A Day in the Life of a Manager Wearing Many Hats, Performing Many Tasks

 A friend of a property manager of a New York co-op recently remarked that “Superman has finally met his match” when a task came in that seemed to have the effect of kryptonite and slowed him  down—for a moment at least.  

 With managers constantly being faced with issue upon issue and people coming at  them at all directions with emails, phone calls and complaints, it’s not an unfair analogy. A manager is something of a superhero at the end of the  day.  

 A managing agent or property manager touches every aspect of a community,  whether it is on a personal level or a professional level. It is both constant  with day-to-day operations and filled with unexpected issues that arise and  become a priority. “Every day varies. There is an unrecognized complexity to our job,” says Georgia Lombardo-Barton, president of Barton Management LLC. “Talented managers possess a diverse background in accounting, finance, project  management as well as a more simplistic ability needed to handle people and  resolve problems. It’s not a single-dimensional job description.”  

 No matter what the size of their portfolio, a manager must wear a great many  professional hats: human resources pro, administrator, mediator, organizer,  social director, project manager, sounding board—sometimes even therapist. An on-site manager has more than his or her share of  responsibilities.  

 “One thing we deal with is that everyone feels their problem is important and  they should be first,” says Stephen Elbaz, president of Esquire Management Corporation. “It’s really no different than how a doctor treats the emergency room; the cardiac  arrest will always be treated first, yet everyone wants an instant, right away  response.”  


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  • This is a good article in most part however; it seems to give too much credit to that one individual. I have been in the building services business for a very long time and my current property manager doesn't know a pressure relief valve from his nose. I agree that a property manager needs to have a broad knowledge of building mechanical systems. What happens when they don't? When their people skills fail under pressure? Perhaps you should write about those property managers. The ones that rely on others to do their job so it appears as if they did it, There are many of those and a few of the one's that have the whole packge. I carry my property manager and receive very little credit for it.
  • Very curious why you did not interview one of the guys/gals in the trenches instead of one of the Generals? Most of the owners of management companies only think they know what goes on in the field. Just saying.
  • How about doing an article on the responsibilities of residents!?! Especially in Mitchell-Lama cooperatives...need more focus that area of real estate in NYC.
  • Stop complaining, you all sound the same needy & bitter residents/tenants these managers have to deal with everyday. This article is just a general overview of what a property managers' responsibilities consists of on a daily basis. It's not meant to be dissected line by line, or make any manager look like Superman. Unless you're volunteering to write your own book on property managers with their strengths and weaknesses, then go ahead. We are all human and try to be as helpful as possible. Some are more than others.