Interviewers like hearing that you are willing to accept change with a positive attitude, and you will happily work through any challenges that come with change. Tell the interviewer that you understand change happens in companies, and you realize it is your responsibility to ensure you have clarity about the changes and implement them professionally. State that you would reach out to your manager for assistance with receiving clarification on the direction that you are supposed to take with the changes to ensure you are proceeding in the manner that the leadership team had intended. As a bonus, share that you understand the leadership team has good intentions with the changes, and you just want to ensure you are supporting the changes properly.
Think about the last time a contractor did not carry through on their promises or meet your expectations for quality of work. These situations make great examples for this question! Provide the interviewer with what work the contractor was supposed to be doing for you, and share what the outcome of the contractor's work actually was (...or, perhaps lack thereof if they failed to complete the project altogether). Next, share how you reached out to the contractor either via phone to talk about the issue or on-site to talk face-to-face. Discuss how you professionally and graciously told the contractor the issue and expressed your disappointment. Share what remediation you requested. You may have asked for the project to be re-vamped. You might have asked for your money back to move on. Or, you may have asked for the project to be started all over again. Finally, be sure to mention that you enjoy working with contractors and typically don't have any issues with them. The challenging ones are few and far between, and you try to work with all of them on a pleasant and professional basis to maintain a positive image for the company.
If you have sound reason to believe an unethical issue is occurring, you report it. Always. You might report it to higher leadership or through an ethics portal. Interviewers want to hear that they are adding trusted people to their team who want to maintain the integrity and accountability of their organization. There is no need to get yourself involved in the issue. It is your responsibility to simply report the issue and wait for someone from management, an ethics team, or compliance to approach you to learn more about what you know.
"I would report it to my supervisor or an appropriate authority. I wouldn't intervene until I have orders to."
Provide the interviewer with an overview of the property. What was the purpose of the property? Were there multiple buildings? What types of tenants were in the buildings (business/residential)? How many tenants were there? Next share 2-3 things that were successful with that property providing a high-level overview of each item, and share why you felt like it was a success. Finally, mention one thing the company could have done better as well as the approach you wish would have been taken instead.
"The last property I managed was a portfolio of houses rented out to college students. They were very successful at attracting the students to rent there. They had great marketing and the location was convenient. There were a few areas they could've improved though. For instance, a lot of students left after a semester, so we were constantly scrambling to get new tenants. They were leaving for several reasons. For one, the tenants just weren't suited for each other. You had party-goers who were next door to studious tenants. It just caused a lot of friction. What I would've done differently is to market each house or section to a different demographic. For example, I would market one house to students who are known to be more serious about studying, and another to those who are known to hold more parties. That way, the tenants would be a better fit for each other and they would stay longer, which means we don't have to constantly run new marketing campaigns."
Nope! The interviewer needs to hear that you are an ethical person and always follow the rules with customers. Simply tell the interviewer that you have not bent the rules due to pressure from a customer. Next, share that you have an ethical responsibility to uphold the company standards, and you intend to continue doing just that!
"No, I've never bent the rules for anyone. It's important that the tenant understands that the rules are not negotiable. Once word gets around that the rules were bent in that tenant's favor, other tenants will start asking for exceptions as well, and soon enough you'll have chaos. If enough tenants start complaining about the way the building is run, I would of course look into the matter. But for the most part, the rules need to be enforced consistently for everyone's benefit."
You are a great manager, and you always have room to learn and improve! Give yourself an 8 or a 9! After rating yourself, tell the interviewer that there is always room to grow and improve. Next, share your three examples. Pick three examples that are all positive such as: - A positive conversation you have recently had with an employee - A recent innovative idea you have implemented - Great ways you motivate your staff
"I would rate myself at an 8 out of 10. Management ability is based on leadership and organizational skills. Leading others is very important. I had an employee who was very upset and told me that she was going to quit the job. I talked to her for several hours to figure out what's going on in her life and what she isn't getting out of the job. After our talk, she came back to work on Monday and thanked me, telling me that having me as a manager was truly a blessing. It was one of the most rewarding moments in my career. Then there's continuous improvement. In my last management position, I saw many opportunities to improve the way things were being done at that moment, so I continually made small changes. For instance, the signs that we were posting were not very clear or visible, so I changed it. I also improved the efficiency of upkeep and the response time of repairs, which resulted in much happier tenants. As you can see, I can retain and motivate employees to do a good job, and I can lead them to implement improvements that result in an improved reputation for the building, which leads to higher value and increased rent."
