Want a highly-qualified property manager? Hire a veteran

Amanda Maher
Amanda Maher | 5 min. read

Published on March 22, 2016

Many landlords go to great lengths to screen tenants, but are incredibly quick to decide upon a property manager.

In reality, a landlord’s relationship with their property manager is just as important (if not more so!) than their relationship with tenants. And let’s be clear: not all property managers are created equally. Some will have handy-man experience; others will have a proven track record with large property management firms; others may have no experience at all—and yet could turn out to be your best choice of all.

Wait, no experience? It would be crazy to hire someone with no property management experience to care for your investment, right? But, take a look around and you might just find there are a number of otherwise highly-qualified property managers in your own backyard: military veterans.

Military veterans can prove to be terrific property managers for a number of reasons.

They Understand the Importance of Orders

Military veterans know how to take direction from their superiors, just as they know how to issue clear, concise orders to their subordinates. Respect for the chain of command and rules and regulations is an important skill for property managers, as they’re required to learn rental regulations and procedures, and to clearly communicate them to prospective tenants. Landlords who hire veterans as property managers often find that vets respect their wishes and needs, and will not cut corners that could later backfire.

Teamwork is Second-Nature to Veterans

Whether they’re worried about a construction project getting done on time or securing an enemy territory, veterans understand the importance of teamwork. Almost all military activity is performed with the assistance, coordination and awareness of other people or other units so it’s a skill that is ingrained in veterans as early as basic training. From the day-to-day operations to crisis situations, vets know how to pitch in, work with others and have their team’s back.

…But They’re Also Highly Independent

Most real estate investors love collecting passive income without worrying about daily oversight of the property. Hiring a veteran as your property manager can help you do just that because veterans are self-reliant and can make tough, reasoned decisions on behalf of the team when need be. Just think: do you want someone calling you for every minor issue—or do you want your property manager to just solve the problem and updated you as needed? I know which I’d choose.

They’re Trained to be Leaders

When most veterans enter the civilian workforce, they already have some management experience already—even if they are barely old enough to drink. “By the time I was 22, I was a Sergeant in charge of a team of 13 other Marines,” explains Jon Davis, who served two tours in Iraq. “We were all occupying very technical jobs in the computer networking field [and I] was responsible for overseeing the maintenance and distribution of over $3 million of Marine Corps property.” The armed services spends significant time training and developing their members to become leaders, through the Five Paragraph Order and Six Troop Leading steps and otherwise—so veterans understand how to motivate team members and delegate work accordingly, invaluable leadership traits.

Veterans Can Get Along with All Types of People

Military service attracts people from all walks of life regardless of race, gender, economic or social status, age, religion, intelligence, attitude or physical condition. While not everyone may get along with the others at first, eventually servicemen and women learn to see the good in the others, build mutual respect and learn to trust each other—because in the end, they all are there to protect each other. Veterans can draw on this ability as property managers, a job that often requires interaction with diverse populations. As most landlords know, not all tenants are pleasant or cooperative, but property managers with military experience are well-equipped to handle these situations.

They Can Work Under Pressure and Meet Deadlines

Have you ever worried that your property manager wouldn’t plow after a blizzard in a timely manner, or wouldn’t return security deposits during the window required by law? Stay calm—veterans are able to handle these tasks with ease. Service members have been trained to do their jobs and meet deadlines even in life-threatening situations in order to help the team complete its mission.

When Things Don’t Go as Planned, They Can Adapt

Even the best laid plans can go awry. Military veterans know this first hand, especially those who have served in combat. In the heat of the moment, a situation may suddenly change; military veterans are trained to adapt quickly. This flexibility and problem-solving is just what a landlord needs in a property manager.

Still hesitant to hire a military veteran who has “no experience” as your property manager? Consider this: Many servicemen and women serve as de facto property managers for friends who have homes on or around base while those friends are deployed. From relatively hands-off house-sitting duties to actually finding tenants and properties on behalf of their comrades, military veterans often prove to have more property management experience than you may expect.

Strike up a conversation with one and you’ll see just what I mean.

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Amanda Maher

Amanda Maher is a self-proclaimed policy wonk who dabbles in real estate law. She holds a B.S. in Political Science and Sociology from Boston University, as well as a master's in Urban and Regional Policy from Northeastern.

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