This is What a Day Looks Like for a San Francisco Property Manager

Have you ever wondered what a property manager does? Property managers or property management companies Many day-to-day tasks that some landlords prefer to delegate fall are unwilling to juggle.

What San Francisco Property Managers Do

A few typical tasks handled by a property management company include:

  1. Checking on contractors
  2. Answering phone calls from tenants
  3. Inspecting rental units
  4. Finding tenants for vacant units

A good property manager knows how to juggle many different tasks.

For example, tenants expect to get a quick response when something like a toilet or air conditioner is broken and a seasoned property manager knows exactly who to call and how to handle the situation.

A Day in the Life of a Property Manager

Many managers are on-site early in the day.

Most will check their phone and emails for any emergencies after breakfast. Then they will sort through incomplete tasks and new tasks to create an action list for the day.

A large property is bound to have a variety of items in need of maintenance and checkups. For example, managers often drive by new construction to make sure the work is moving at a good pace.

The exact list of tasks depends on the type of rental being managed Low, middle, and high income rentals require different maintenance solutions.

Smart managers include a buffer in their schedule to make sure they can deal with random things that happen. Some examples are broken windows, fallen trees, and other issues.

Then the managers will check in with vendors and/or contractors after handling urgent issues.

Making Life Easier for Rental Property Owners

Property managers strive to save their landlord clients money and headaches. This is the key to long-term retention.

Working with Vendors and Contractors

Managers work with vendors and contractors to coordinate:

  • Bids
  • Progress reports
  • Inspections

Any savvy property manager will:

  • Obtain multiple bids from both vendors and contractors to keep both groups honestHave a list of vetted and reliable contractors in the area (some even hire or train their own crew)
  • Negotiate for the best price

Hiring good contractors is not enough. Managers still have to check on the work to ensure high quality. This includes phone call progress reports and physically inspecting the rental units. Others will ask for pictures and videos of the work in order to save time spent driving around.

Handling Tenant Requests and Complaints

Property managers handle all kinds of tenant questions, requests, and complaints. For example:

  • Many tenants will try to verbally notify landlords they are moving out. This is a bad practice. Tenants will try to twist verbal agreements to get away with things. A good property manager will require and enforce notice in writing 30 days in advance.
  • Others will request to bring in pets or other people without written notice. Requiring written requests will help track what is going on with each unit. Having standard policies and procedures helps streamline your day to day tasks. This makes life easier in the long run.

How to Excel as a San Francisco Property Manager

This job requires being a high caliber person. It is key to be:

  • Personable and Tough at the Same Time
  • Organized
  • Driven

Personable and Tough

Letting people walk all over you will result in big losses. At the same time, you have to know how to negotiate and build relationships with people for the future.

This professional puts you in contact with people from all walks of life and requires you to understand things from different points of view. Understanding human nature without becoming bitter is critical.

It helps a lot to view each situation as a learning experience. This will allow you to build effective processes and solutions going forward that solve the issue next time.


Property managers have many plates spinning at once. Having an organized system to prioritize urgent tasks is very helpful.

For example, It can be easy to lose focus and forget to call back a prospective tenant. Because tenants with good jobs and solid credit can easily get another apartment, forgetting to call people back can cause units to stay vacant longer and cost serious financial problems.

But property managers who check on the units undergoing construction will help expedite the project and get tenants in the door faster. This results in more income for the rental property owner and a stronger reputation for the property manager.


Many tenants don’t appreciate the work that goes on behind the scenes. Some tenants will be rude no matter what.

Good property managers always appreciate a “thank you” every so often. But, they strive to achieve their own professional goals regardless.

Constant improvement is what many property managers live for. They listen to relevant audiobooks and podcasts while they are driving around. Others block out time to study best practices to sharpen their game.

Other Helpful Tips

Keeping your nose to the grindstone will wear you out. Make sure to book some quiet time to enjoy your lunch without distraction. Many managers, unfortunately, get in the habit of working while they eat. This stops them from letting go of the stress.

Learn More

A day in the life of a San Francisco property manager will never be predictable. Your job is to handle things as they occur for your clients. Being able to multitask is the key.

This overview only scratches the surface of what goes into managing property. You may still have more questions.

Get your property management questions answered. Call us now! (415) 346-8600