News & Information: Patty the Property Manager

Dear Patty - Following Suit

Wednesday, January 8, 2014  
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Dear Patty,

I’ve been in property management for a short period of time, and have already seen different property management methods and a variety of ways one can structure their business. I’ve even seen how folks in other states handle things a bit differently! My question is this: What value, if any, might I get from following what others in the industry are doing — not only in my neck of the woods, but in other parts of the country as well?

--Directions Needed

Dear Needed

That’s a very good question. It’s always good to observe others who have more experience in the industry — both in your area and outside of it. By joining ORRA, you will have the opportunity to share ideas with other property managers at their committee meetings and networking at their education programs. You may also wish to look into joining a other groups such as the local chapter of NARPM (National Association of Residential Property Managers) which is a good resource for both day-to-day management tips and larger industry-wide issues.

I’ve seen the benefits in following trends and practices from around the country. For instance, one thing we share on a national basis is a requirement to abide by Fair Housing laws. While federal laws apply to all of us, some states have enacted additional laws that property managers must follow. Following trends like this can give you an edge over your competition!

Issues affecting properties themselves can vary from area to area, and one part of the country might experience a problem ahead of others. For example, managers in California are having problems with a certain type of roofing, and it would benefit you to be on the lookout for similar issues with properties you manage that have the same type of roofing. Who knows? You could be the first in the area to deal with the problem, and you’d be a source of help for others.

Lastly, safety, security, and the rule of law are very important. Other areas of the country might be having problems with squatters in vacant properties or problems with property managers being physically attacked or falling prey to organized groups of criminals looking to use rental properties for illicit purposes. Your area may not have seen those problems, but it’s good to be aware of them and to be on the lookout for them in case they start popping up.

The best property manager is an alert and educated one — and the more you learn, the better the service you’ll be able to provide your clients!


"Patty the Property Manager” appears courtesy of the ORRA Property Management Subcommittee. Readers are invited to submit property management related questions to Patty by sending an e-mail to

The ORRA Property Management Subcommittee provides this property-management advice column as a service to ORRA members. The column is intended to provide a general understanding, not as a substitute for individual legal consultation. The column should not be relied upon in specific situations without consulting a real estate attorney.

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