If you have leased space before, something likely jumped to mind right away! Simply tell the interviewer about that space (where is was located, what size it was, what type of tenant the space was intended for), how long it was available, and what made it challenging. Be sure to mention a couple of measures you took to try to lease it more effectively such as posting it on websites, sending mailers, adding new signage in front of the property, etc...
Every job has its challenges, and that is okay! The interviewer wants to hear that you recognize the challenge and do not allow it to impact you negatively. Pick a challenge that is not a key part of the manager role. Two common examples might include: - Recognizing Blindspots: The things you do not know about until it's too late - Not having all of the company information. Mistakes your employees make that you do not know about until your weekly one-on-one meeting. - Communicating Performance: Both the good and the bad! Ensuring you have a balance of communicating enough without it becoming too much of your day. Share your most challenging aspect as a manager with the interviewer. Share that you realize this is a challenge for you, and be sure to mention that you are continually working on this challenge to grow and improve!
"The most challenging thing about being a manager is handling negative employees who aren't showing signs of improving. With some people, there's only so much that you can do for them to help them improve. In fact, there's usually that one person who has a very negative attitude, and this person brings the whole team down. When everyone else is enjoying something, they'll be the one to point out something negative that nobody thought about. This is something that I'm trying to learn how to overcome. I see it as a challenge to help this person do a 180-degree change, to go from being negative to being positive. It's not easy, and it may not always be productive, so I make sure that I don't focus on it too much. But it's an opportunity I always keep an eye out for, because I think that's what separates a good manager from a great manager: being able to get good performance out of any personality."
Interviewers have a fear of hiring a manager who is going to come in and change everything right away. They want to hear that you will improve their company without completely rocking the boat. Tell the interviewer that you would begin by observing until you gained a good understanding of how the company operates, what is currently working well, and what is not working so well. Next, share that you would make any urgent changes that you identify right away, and you would wait until you had a solid understanding of the company needs before making any additional changes.
"The first thing I need to accomplish as a manager is to understand how the company works. I need to observe the way things are set up. Once I understand that, I need to learn the needs of the company: are we attracting the right tenants? Are we attracting enough of them? Then I'd develop a plan to make the right improvements, with an eye for continuous and incremental improvements."
Think about the constraints you have encountered with projects. Weather, contractor availability, employee availability, city regulations (permits/zoning permits/inspections/environmental compliance), and budget are all possible constraints you may have encountered. Next, think about how these constraints affected your customers. What feedback did you receive from customers? What questions were customers asking? What were you afraid customers might be wanting that you couldn't offer at the time? These things all will make solid examples for this question. Start by telling the interviewer what project you were working on, the constraint you had, and the customer demand that you were competing with. Next, share what steps you took to ensure customer satisfaction during this time. In a rental industry, perhaps you focused on the customer relationship by offering guests at your property a free nights stay. If your restaurant was shut down, maybe you set up a discount with another local establishment for your guests. In a corporate or commerical property management setting, perhaps you acted as an advocate for tenants encouraging the city to keep the process for inspections on schedule. Maybe you opened the door for the city representatives to meet with tenants to allow them to have all of their questions answered about regulations before the project began. It's all about maintaining the positive customer relationship, so whatever action you took in your industry, explain the positive outcome your efforts had!
