Why You DON’T Want to Be a ‘Rock Star’ Property Manager

There is a lot of advice out there on how to be a "rock star" property manager. That's the last thing you should want.

jfiur thumbnailBy Jessica Fiur, Senior Editor

There are tons and tons of great blogs telling property managers how to be “rock stars.” (Here’s a cool one from Multifamily Insiders.)

The premise of all these articles makes sense and offers good advice—you want to be the best property manager you can be, show excellent customer service, take care of all the issues that come up, etc.

But I take umbrage (umbrage, I say!) about using the term “rock star.” You don’t want to be a rock star property manager. In fact, that’s the last thing you should want to be compared to.

After all, what do you think of when you think of rock stars?

First of all, you think of drugs and alcohol, right? Rock stars notoriously have reputations, fairly or unfairly, for rock and rolling all night, and partying ev-er-y day. There’s a reason that the expression is “sex, drugs and rock and roll,” not “getting to work on time, being polite to your coworkers and rock and roll.” And, while there’s nothing wrong with a happy hour every now and then, as a property manager, you certainly don’t want that reputation around the community. As a rock star, show up to work drunk or high, and you have thousands of fans cheering for you. As a property manager, show up to work drunk or high, and get [rightfully] fired.

“Oh, this? Standard procedure for testing your unit fire alarms, ma’am.”

Rock stars also are thought of to be unreliable (see the first point about drugs and alcohol). As a property manager, reliability is probably one of your best assets! When a resident comes to you with an issue, you want to be able to deal with it quickly and efficiently. You want to be able to streamline rent collection. You need to be able to ensure that daily operations are running smoothly. You have to be reliable.

How about rock stars’ reputations for smashing equipment and totally destroying property, such as hotel rooms and tour buses? Do you want your residents to imagine that if you come into their units to fix something or to show the apartment to prospective new renters you’re going to throw their microwave out the [probably closed] window and spray paint “Apartments Rule!” all over their walls?

What about the uniform? Leather pants? Sparkles everywhere? Left sharks? Think about sitting at a desk all day in that. I’m chafing already.

And, finally, what about the fact that rock stars are sexy? You…well, maybe this one’s OK. Get down with your bad self.

You don’t want to be a rock star property manager. You want to be reliable and trustworthy. You want to be clean cut. You want to be just a little bit boring. By all means, be awesome. You should do your job well and with enthusiasm. Look for ways to better your community and make your residents feel welcome. Just don’t be a rock star.

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