2014 NARPM® National President, Stephen Foster, set the theme for the 2014 NARPM® National Convention and Trade Show, in Minneapolis, as “The Foundation of Property Management.” This was to encourage property managers to build a solid foundation for their company and include NARPM® as one of their building blocks.
What is the structure of your company foundation? Are you on solid ground or is your business weak and riddled with problems?
Many business owners take the time to plan their property management company. Some management companies just “happen” when broker/owners begin in real estate sales and decide to branch out to include management services. A property management company can purchase management accounts but lack the structure to handle them. No matter how a company forms, property management is a complicated business because of all the dynamics and details involved and a company requires a solid foundation for success.
Property managers must handle investors, tenants, vendors, applicants, legislation, natural disasters, maintenance issues, and more. A normal day in property management is busy and often full of unwanted surprises. Without planning, a property management business can easily become a nightmare and ultimately fail.
A good analogy is to compare building a property management business with how a construction company creates the foundation for any building. In order to support a structure, you must have a well thought out plan/blueprint. The business owner must be ethical, follow mandated legislation, and use the right materials combined with the right consistency or the building structure can be weak or endangered. An organized knowledgeable supervisor must lead skilled competent workers with reliable tools to put the foundation together. This creates a proper footing/support for the building.
The same applies to property management. You need proper planning and organization for success. The business requires guidance by an ethical leader (broker/owner/manager) who provides supervision and guidance to competent/skilled personnel and vendors. The company requires ongoing education regarding legislation and consistent tools/materials. With these elements in place, you create a solid footing/support for your company.
Consistency is a key word in this process.
- Accurate bookkeeping is at the top of the list to prevent client loss and comply with state laws.
- When policies and procedures are sound, you avoid Fair Housing complaints, comply with legislation, and prevent problems with your state employment agency.
- Clear and concise manuals provide guidelines for your personnel and reduce risk.
- When documentation, such as forms and agreements, incorporate the company policies and procedures, they increase consistency and professionalism.
- Checklists enable personnel in their performance and avoid the problem of missed details that lead to the eruption of fires.
- Uniformity and the intelligent use of current technology in marketing promote a reputable company image and increase the acquisition of clientele.
When you are evaluating your property management company, look at the entire picture and pick out what is inconsistent. If there are problems within the company, it is never too late to shore up the foundation. Even when a company is on solid ground, it will only remain that way if there is a continual effort to maintain it. A property management company should always be evolving and improving.
LandlordSource is committed to helping property management companies build a solid foundationsuch as A Roadmap to Organizing Professional Management.
There is an old saying, “the wise man builds his house upon a rock, and the poor man builds his house upon the sand”. Take the time to review your foundation and implement necessary improvements.
Jean Storms, MPM® is the founder/author of LandlordSource and has been a NARPM® member since January 1993.
Disclaimer: LandlordSource does not represent the article content in this website as legal advice. It is shared information only and up to the reader to use this information responsibly, seeking legal advice as necessary to their business.