Talking to people! Leadership is all about relationship building, and as a leader, you know that building relationships with people allows them to open up for you to understand what items are priorities. Tell the interviewer that simply talking to people at all levels of the team including your manager, other managers, and subordinates will allow you to understand the most pressing needs of the company, and you can then utilize that information to understand which things are priorities and need to be accomplished first.
Talking about ourselves in this way can be challenging. We recommend reaching out to a few colleagues, family members, and friends. Ask them for their opinion. You'll probably be surprised at the consistency in their responses! Their answers will give you insight into how to answer this question. Tell the interviewer what sets you apart, and explain how your co-workers, family members, and friends have encouraged you with your gift in this area.
Empowerment is all about trusting your staff to make decisions without having to come to you all the time. It is a great way to help the employee add value and meaning, and it allows you, as a manager, to have more free time. It's a win-win!
What recent projects with multiple people have you led? Did you go through a transition of owners? Have you led a property event? Were you in a residential property and offered a resident life event? Did you go through a program addition or add a new building? Did you take on a construction or large maintenance project? Begin by giving the interviewer a high-level overview of the project including the purpose of the project, what teams or people you were responsible for, and your role in managing the teams. Next, share what hiccups you encountered during the project stating them as facts. Be sure to mention that you realize challenges are going to occur with projects, and you understand it is your responsibility to help manuever through the challenges with ease. Next, share how you tackled each of the mentioned hiccups, and finally, share the great outcome the project had because of your leadership with the teams!
"The main challenge was learning how to communicate effectively with all the different people on the team and understanding what motivates them to do a great job. In some instances, I communicated through the supervisor, who's best-equipped to motivate his team members. After all, he sees them on a daily basis and is responsible for their performance. So I just set very clear expectations of what needs to be done, by when, and at what standards of quality. If we aren't meeting the standards that we need, then I coach the supervisor in leadership and help him or her get the best out of his team. In other instances, I communicated directly with the individuals. It isn't so different from communicating with a supervisor. You just have to set clear expectations and help them remove any obstacles. You measure their performance and mentor them on how to perform at the level that you need them to."
Changes in the workplace happen all the time! The key is sharing that you are supportive of change and happily adapt to the changes. Think back to a major change that you happily welcomed in the past two years. Describe the change to the interviewer outlining the previous process as well as the requested change. Next, share that you recognized why the company was making this change, and tell the interviewer that you were excited about the change and welcomed it openly.
"I think most people would find major changes to routine procedures that they conduct on a daily basis to be somewhat annoying. To be completely honest, I'd initially be a little bit annoyed like most people. But then I just remind myself that these decisions are made in what upper management believes to be best for the company. And since I'm a team player, and I recognize that the company's best interests are also my own best interests, I just look for ways to learn the new procedures as quickly as I can. The change is going to happen anyway, so I may as well make the transition as smooth as possible."
At which of your past jobs have you been the most successful? Now, think about what you liked about their workplace. Did you have an office or cubical? Did you sit by a window or in a hallway? Did you wear jeans or professional clothes to work each day? Did you spend most of your day on the phone, or did you spend most of your day out and about at the property? Share 2-3 of these things that you liked best! Next, think about your manager as well as the leadership team. What did you like most about it? Did they let you make independent decisions? Did you get to set your own hours? Did they interact with you a lot? Simply share 2-3 of your favorite things they did.
"I'm most successful in an environment where I'm trusted to lead the team and where I'm judged by the results that I produce. When upper management starts to direct middle management in the way that the team should be run, the company runs the risk of alienating the team members on the ground floor. A good manager knows his people well and how to handle them to get them to perform at high levels because he sees them on a daily basis and is the most well-informed. He is the one who's best-equipped to make decisions about how to achieve the results that upper management wants. And that's all I ask for: to be trusted to deliver strong performance for my superiors."
What things have you done? - Have you collected & checked references? - Have you done a background or credit check? - Have you verified employment? Simply share which of these things you have utilized!
