As a property manager, you may be the rent collector, sales agent, bookkeeper, complaints desk and pool boy all rolled into one — and you might get free rent on top of your salary. Beats working! If this sounds like a good job to you, you’re probably going to have to get one the old-fashioned way, with an excellent resume and a persuasive property manager cover letter.
This writing guide, along with the attached property manager cover letter example, will explore the crucial second half of this equation:
- The proper format for a property manager cover letter
- The five basic components of any cover letter and how to write them
- The psychology of writing a persuasive cover letter
- Common mistakes you need to avoid
Let’s get started by showing you around the grounds (and if you need additional material or advice, check out our other 75+ cover letter samples).
Best format for a property manager cover letter
The basic property manager cover letter format consists of five elements:
- Cover letter header
- Cover letter greeting
- Cover letter introduction
- Cover letter body (the middle paragraphs)
- Cover letter conclusion (last paragraph and sign-off)
In almost all cases, a cover letter should be one page only. Longer stories may be great for blogs but if you want to get a job, find a way to say everything you need in one page.
This page needs to be attractively designed and formatted. You need adequate margins, at least one inch on the top, bottom, right and left. You need a space between paragraphs. You need an easy-to-read font at a legible font size (10-12 points).
No fair breaking any of these rules to make your letter fit onto one page. So if your first draft is too long, you’ll have to find a way to trim the fat. You need to include everything that’s essential and nothing that isn’t.
For sound counsel on how to write a cover letter for any field, review our detailed article on “How to write a cover letter.”
For additional inspiration, here are some related real estate cover letter examples:
Cover letter header
The cover letter header (which used to be called a letterhead) is the easiest part to write and the most challenging to design. It typically contains your name, occupation, address, email and phone number. It may also contain your photo, and possibly a link to a website that showcases your job qualifications, like LinkedIn.
Even though you’ll be sending this cover letter with a resume, don’t expect the hiring manager to have to look up your contact info separately. What if your excellent cover letter somehow gets separated from your resume, and the employer can’t figure out how to reach you?
In addition to supplying your critical contact info, the header plays a key design function. The rest of your letter will be solid black text, but the header is the one place where you have some options to be creative with typography, layout and perhaps an accent color.
Use matching font, formatting and color styles for your resume and cover letter. They should look like a “matching set,” designed to go together.
Cover letter greeting
A cover letter greeting, also known as a salutation, is the line (that you can find in the cover letter sample above) at the top where you say “Dear Mr. Xxxx” or “Dear Ms. Zzzz.”
Unless you happen to be on friendly terms with the person you’re writing to, it’s always best to stick with last names.
Always try to find out the name of the person who will be processing applications for the job you’re seeking. Avoid greetings like “To Whom It May Concern.” It shows professionalism and attention to detail that you’ve gone to the trouble of finding out the name of the hiring manager. But don’t even think of misspelling that name — or getting the person’s gender wrong.
Cover letter introduction
The introduction of your cover letter should be an opening paragraph that gets the reader’s attention right away. Note how it is done in the cover letter example we provided here. It should identify the job you’re seeking and provide a compelling reason why you’re a great candidate.
If you have years of experience as a property manager, that would be a logical place to start. Job-related skills may also be worth mentioning here — for example, if you’re an expert handyman who can resolve any plumbing, electrical or structural problems that may come up.
Sometimes, if appropriate, you may also choose to mention the reasons you are seeking a job change, how you heard about the job, or why you have a special interest in this particular employer.
Here’s an example:
Having managed three apartment complexes for the past five years with Passmore Estates, my experience of running, maintaining and coordinating every aspect of a premium residential property will position me well for the role at Havermill.
Cover letter body
The middle part of your cover letter, the body, should deliver the “meat and potatoes” of what makes you an excellent property manager.
Even if you already mentioned your years of experience, here you should expand on that by saying where you’ve worked in the past and what you did there. Be specific, using facts and figures where possible (the size of the budget you oversaw, the number of units you managed, the dollar value of the annual rents you collected, etc.).
Try to tell about (at least) one achievement or a short life example about a challenge you faced in the past and how you resolved it. (For example, how you once solved an emergency plumbing problem that flooded four apartments in the middle of the night.) People love a good story.
If you have educational credentials that are worth highlighting, such as a bachelor’s degree in business, accounting or finance, or if you’re a licensed real estate agent, the body of your letter would be the place to mention this. However, note that most cover letter examples devote very few words to this, since space on the page is precious.
