommittee for over 4 years and recently as chair of the group. He is also active in local and state legislation that affects the property management industry. His unique understanding and perspective of property management and its associated maintenance has provided him with numerous public speaking opportunities. Outside of work, not only is he an avid outdoors man and a board member for several local Non-Profit organizations, but first and foremost a Father and Husband.

Director of Property Management Committee for Greater Tampa Realtors Association
2019 NARPM State President