"I follow standard industry practice, such as verifying employment, background and credit checks, and references. I take it one step further though. I take the time to really get to know the tenant. What are his or her likes and dislikes, what's her lifestyle like? I need to know what his complaints might be, and whether they'll be a high or low maintenance tenant."
With any job interview, it is crucial to understand the organization you are applying to. We recommend visiting the company website to learn key information such as current seasonal promotions and ongoing events. Watch the videos on their website, and take note of the information on their Careers page if one is available. Come prepared to list off 5-6 things you learned from the company's website such as number of tenants they have, number of buildings they own, when the company started, who started the company, mission statement, vision statement, core values, etc...
The interviewer wants to hear about a positive experience you have had with leadership. Think about a time when you led a sports team, led a college project, managed a store, or coached a little league team. These are all great examples! Start off by giving the interviewer a high-level overview of what you were leading, and share that you enjoyed the experience. Discuss the positive outcome that the group had, and explain that you would gladly lead again!
Have there been times when your direct reports have thanked you for something? Or, have they given you positive recognition for something? These make great examples for this question. Tell the interviewer 2-3 things that your direct reports have thanked you for or given you positive recognition for. When in doubt, think back to your past performance reviews. What positive comments were made about your leadership style? Be sure to tell the interviewer that your direct reports or past managers have told you that they liked these things about you; it will surely impress!
"My direct reports would tell you that I'm a very positive and encouraging leader who knows how to keep them motivated. I insist on building good relationships with the people who I'm responsible for. I do that by showing them respect and acknowledging and rewarding the good work that they do. On the same token, if they're not performing to standards, I make sure that they know what the standards are and I help them improve to meet those standards."
Hiring teams love hiring people who contribute to the team! Think about the last great idea or change you made that was successful. Simply share the idea or change you implemented, why you decided to pursue the idea, and mention how successful the outcome was. Don't be afraid to think outside the box! You can use work examples, things you have done around your home, or even ways you have improved your school work.
Interviewers love to hear how innovative and independent you have been in your past positions to further the success of the company. Think about something you implemented or a new opportunity you pursued that was well received. Tell the interviewer what you decided to do, what steps you took to get it done, and be sure to mention how well it was received after it was done!
"One day, when I was talking with a rental agency, they mentioned that they were seeing an increase in out-of-town inquiries. So I organized an event to bring these prospective tenants together. I observed them very closely and identified what they had in common and who got along with each other. I also found out what they liked and disliked about the building. Essentially, I conducted a very cost-effective focus group and found out what kind of demographic our building appeals to the most. I used that experience to inform our marketing efforts going forward, and that helped reduce our vacancy rates and improved the quality of our tenants."
Interviewers like hearing that you have thought ahead before diving into your project workload to ensure quality is thought about from the get-go. Think about a time when you had a hectic project schedule and you chose to build quality into the process before you ever started the project. You might have ensured you selected the appropriate personnel/contractors/team members. You may have built in essential project communication. You likely created in-depth project plans with deadlines for each part of your project schedule. Begin by telling the interviewer a little about your project schedule. Next, share that you recognized the complexity of this schedule right away, and share what steps you took to build quality into the schedule before moving forward. Explain that thinking ahead and building in quality measures early on allowed you to focus on the project schedule without having to worry about quality being compromised.
With a calm, professional demeanor! The interviewer needs to hear that crisis situations do not get the best of you. Share that you understand your role during a crisis involves providing professional expertise with a positive attitude. Be sure to mention that you do not allow urgent situations to get the best of you, and you understand these situations are a great opportunity for you to share wisdom and expertise with others who need your guidance.
Think about the last time conflict came to you. Did your neighbors dislike that your snow removal person dropped a pile of snow in their parking lot? Did you have a tenant who was upset about something? Or, maybe you had a manager who didn't like the new lights you installed in the entryway. The key to this question is showing the interviewer that you worked through the problem without losing your professionalism or positive attitude. Begin by providing the interviewer with a summary of the conflict expressing how you learned about the problem. Next, share that you apologized for the issue, and discuss how you resolved the conflict. Be sure to mention how happy the other person was when all was said and done!