Also, you should always try to say something about the employer you’re addressing. Mention it by name and demonstrate that you know something about it — for example, you think it’s a beautiful property, you know it’s being squeezed by a lot of competition, but you’re convinced that your proactive management style could make it more competitive in a tough market. At the very least, mentioning the company by name shows that you’re not just sending out a mass-produced cover letter to 50 other companies.
Over my career, I have dealt with the whole range of property issues – from floods to power cuts, and from construction deficiencies to tenant damages. No one wants to live in a rental complex where there are constant issues, so the role of my team was to communicate and solve problems as soon as they occurred. I have developed relationships with over 2,000 tenants, and my teams put their needs at the very top of our agenda.
I have experience of working with a wider team of maintenance professionals, both employed and sub-contracted. The calibre of whom you work with is critical to the efficient operation of rented accommodation, with speed and quality paramount.
The properties that I have managed have enjoyed an excellent reputation on the market, averaged 93% occupancy and increased in value by 40% over five-years. One of the complexes won a “Boston Best City Living” award for its communal gardens. Other notable achievements include:
- Managed procurement process, saving 5% annually across 25+ contractors.
- Managed finances and decreased regulatory issues by 38% over five years.
- Led a remodelling project with $1m spend – increasing occupancy by 20%
My communication and influencing skills ensure that tenants love where they live, landlords get paid on time and contractors have a constant stream of reliable work. When expectations are set high, everyone pulls together to exceed them.
Closing a property manager cover letter (conclusion and sign-off)
Close your cover letter by wrapping up your pitch with a satisfying finish. Thank the hiring manager for taking the time to consider your application, and always include some kind of call to action. See how it’s done in the cover letter sample we offer with this guide.
For example, you might say that you are eagerly anticipating a reply, that you’re always reachable at the contact info provided, and that you’re available anytime by phone, by Zoom or in person. You might ask if it would be OK for you to call in a week or so to inquire about the possibility of setting up an interview.
Let the recruiter know that you are serious about this job and you really want it. Plant the thought that the hiring manager should not just set your letter aside and do nothing about it, but should take some action as a result.
Close with a “Sincerely,” “Best regards” or the like, add a return, and type your full name. If you’re sending a hard copy, you need to sign the letter, though this is not necessary for electronic correspondence.
I would welcome the chance to visit the complexes for an interview and would love to give you my first thoughts as to how I might help improve the residents’ lives.
The psychology of writing a persuasive cover letter
Always remember that you’re writing to a human being, so don’t write like a robot. Avoid clichés, HR-speak and “fluff,” which is language that sounds fancy but says nothing.
Do not open by saying “I am writing this letter to….” The recipient already knows you are writing this letter. Do not say, “Please consider this letter my application for….” Hiring managers have seen that opener a thousand times before.
Use fresh, original language that they haven’t seen before, demonstrating that you are an innovative thinker and not a copyist of other people’s cookie-cutter cover letters.
What you’re writing is a formal business letter, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t also be personal. Your goal is to establish a personal connection to the hiring manager, so use personal language that makes you sound professional and competent, yet also friendly and likeable. Nobody wants to hire someone they don’t like!
Put yourself in the shoes of the person you’re writing to, and ask yourself what you would think if you received this letter. You can’t afford to sound arrogant, like you’re God’s gift to property management, nor presumptuous, like your hire should be a foregone conclusion. Yet you also can’t afford to sound timid, underconfident or desperate. Find a balance between looking like someone who has too much self-esteem and someone who has too little.
Common mistakes to avoid
You want to write a letter that gets a lot of attention, but not for the wrong reasons! Here are some common mistakes that people make when writing cover letters:
- Typos and other English errors: Proofread your letter obsessively. In a one-page letter, you can’t afford even one typo, misspelling or grammar mistake. If English is not your long suit, find an editor to review and correct your letter for you.
- Clichés that betray lazy thinking: Unfortunately, clichés are legion in both resumes and cover letters, in part because so many people copy from examples they’ve found elsewhere. If you’re tempted to say you’re a “self-starter” or a “team player” who “thinks outside the box,” resist the urge.
- Mass-produced letters: Sure, you can have a “boilerplate” cover letter that addresses the major points you would make in any job application. But you need to customize and tailor your letter for each employer, addressing its specific needs.
Resume.io is a leading global provider of cover letter templates, along with a powerful online cover letter builder. Rely on our expertise and use a professionally designed, field-tested template to create your own cover letter. You’ll be building on a foundation of success.
Best of luck in your job search!