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A Day in the Life of a Property Manager: Why You Should Carry Mace

A Day in the Life of a Property Manager: This is why I carry mace.

One of the toughest parts of being a property manager is dealing with the problems that the previous property managers ignored. I recently took over a 10 unit apartment building in Tacoma. It has been a thorn in my side because of how the previous company managed the building.

My first experience was the day I meet the Laundry company representative at the building. We went down into the laundry room only to discover the door was locked and. I didn’t have a key to the laundry room door. As we walked away, a young man (washing his white high top Nike’s in the sink) opened the door. At that point, I had not met all the tenants in the building, so I introduced myself. I thought it was strange the young man didn’t introduce himself in return. I asked him his name and which unit he lived in. I don’t recall his name, but do remember he said he lived in unit #9. At first I didn’t think anything about his odd behavior.

After I walked the Laundry rep to the front door, I called my office because something didn’t feel right about that young man. I talked to Kim and asked her the name of the tenant in #9. Kim told me the name the tenant in unit #9….it did not match the name of the young man in the laundry room. I told Kim about the young man and asked her to stay on the phone with me as I walked back down to the laundry room. Of course I proceeded to confront the young man, with mace in hand.

Me: Hi again. Apparently you don’t live in unit #9. Want to tell me why you are in my building?

Young Man looked up from the sink and took a quick step towards me. I pointed the mace at him.

Me: Stay back or I will spray you. Kim, please call the police!

Kim: Liz, call the police. Nathaly is having a problem with someone at the 10plex.

Me: The police are on their way. What are you doing here? Are you homeless? Have you been sleeping in the laundry room?

The young man leans against the wall to put his shoes back on

Young man: yes

Me: Get the hell out of building now and don’t ever come back.

Kim: Liz is on the phone with 911. The police are on the way.

I then escorted the young man out of the building.

Kim: Nathaly, do you still need the police?

Me: No, he is gone now.

Kim: OMG, were you a cop in another life?

Me: OMG, what the heck did I just do?!?! My husband is going to kill me for putting myself in that position.

Kim: Are you OK?

Me: Yes, I think the adrenaline is wearing off now. ACK!!!

I carry mace on my key chain and a larger bottle in my car. Even showing vacant homes can be dangerous for a Realtor. Years ago, I showed a vacant house, only to hear someone jump out the window when we opened the door. Apparently that person was living in the bedroom…there was a sleeping back, a stockpile of food.
Next time, I will tell you the story of why my husband wants me to carry a concealed weapon. And the fun continues…

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