Be honest with the interviewer sharing the largest building or space you have managed. You can share the name of the building if it is well known, or you may share the size of the space if it is lesser known. Be sure to share the purpose of the property (office building, community center, etc...) if it might not be a well-known space.
Talking about a time when you gave someone great advice that was well received makes a perfect example for this question! Begin be telling the interviewer who you were providing advice to. Share how you approached the conversation with an understanding attitude being sensitive to how the other person would respond to your feedback. Next, share the advice that you gave the person, and share the person's initial response. Finally, be sure to mention that the person accepted your advice in the end, and provide an overview of the positive outcome.
What project have you completed or led that went really smoothly? What was it about that project that made it go so well? Was it your ability to plan ahead to have all of the materials in advance? Was it your ability to set aside everything else for a short period of time to get the project done? Or, was it your ability to prepare a set of detailed step-by-step plans to ensure you knew exactly when your deadlines were? Tell the interviewer what project you were working on as well as your role with the project. Next, share the outcome of the project, and express why the project went so well focusing on how successful your planning or organization skills were to help you achieve success.
Be honest with the interviewer sharing if you have ever discontinued service with a vendor or contractor. If you have discontinued a service, share which service you discontinued. Next, share that you discontinued the service because there was a better option available for the property. Finally, discuss how it went when you discontinued the service mentioning if the vendor or contractor tried to provide additional incentives to keep you as a customer.
6 months! No matter how you approach your new role, it typically takes at least 6 months to fully assimilate to the new position learning the culture, the needs of the property, and making proper observations along the way. Sure, you will make tangible changes during this timeframe. You might upgrade landscaping. You might counsel a few employees. You may even bring in a new vendor or be leading a sizeable project. But, the most meaningful thing you can do for the company up front is becoming fully assimiliated to the company and your new role. Share this with the interviewer!
"I typically learn a new job within a month. In the second month, I start learning the working and communication styles of my team members and my superiors. In the third month, I'm able to interpret all of that to understand the needs of the organization and the style in which they prefer it to be met. Then, within the next three months, I start making significant improvements. In my last job, I earned a 15% raise within the first three months and I made my superiors proud by the sixth month."
Be candid with the interviewer sharing why you are pursuing other companies. The key is to only talk about your past employer in a positive manner focusing on how you would like to better yourself with a new opportunity! Not a fan of your current manager? That's okay! Simply tell the interviewer that you are hoping to find a manager who can mentor you and help you grow as a property manager. Dislike your current working hours? Easy! Tell the interviewer that you are seeking a working schedule that allows you to have more time with your friends and family. Translate your reason for leaving into how you will benefit from the transition!
None of them! Tell the interviewer that you are a team player and are willing to help out wherever necessary to ensure the company and team are successful. Mention that there will likely be parts of the job that are less desirable than others, but you recognize they are essential to achieving success in the role. Finally, be sure to share that you will happily complete all job duties because you understand you are being paid to complete them for a reason!
Adapting to change is an essential part of any job, and interviewers want to hear that you will happily adapt to change when necessary. Begin by telling the interviewer that you are an adaptable person, and you simply change directions when priorities change keeping a positive attitude. Next, think about a time when something really urgent came up. This is your example! You might share about the time a water pipe burst in a building and everything else needed to be set aside. Or, you may mention an unfortunate fire. Perhaps you will discuss a major storm that came through requiring extra work at a property. You may even share about the need to get a property ready for a last minute photo shoot for a magazine or television appearance. There are all sorts of last minute urgent situations that might have occurred; simply share yours with the interviewer.
Interviewers want to hear that you reward your employees and recognize them for their positive efforts in a way that is truly motivating and meaningful. Great employee rewards might include: - Allowing employees to a leave early on a Friday afternoon - Bringing in homemade pumpkin bread - Having an afternoon staff golf outing - Allowing employees to wear jeans to work for a week - Paying for a training course they were hoping to take - Providing fake money that can be traded in for rewards at the end of each quarter - Having their house cleaned - Having their car professional cleaned while they are at work Be prepared to share 2-3 of your favorite ways to reward employees!
