Every week, or even everyday, it’s the same thing. Unit 4B has a plumbing issue. Then, Unit 3D is locked out…again. Oh. And Unit 2A thinks their air conditioning unit is broken. But, that’s not all. The maintenance crew needs to discuss a problem with the pool and the leasing office team is looking to arrange for some upgraded signage. On top of all of that you just had a tour take up 2 hours of your afternoon only to tell you they weren’t going to lease because the faucets were the wrong shape.
Managing all of these different tasks and issues and pain points is often something that a rare few multifamily investor will have the expertise to deal with. When it comes to both the day-to-day and long term management of a multifamily community, it is critical to have the right community management services in place. Having professional community management staff can create a far better experience for the residents and other staff. Not only that, it can mean a smoother, easier process for those owners with more than one multifamily property under their umbrella.
While there are multifamily investors and owners that have worked it out to self-manage their assets and have been able to hit a good stride doing so, there are many reasons that focused fee managers can be the best path forward for your investment. Finding the right professional community management can be challenging but is likely worth it. And, remember, what is right for one property or company may not be right for another property.
To help things along, here are few examples of how and why professional community management can be a major benefit for owners of multifamily properties:
Consistency in the Community
One well known fact in the multifamily industry is that turn-over at the property can be unbelievably high. Good leasing agents and maintenance teams can be so hard to come by because every property is looking for them and working to keep them. If you employ a certified property manager, it can create a much needed sense of consistency across the community for all positions. The main reason is that the management company you just hired has built their brand, company, and teams strategically to serve their clients (aka you). And they have a certain level of proficiency and professionalism that they need to retain on your behalf. Having the same person and team managing your property’s day-to-day management can take guesswork out for residents and staff. If your team has already dealt with a particular resident before or dealt with a particular issue before, they then know how to handle all of those, or better yet, avoid those issues moving forward. On top of that, a consistent management team will have built relationships with residents and the team at the community, which can not only help with resident retention, but team retention as well. Once your community is stabilized, the name of the game is keeping it stabilized and making it a well-oiled machine.
Time-Management and Responsiveness
Marketing. Leasing. Management. Maintenance. And much, much more. When hiring a property management firm, management is only one of the many hats the community team wears. With teams countlessly pulled in many directions at all hours of the day, it can wreak havoc on time management and responsiveness to issues in the community if the team is prepped to manage it. Vendor selection and management can be delayed if the staff member is also in charge of giving prospective residents tours and following up with them. Or maintenance tickets may suffer if the maintenance team is also required to manage the online chat portal and fix the leaking roof that the vendor was not hired to do. A professional community management team means timely responses and experience that can free up staff members to manage their main responsibilities and ensure residents, vendors, owners, and everyone are happy, taken care of, and communicated with.
Remember all of those examples at the start? If only there were a list of every resident issue, complaint, or situation. They’re literally countless. These issues though are have the power to turn a happy resident into an unhappy one very quickly. If residents aren’t taken care of, communicated with effectively, and managed to ensure a safe and operating community that works for all residents, it will not spell success for your community. Those in professional community management know and understand how to quickly and smoothly handle resident needs, questions, concerns, and emergencies. This also means being able to deftly manage angry or otherwise dissatisfied residents. Sometimes it’s a matter of just being heard by someone “in charge” and other times they are legitimate concerns. Professional community management staff can distinguish those scenarios and understand, separate, and problem solve based on which camp the complaint falls under. They know how to keep the “customer” happy, which keeps your community full.
Speaking of keeping your community full. One area professional property managers can really show their worth is in the financial services and management they can provide. Managing this area can take huge amounts of weight off of other staff members or owners, and it’s something professional property managers will know the ins and outs of. Creating a budget that provides what the community needs without over spending on unnecessary items? Been there and done that. Understanding what the differences between quote A versus quote B are for the value add project or new paint vendor? Invaluable. Being able to effectively follow up with residents that are late on rent or ensuring that the proper amount of the security deposit is kept to cover damage in a unit? Check and check. Having a team with real experience in property management is probably one of the biggest factors and boxes to check when evaluating a fee manager for your multifamily community. This one will literally pay dividends for you in the long run.
Maintenance and Vendors
Many of these professional community management teams have been around long enough to have keen insight into outside vendors. From maintenance vendors to equipment and supply companies to technology companies, listing platforms, and more, professional property managers will likely have worked with some of the best – and the worst. They know who will keep the property running safely and efficiently. They know who may be the high quote, but do the best work. Is that landscaping company worth the price? What about this specific plumbing service? Does the community need that new leasing technology? There are many moving parts when it comes to leasing and managing a multifamily community and countless vendors, platforms, products, and technologies needed to make it all happen. Having a company with keen insight into what will work best for your particular community and needs could be one of the biggest cost savers in the long-run and ensure your community runs as efficiently as possible.
Having a dedicated professional community management company in charge of your multifamily community may seem scary at first or may seem like a lot of money to spend, but when evaluating your long-term financials and the longevity of your investment, it can truly pay dividends, both immediately and down the road, to hire a fee manager. Just make sure to ask the right questions and find the right team with the expertise and insight directly relevant to your particular asset type, area, and needs.
Until next time…keep it real!