Owner and Qualifying Broker at Rhino Realty Property Management and Rhino Realty B&B, entrepreneur, investor, advisor, author and speaker.
Whatever your position in the property management industry, it is crucial to your and your firm’s success that each cog in the system is solid and self-governing. More specifically, a professional property management company should have specialized departments to ensure the best results. All too often the property manager is also the accountant, the maintenance arm and the after-hours customer support line. This leads to a lower quality of service, disgruntled tenants and owners and a higher chance of liability. A great management company works like a well-oiled machine, one that can adapt and respond to the ever-changing environment that property management is known to encounter. Here are some pointers to reference as you begin.
As with any team, there are positions in a property management firm, each one with their specific part to play. The particulars that are required for leasing alone are more than enough for one person or department to handle. Putting up marketing, scheduling showings and handling applications, lease agreements, move-ins and move-outs are just some examples of what that job description, unaided, entails.
When you think about adding accounting or maintenance to the fold for the same person, it becomes clear that it would not be advisable. The amount of attention to detail that each area requires to be efficient begins with the realization that they need to be split up. Otherwise, you are just asking for trouble.
The strength of departments should always be a key concern for any quality management firm. However, there should also be a healthy ability for each individual, or department, to have a working knowledge and fundamental understanding of the rest of the job details throughout the company. It does not mean that they have to be experts in that specific area, but having the ability to walk through basic concepts and scenarios is important. There is nothing worse than having to shuffle an owner or tenant from one person to another, especially if the answer to a question is somewhat simple.
For instance, everyone should be able to access the price of a property for lease and what the terms are, or find out where the property is located. If questions begin to take shape in the form of specific lease questions, terms or subjects that may require the specific department, then of course you can always route the inquiry.
In the real estate industry, property management is one of the most underappreciated fields and turnover, due to burnout, tends to be high. This can lead to lower quality customer service due to the fact that you’re always training new staff. This is why, above all else, a property management company’s culture is what will separate good from great.
A successful management business will support and enable their staff to be better and go that extra mile consistently. They will also work hard to incentivize and retain their staff, understanding that building a more personal relationship with owners and tenants does tend to make a major positive impact in regards to familiarity and service. These differences may seem slight; however, when work orders are responded to faster, calls answered with pep and helpfulness and owners and tenants are received on a first name basis, the experience and outcomes are almost guaranteed to be that much greater.
Putting It All Together
In many cases, great property management is necessary to achieve the ROI that investors are looking for. Unfortunately, there tends to be a major lack of consistency and quality when it comes to management. That is why if you are starting your own property management firm or looking for a dynamic manager for your own properties, it is a good idea to validate that all of these items are part of the firm’s makeup. Without designated teams, cross-trained staff and a healthy company culture, you may be setting yourself up for failure.
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