This one should be easy! Share what types of tenants you have worked with (residential/commercial/other). Share what your role has been working with tenants, and share how many tenants you are typically working with at one time.
"I've worked with many commercial tenants. They can be a very demanding crowd, but that's fully expected and I can sympathize with them. After all, they're trying to focus on making enough revenue so that they can pay the rent, which is of course used to pay me and the team that keeps that building running smoothly. I've also worked with residential tenants before, in large apartment complexes with 30-60 units. I'm equally comfortable with both kinds of tenants."
We all have different financial situations, and that is okay! If there is a specific dollar amount that you need to make, share it with the interviewer understanding that you might eliminate yourself from the candidate pool if the amount is higher than they can pay you. It's better to find this out sooner rather than later! If you do not have a specific dollar amount that you need, tell the interviewer that you would like to receive an offer that is equitable for the amount of experience and qualifications that you offer. This leaves the table open for negotiations come job offer time!
"I have faith that your company will extend an offer that's an accurate reflection of how much value I bring to your organization."
Quality Assurance is taking the time to ensure that your quality standards are being consistently met and maintained. In many situations, you will be responsible for QA as the manager. In other situations, you may have an employee who has been on your team for a number of years who handles QA because of their great depth of knowledge and expertise.
Interviewers want to hear why you are interested in working as a property manager for this particular location. What makes you excited about this opportunity? Is it really close to your home? Have you heard good things about the tenants in this building? Or, maybe you like that it is in a trendy part of town that will allow you to get to know the city more. You might share that you really like the opportunities for the type of work that this location will have. Whatever your reason for liking this particular building, now is your chance to share it with the interviewer.
"I want to manage this building for two reasons—the people and the location. I've heard that the people who live here are very community-oriented, and I want to do everything I can to encourage that. The location is also great because it's convenient for me to get to, and also part of a growing neighborhood. It's always exciting to be a part of that growth."
Share what types of marketing objectives your property employed. Did you try to improve tenant quality? Did you try to fill a new building? Did you try to promote awareness? Did you promote resident life activities? Did you make the property more marketable by improving the property and grounds? Next, share which marketing initiatives you created and implemented. Did you manage the Facebook page? Did you create a new advertising campaign? Did you come up with the idea to improve the grounds and carry this through? None of these things were stressful! Interviewers want to hear that you enjoy this part of your job because marketing is a key part of the business! Be sure to share that you enjoy promoting your place of work!
"Before I was on board at my last property, they just ran print ads in the local college newspapers. That meant that they mostly got tenants who were in their second year or more. When I got there, I started a Facebook page and attracted freshmen whose families were less cost-conscious. I encouraged the tenants to share Yelp reviews through the Facebook page and helped organize a community for those tenants. They loved it. Very quickly, word got around that our company's properties were the best for people moving in from out-of-state, and we started seeing tenants who were not only willing to pay more rent, but also willing to give us free advertising by organically being brand ambassadors for us."
Property managers are responsible for overseeing the everyday activities of different types of properties, from large apartment complexes to smaller solo family homes. Their exact responsibilities vary depending on the type and size of property they are managing as well as their contract. In general, property managers find and screen tenants, handle leases, collect and adjust rent, deal with complaints, handle maintenance and repairs and supervise other employees.
There are no minimum qualification requirements to become a property manager. You would, however, need to have some experience in this field. Property managers must have good leadership, organizational and management skills and an eye for details. They must be proactive in managing the property so they can thwart problems before they occur.
Prospective employers will want to know more about your work experience in this field. What kind of property did you manage? How large was it? How many residents did you have to deal with and how many employees? What makes you the right candidate for this role? You can find several more questions that are usually asked at property manager interviews when you go to Mock Questions.