Does Communication Trump Technology For Real Estate Managers?

More than 1,400 real estate management professionals from across the United States and Canada recently participated in a comprehensive study to help define the responsibilities and competencies for successful real estate managers. In this job analysis conducted by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), participants working in all property types identified the essential tasks and knowledge required in their jobs today.

IREM released an Executive Summary of the analysis today.IREM_logo

IREM upholds the professional standards of real estate management professionals by offering the credentials, Certified Property Manager (CPM®), Accredited Residential Manager (ARM®), and Accredited Commercial Manager (ACoM), to recognize the professional experience of industry standard practitioners. Organizations involved in credential development conduct job analysis studies to identify the critical practices of a profession. As noted by IREM, job analysis studies are a method of identifying information about a job role, which is then used to establish the necessary, critical, and important requirements to ensure that practitioners in such a role have the requisite knowledge for credentialing. IREM conducts a job analysis approximately every seven years.

While technology continues to make its way into the daily tasks of real estate professionals, this IREM job analysis found an increasing importance of “soft skills,” or “cross-functional skills” —those needed to successfully perform a variety of industry specific task and responsibilities. In fact, “Communications” was the top ranked knowledge area by 95% of IREM respondents. Other highly ranked soft skills including “problem solving” and “interpersonal skills.”

Technology Rounds Out The List
While technology—specifically “property management software and technology” were included in the job analysis questions posed to participants, it landed second from the bottom on a 30 item list.

The question was: How important is this knowledge to perform your job responsibilities in your current position? A maximum rating to be given was 4, with Communications the top rated aspect with a 3.64 average rating. Property Management Software and Technology was rated with a 3.01 average rating. 

The Executive Summary notes, “While the value of cross functional skills is certainly not unique to this industry, real estate management is a sophisticated business. It requires the utilization of the latest technology to increase operating efficiencies, maximize revenue streams, and monitor property performance. However, the survey results confirm that real estate management is still essentially a personal service profession. Real estate managers realize that managing people and relationships are just as important as managing buildings, because of the individual relationships they have with building owners, tenants/residents, and employees.”

An executive summary of IREM’s Real Estate Management Job Analysis (August 2015) can be downloaded as a PDF at this link.