Are you a Manager or a Manager?

Managing Real Estate Broker with Full Circle Property Management

As I sit here on a Sunday morning answering emails from angry residents, insane clients, and mad vendors, covering topics from dog poop to broken refrigerators to lost invoices to missing payments, I was remembering some research I did on effective managers while working on my MBA. You see ,  I studied there is a difference between manager and leader. Managers are simply long tenured employees in many cases that were promoted to managers but that does not make them respected or a leader.


In any business mistakes happen, and ours is no different. Accounting credits the wrong accounts, bills get lost on desks and not paid, maintenance does not show up or complete the work, residents don’t play nice or follow the rules, it’s bound to happen. A manager looks into the problem, identifies the source, places blame, reports this back to the annoyed person, and solves the issue by putting the blame where it should go, issue solved. No problem with this as that solves the problem and the manager has managed. “I’m sorry your invoice was not paid, it must have been lost by accounting or the mailman, but you should get a check soon”.  


A leader, on the other hand, looks into the issue, identifies the source and the cause, reports back to the client and takes full blame for the issue themselves and explains the steps in the process that are fixed so it does not happen inn the future. The leader knows they are responsible for those under them, to insure money is credited, and invoices are paid, and looks for ways to better monitor the situation to prevent a recurrence, all the while insulating their workers from blame. “I apologize you were not paid, I should have done a better job watching for your invoice to come through once I knew the job was completed. Next time send me a “CC” copy of the invoice as well as accounting and I will put a note to watch for your invoices once the jobs are completed”


So what about you? Just because your job title is Manager-are you a manager or a leader?

Comments (5)

Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Dennis. I like this and your distinction is a valid one. Well done.

Feb 18, 2018 05:09 AM
Dennis Swartz

Thanks Sheila-we all manage in this field, whether its people or a buyer or a rental.

Feb 18, 2018 06:59 AM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

Good distinction...your email sounds like you are a member of an HOA board !

Feb 18, 2018 06:05 AM
Dennis Swartz

Nope-but I manage a few!

Feb 18, 2018 06:59 AM
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

I love your analogy. I strive to be a leader but sometimes fall back into just a manager.

Feb 20, 2018 12:49 PM
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

I call myself a shot-caller with some organizational skills.

May 20, 2018 04:22 PM

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Jun 28, 2018 11:54 PM