By: Brent Voepel
When I first started Voepel Property Management, our approach was to match great properties with great residents. While this promise remains true, we are expanding our concept into being not only great property managers but also Wealth Managers.
I wrote the following article in 2017 and while the information remains relevant, there are more components to being Wealth Managers than property managers. But, we’ll get into that in another article. Read on to learn what it takes to run a great property management company.
You cannot be a great property manager if you are not representing the clients in all situations. Everything else is important, but if your property manager is not transparent and representing the clients, the investments will fail and will not perform. If the investments do not perform, the clients will move to another firm, which means the property management company will not perform.
This seems like a simple concept to me. Property management is a service-related business with a heavy emphasis on serving. So everything you do as a property manager has to be transparent….accounting, maintenance, fees, strategy, processes, etc.
The first rule of being a great property manager is that you must be a good person with good intentions.
Great People, An Amazing Team
Property Management is a team sport. So many skills are needed to do property management in volume. You need salespeople, marketing people, technicians, accounting personnel, managers, leadership….a lot goes into it. So the people make or break it.
Take time in hiring and planning, focus on culture, create a good place for people to work, and hire people that can work on a team.
It also helps to have positive and fun people to work with. People that can problem solve on the fly. Every day is different in our world…..let’s try to make the most of it!
Work on your processes! They are essential to this! Create company processes and guidelines that work with the size of your property management company and update them often, monthly or quarterly if they are changing that often.
Doing things the same way every time is important to your client base and your residents. Set them in place, train your team, and adjust if you feel there is a better way.
If you are not failing, you are not trying hard enough. To be great at anything, you need to push it every day, and if you are pushing it every day, you are going to fail at times. Learn from that. It is truly the only way you can be successful in business, or in life for that matter.
So many great innovations have come from failing. Embrace this process. Find the better way.
This is a tough business. It’s not like we are baking cupcakes over here! We are dealing with tough situations with people and their homes, and we are doing our best to maximize investments, and at times it seems we cannot win. We also have this issue of representing the client, but also caring about the residents’ living situation….that is a hard situation to be in.
But we make the most of it and we learn. We try to do it better the next time. We try to move the needle on the investments. We try to focus on the residents because we want them to stay a long time with us and we also want them to be happy.
Suck it up, and keep moving. What doesn’t kill you, will make you a better property manager….or something.
So your clients are performing and your residents are happy. Now what? Well, you need to figure out how to hang onto that! Don’t lose it! Create a plan, because if you are great, people are going to find out about it and you will grow.
Have an office space plan, a plan for the growth of maintenance, a staffing plan, a technology plan….have a plan for everything! Running a 100-unit property management company is different than a 500-unit company and things are very different at 1000. Don’t lose it and keep at it!