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Property Manager Types

October 22, 2022

Which Type of Property Manager Are You?

The residential rental real estate industry attracts people from all interests, professions and walks of life.

It makes this business more dynamic, interesting and presents new market opportunities to explore. Yet property management is more dynamic and challenging than we may believe.

The work of a property manager includes finance, administration, marketing, people management, communications, research, and physical assets. That’s a lot of management skills for just one person. Those who have the full slate of managerial skills and professional approach can make a huge difference to a business.

Of course, people involved in property management have their own personalities, skills, ambitions, and circumstances. That’s their context and it will color their point of view, approach, workstyle, choices, focus, opportunities and how they relate to tenants and staff.

Personality is a Way to Get Things Done

Yes, Landlords, Community/HOA Managers or Property Managers have personality types. In fact, their personality can be a source of power (or weakness), guidance and confidence in their role. Not many realize that work success requires many traits, skills, and activities to get everything done.

And conversely and infrequently, manager’s strengths may become an issue for staff and tenants and could erode company performance. The solution is better insight and appreciation for leadership and team building.

Let’s take a look at how rental property managers are oriented and what strengths they bring to the job. You’ll definitely see yourself in these archetypes and you should appreciate your strengths.  And you might discover potential weaknesses you could work on.

Let’s group rental property pros into 7 archetypes and the value they deliver to management.

7 Property Manager Types

  1. Techno Geek Manager – these people are the newest entrant to the property management sector. They have a data-driven, entrepreneurial flair inspired by the power of the IT cloud and digital services. They feel managing properties can be done better, more efficiently. And lacking handyman, interpersonal, rent collections, and other practical skills doesn’t deter them from thinking they can make big money in the rental market. They use digital tools and channels to fulfill their modern (archetype) tenant’s preference for mobile devices. They rely on cloud-based software to streamline and deliver services, provide reports, automate documentation and accounting, and to get tenants to do the work (self-service models).
    Yet, leaking water pipes, non-paying tenants, broken washing machines, and missed maintenance calls don’t always get solved via digital communications and self-help menus. Some tenants want nothing to do with digital technology.  Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty.
  2. Hands-on, Get it done, Today is Everything Manager – these are the traditional property managers/landlords who manage repairs on the phone or in person, accept rent payments at an office, and purse tenants who haven’t paid their rent or not done what is expected. They’re present-focused, punctual, reliable, hardworking, are assertive in personal communications and on the lookout for big problems, which their more frequent inspections provide warnings of. They’re problem solvers and won’t back down from challenges.
    Yet, this overly hands-on management routine may break down as more and more properties and tenants are added to the workload.  They may procrastinate regarding more modern, efficient digital service solutions to upscale, add new services, thus profits begin to erode.
  3. People Pleaser Manager – These managers believe great things happen through people. In fact, business is actually about serving the customer. They are the perfect landlord for high rent buildings and rental homes where tenants expect responsive, first-rate service where everything is taken care of. They have emotional intelligence that helps gauge the mood of community members or tenants, and this head problems off before they happen, and make the tenant experience super smooth and satisfying. They’re good leaders, are well- liked and respected, create a good team atmosphere, are great at building high tenancy rates, renewing leases, and creating the best tenant experience.
    Yet, with downscale rental units needing repairs and lower income tenants having trouble paying their rent, pleasing people can be stressful. Sometimes sticking business and adopting technology helps to keep people relations better.
  4. The Property Administrator – these people play by the book and love how systems and procedures keep business moving like a machine, to ensure big losses don’t happen. They love bureaucracy and paperwork, and are smart about managing people and assets professionally. They screen tenants and contractors thoroughly, and look for breaches of leases, HOA rules and any damage tenants do, which must be recorded. They’re reliable, communicate effectively, keep good books and accurate documentation and they manage budgets expertly. When you’re forced to evict or fine members, they’ve got all the detailed paperwork ready.
    They may not be colorful and magnetic, and will follow the rules too inflexibly for most tenant or community members.  By loosening up a little, they might get the compliance, accountability, and cooperation they need from tenants or community members.
  5. The CFO, Finances are Everything Manager – they’re focused on revenues and costs and will work to create the best ROI. These asset managers look to grow the value of the property, increase rents, avoid churn through leasing skills, and find new revenue sources. They know rentals are a business and work to make it profitable. They’re up on the value of assets and are keen on getting the best rent price and producing high yields. They’ll be open to modern digital solutions, revenue generating amenities, financial strategies, and tactics/ideas to maximize cash flow.
    Unfortunately, the people side of the business may suffer when tenants don’t get a voice or their rights respected, and it’s all about the income statement. They may forget this is a people and customer focused business.
  6. The Corporate CEO Property Manager — this is the executive, top down manager who can orchestrate large portfolios and find ways to scale up to make a rental portfolio a profitable enterprise. They’re a good manager, create a workflow and a team to carry out rental management effectively, as well as establish appropriate benchmarks and goals to reach. It’s all business according to the plan, and they do bring confidence to the project and help everyone achieve success in their role. This manager impresses property investors who are focused on yields, profits, cost control, and asset value maximization.
    Unfortunately, the corporate brand and lack of input for tenants or staff influence in work roles can make them feel alienated, more like programmed robots.
  7. The Side Gig Entrepreneur – a lot of people start out with one property and somehow manage to grow slowly. Often, these live-in landlords, maintenance pros, and local property investors don’t grow fast enough — since growth protects profitability. They like the cool image of themselves as a savvy manager, business owner and entrepreneur. The business is always part time, on weekends and evenings, yet may provide the income and equity over time, that proves to be valuable.
    Yet, they’re content with what they have, and may lack the financial, managerial, and technical skills to move to the next level of profitability.  When costs rise, they may burn themselves out by working too hard, or they may even lose their properties in a financial crisis given they don’t have the equity/leverage to survive bad times. Unfortunately, some will sell their properties to investors because they lack a plan for sustainable profit.

Building More Skills and Capability Translates to a Better Business

Being a top property manager takes a diverse set of skills. Sometimes how managers see themselves and their opportunity, can hold them back.

We should always appreciate our strengths, however in a high cost, competitive environment we must evolve to keep our property management companies sustainable and profitable. Success happens in many ways.

You might see yourself as one of these types since we all tend to have a core business personality. Yet, you might also recognize a little of you in each of them, which is great because they are essential pieces of the complete property manager profile. In fact, if you lack any of these traits, it suggests some business management weaknesses that could evolve into performance losses, internal friction, people problems, poor decisions and higher costs.

If we know where we’re weak, we can begin to build a more well-rounded professional skill set that owners want to hire. Ensure your Linkedin profile reflects your all-round prowess.

Investors and owners will be assessing your professional capabilities and style to determine whether you’re the right fit for their portfolio. Now that you recognize how professional workstyles affect performance, you’ll be sure to show you’ve got it covered from technology use to financial management and legal, to staff and tenant management.

Use Technology to Leverage Your Strengths

Money and people are what property management is all about, and ManageCasa will help you manage both like a pro.

Discover more on how ManageCasa complements your management style to reduce friction, improve ROI, and simplify how your business operates.


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