My son is close to getting his black belt in taekwondo. My wife and I have been driving him back and forth to classes for years, and it occurred to me that there are several similarities between the martial arts and property management.

For starters, you cannot simply buy a black belt. There is no substitute for experience. You have to work your way through the entire learning process and allow yourself to experience each stage. In martial arts, you start at the beginning and just keep working at it.

The same is true of property management. You cannot buy expertise. You cannot buy a certificate declaring that you are now an expert. Achieving a level of expertise is something you earn by building up your experience. It takes a lot of time and effort.

In martial arts, taekwondo or kung fu, you cannot just sit in the back of the class and presume to assimilate the information. You have to get in there and do the work day after day. It takes practice to get better. You also do not get the opportunity to self rate professionally. You cannot simply declare: “I am an expert.” If you’re learning a martial art, you’re joining a dojo and you will work closely with a Sensei. Others have to teach you the skills you need.

one question property management

It’s the same with property management. Theoretically, you can be a property manager and never leave your office. Everything you get, you must create yourself. Some property managers find mentors and get involved in groups like the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) and the California Apartment Association. These organizations have nationally recognized leaders and they provide skills, products, programs and resources to property managers. When you take advantage of this type of expertise, you will continue to improve.

Finally, like with martial arts, as you get better as a property manager, you’ll get a foot to the head every once in a while. The fact is, what you do with that makes a difference. You learn your defenses, you learn how to approach things and make sure those kicks don’t happen again. Those experiences and what happens in the past will make you better going forward.

When you are interviewing a property manager, there is really only one question to ask. That is: “If property management were graded the same way as martial arts, what color would your belt be?”

If you would like more information on black belt property management, please contact us at DeDe’s Rentals.