Perfecting Your Property Management Practice


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Although it has been said that nobody is perfect, there are some who are what I call “near perfect.” After all, since practice makes perfect, why not keep practicing while striving for excellence?

In today’s economy we are at an auspicious confluence of trends that will reward good property managers like never before. The word that sums it up is “demographics, demographics, demographics.” Younger adults, especially those in the age demographic of 21 to 35, don’t have the net worth or the high credit scores needed to be a homeowner. Millions are forced to live with parents or rent. What is often overlooked is the baby-boom generation. This demographic, which still involves nearly 70 million Americans ages 54 through 70 is finding it increasingly difficult to afford the cost of ownership.

Anecdotal evidence and government surveys reveal a rising trend among this age bracket towards renting a place to live. Many are selling to unlock equity in their homes and to pay off mortgage debt. What kind of housing will the sellers in this age demographic choose? A growing number are looking for rental units that cater to the 55-and-older crowd. By some estimates this “crowd” is increasing exponentially. Not only does the government’s census estimate that nearly 10,000 baby-boomers turn 65-years old every single day, but tens of thousands more are turning ages 56 through 64 each day as well!

These factors help introduce the first step towards perfecting your property management business, which is to know the housing needs of your area better than any other property manager. It may take phone calls and visits to your city and county records department or interviewing federal census agents, but get a very accurate handle on the housing needs of these demographic groups. Consider specializing in projects and programs to help these mushrooming millions find safe and affordable rental housing. Market yourself as a property manager who cares and shares this info.

How about all the others steps needed to refine and perfect your management enterprise? The answers are likely to arise if you’re willing to take a suggestion that’s challenging for perfectionist practitioners. Take the advice of one of the most respected, talented and accomplished professionals. His name is Leonardo da Vinci, the awesome Italian architect, engineer, painter, mathematician and scientist. Nearly 500 years after his death, Leonardo is still considered one of the greatest intellects in human history. If you could consult him on the topic of this article, here’s what he would likely recommend:

“Every now and then go away and have a little relaxation. For when you return to your work, your judgment will be better and more confident. If you constantly remain at work you’ll cause yourself to lose the power of balance and sound judgment. Yes, really get as far away from your work as you possibly can. Why? It will improve your ability to see your work in perspective and to be able to see all of it, a.k.a. ‘the BIG PICTURE.’ You’ll be able to more accurately perceive what aspects of your business need improving and what action is needed to restore harmony and optimal functioning. Your outlook will improve as well!”

That’s a modern paraphrase of what this Renaissance genius actually wrote. He was telling us all to take time to relax, let go, get away from all the stress and struggle of life from time to time. See how it improves your insights about your personal and professional goals. Notice how it sharpens your perspective, lightens your load, improves your mood and contributes to your health in every way.

Don’t wait for a crisis to find a way to restore your “…power of balance and sound judgment.” Paradoxically, sometimes the less you strive for perfection, the more perfect your efforts will become.

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