Tips for building the most effective property management team

How a personality test can improve your team, and thus, the life of your residents

Many of the new apartment properties recently built or under construction in the Denver Metro Area provide residents with fantastic amenities, great locations and a bevy of services.  These are all very appealing to people when they’re making the decision on where they want to move and how much they want to pay for rent.  However, fancy pool decks, state-of-the-art fitness centers, high speed internet and being in the heart of the city aren’t the only things that should go into a person’s decision.  The caliber and professionalism of the property management team ought to be near the top of the list.

The success of any high-end, multi-family property depends greatly on the caliber of the property management team, from the very top-level executives to the on-site staff that interacts with residents on a daily basis.  Yet, many property management companies limit their hiring and training practices to very basic procedures, and as a result, the properties suffer. These companies take a generalist approach and believe that the members of a team can be interchangeable.  This “one size fits all” method hardly rises to the level of service that property owners and residents deserve.

A property management company should be focused on establishing a platform for discovering, hiring and fielding the best team of professionals possible.  For example, understanding the importance of eliminating any communication gaps between the corporate office, field offices and properties is critical to maintaining a happy environment for residents.  Unless this path of communication was established, overall building operations will decline, and properties won’t receive the best service possible.

One of the ways companies are fielding the best teams possible is by implementing more sophisticated models for hiring, training and retaining the best members for a team.  The DISC Model of Human Behavior is one example of what’s being done to better understand the patterns of human behavior.  Today, it is providing some property management firms with an important tool for building better and stronger teams. This teams communicate more powerfully with one another and provide the ultimate level of service to clients.

The DISC model helps companies understand what motivates different individuals on their team, and how to place them in the best roles and positions possible.  It also provides employees with the opportunity to better understand their teammates and how to most effectively communicate and work with others.  This was accomplished with the DISC profile test, which helps to identify the main characteristic trait for each behavioral type: dominant, inspiring, supportive and cautious.

The Dominant person is somebody who likes to make decisions quickly and move on to the next question or challenge confronting them. When communicating with them, they want to know the facts and options that are available to them. Dominant behavioral types often fill the role of leaders within a property management team.

The Inspiring person enjoys helping others and motivating them to do their best. They will go out of their way to make other people happy and fill an important role in the property management team as someone that people and residents can turn to for service and support.

The Supportive person is an individual who doesn’t want to be put in the role of decision-maker and would prefer to stay behind the scenes while helping others.  They are more introverted and don’t respond well on an emotional level.

The Cautious type is very careful in their approach and analyzes a situation fully before moving forward. This kind of behavior is well-suited for team members who are responsible for operations and accounting.

By implementing the DISC profile test, or other personality assessments, a team of specialists can be fielded at a property, with each individual excelling in the role they are best suited for.  By taking human resources practices to a higher level, the expectations of residents are not only achieved, but many times exceeded. 


Tracey Dodson is a regional vice president in charge of Kairoi’s operations in Denver, Dallas-Ft. Worth and various tertiary markets. She began in multifamily property management over 20 years ago and during her career has been involved with the operations for over 30,000 units in eleven states.

Categories: Human Resources, Real Estate