A Day in the Life of a Property Manager

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What do you think of when you hear ‘property manager?’ When people ask me what I do for a living, and ‘property manager’ is my response, I am usually met by a blank stare. The other most common responses are ‘so you rent out places?’ Or, ‘so you collect rent and/or clean the buildings?’. I usually try to summarize our job in a few seconds while I still have their attention, but the job is so much more than what the standard job description of a condominium manager really is. After taking my courses to get my RCM a few years ago, I realized that nothing prepares you for the mind-boggling situations that you face when dealing with people on a daily basis. I decided to collect some stories from managers at our office, and had to choose from the dozens that they had to share. 

Birds 2(1)

Sometimes amusing photos get shared with us. Here are some turkeys an owner sent us who we suspect were meeting to discuss the winter curb-appeal of the property.

“I managed a property where an owner had a large cage in their backyard, where a chicken was living. I reached out to him, advising that he couldn’t keep the cage and this chicken in his yard. He advised that Betty* (names have been changed to protect the identity of the hen) was not a chicken, but a beloved pet and member of his household. He ended up re-homing Betty, but I got a few glamour shots of her first when he attempted to guilt me into letting him keep her.”

“I look after a building that is mainly university student tenants. One day, I got an email with a photo attachment. The email appealed to me, asking that her window be cleaned because there was a large spider outside the glass who had made a home there. The photo attachment was a nice close-up of the spider, so I could see its size for myself. I couldn’t tell her to call her dad to come squish the thing but did have to tell her that we would not be sending someone to address the arachnid, who would likely move on.”

“I managed a high-rise that had a pretty large mailroom. One day, I was contacted by Canada Post, who said they would no longer be putting mail in a certain owner’s box any further. When I inquired as to why, they said that there was frequently opened liquor in the box, and so they had the ability to refuse service. I contacted the owner and had to politely advise him that due to items inside of the box, the mail-person was no longer going to bring him his mail. He told me that his wife didn’t like him drinking, so he would go down to the lobby and take a few swigs, so she would be none the wiser!”

“I had a car dumped in one of my visitor parking spots at a townhome complex I looked after. I thought someone was working on it at first, but quickly realized it was abandoned and parts were slowly going missing from it (it was a BMW). We had no idea who it belonged to, and the owner information we gathered did not match anyone at the building. It took an extremely long time for it to be removed, due to the fact that someone removed the tires. The City would not touch it, nor would our parking control company. A private company finally hauled the car offsite, and I was so relieved to not have to hear about that car again!”

 “One day I got a call from a resident who advised me he was a tenant at a building I managed. He asked me if I could change the locks on the unit, to which I replied that he would need to get in touch with the owner of the unit. He then told me that considering the circumstances of the SWAT team being in the unit yesterday, he thought he should ask me first. I told him I was not aware of the situation that involved the SWAT, and asked what had happened. It turned out that his former roommate had sub-letted a room to someone this gentleman

did not know. The other day, he had returned home to see the sub-letting tenant sitting on the couch, holding a shotgun. He had dashed out of the unit before asking any questions, and called the police immediately. It was hard to know what to say after hearing that, other than the fact that I was glad it didn’t end badly as the man was swiftly arrested!”

“I managed a townhome that was around many beautiful, old trees. I had a director however who was not too fond of the wildlife, in particular, a red squirrel which was the bane of her existence. She sent me numerous emails about this squirrel wreaking damage on roofs, eavestroughs, etc. and asked that we do something about it. During a site walk with her, she suddenly stopped in her tracks and pointed at a tree exclaiming ‘there he is!’ We were face to face with the enemy and the director was satisfied that she had pointed out this furry villain to us. We contacted a pest control company in an attempt to trap and release the critter, but were unsuccessful. It was like a real-life version of ‘mouse-trap’ and the squirrel is still at large to this day.”


Written By:

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SARA HICKS, B.A. (H), General Licensee, RCM, Vice-President, MF Property Management Ltd.

Sara attended the University of Guelph where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honours. 

Sara joined the MF team as a Property Manager in 2011 and obtained her RCM designation in 2013.  

In 2018, Sara was thrilled to be promoted to Vice-President with a focus on staff-mentoring and leading monthly Pod groups with her follow colleague.  She has been a part of the CCI Communication’s Committee for eight years and is currently the Chair of the Committee. 


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