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7 Tips for a Successful Career in Property Management

As more and more communities seek professional HOA management for their associations, hiring for property management careers is on the rise. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 350,000 property, real estate, and community association managers throughout the United States, a figure that doesn’t even include the myriad behind-the-scenes support positions at management companies.

Here in southern California, Keystone has experienced our own hiring surge over the last six months. Since March of 2020, we have added 38 new hires to our team and have seen 15 internal promotions across our offices in San Diego, Orange County and the Inland Empire.

Property management careers are popular right now and show no sign of slowing down. While a college degree is helpful, it’s not required, and there are many additional service-related skills that make job-seekers successful over the long-term.

If you’re thinking of finding a job in property management, here’s what you need to know.

1. Stay organized

No matter where you fit into the HOA management team, you’ll need to balance incoming requests from multiple sources at once, as well as be able to access information quickly and efficiently. If you’re an HOA manager, you’ll not only need to make sure you are organized, you’ll be tasked with providing materials and guidance to make sure the HOA board stays organized and on track as well. Keeping your computer, files and contacts clearly organized isn’t a luxury; it’s mandatory.

2. Prioritize effectively

Make sure you’re handling high-priority items by knowing what to tackle first and what can be temporarily moved to the back-burner. Managing multiple projects at once means being able to pivot quickly when necessary to address urgent items while ensuring lower-priority items never fall through the cracks.

3. Communicate clearly

Many career paths stress this soft skill, but property management careers require superior communication. Beyond simple clarity, you must be able to articulate association matters with varying levels of detail, from board members who need to drill into specifics to hurried homeowners who just want quick answers to their questions. We believe these skills are so important, communication is strongly emphasized in the personality testing we conduct for new hires.

4. Confirm your understanding

Projects can quickly get off track due to simple misunderstandings of expectations. Being successful in HOA management means taking the time to confirm that what the board needs and expects aligns with your understanding. Putting items on your written action list further ensures visibility and transparency.

5. Become comfortable delegating

It’s simply impossible for managers to personally handle every task required for successful HOA management. With so many resources at a manager’s disposal, delegation isn’t optional – it’s required.

Effectively-structured management companies have full teams of back-end support to handle all aspects of management. At Keystone, managers are supported by Associate Managers and experienced team members in our Accounting, Architectural, IT, Web Management and other departments. These departments provide the full scope of additional services to our management team and clients. Managers must possess a thorough understanding of each department’s responsibilities, in order to know where to direct requests for timely completion.

6. Practice transparency

Successful HOA managers are quick to admit mistakes – and even quicker to make corrections.

With so many moving parts, complications are bound to arise. At Keystone, we value right action over refusal to take responsibility in every scenario. The sooner you can assess a breakdown in communication, expectations or outcomes, the faster you can get projects back on track.

7. Show appreciation often

HOA management is truly a team effort. Building a solid property management career means fostering strong relationships between vendors, internal teams, homeowners and HOA boards. Quality relationships are built by taking the time to let others know you recognize and value their contributions.

A short “thank you” note or phone call strengthens connections – a cornerstone of attentive, personalized service.

Property management careers aren’t limited to property managers alone. As a service profession, there are many opportunities to support homeowners associations from every professional angle. People with skills in accounting, administrative support, marketing and more will find HOA management to be a gratifying career path where no two days are ever alike. Practice the skills above and you’ll soon find yourself in a long, rewarding career.

Ready to join the Keystone team? Browse our open positions and take your property management career to the next level.

Do HOA better.

Have a question? Need more info? Just wanna say hi? We’re a friendly crew, always here to help!