The multi-housing industry is made up of many moving parts, which can make it difficult to know where to start and how to successfully manage different properties. Whether a seasoned multi-housing property owner, or a novice, it is highly valuable to partner with a multi-housing management team and follow a set procedure. Following a consistent and proven process for each property ensures you cover all your bases and work efficiently to accomplish your end goal of increasing the value of your asset. When choosing a property manager, be sure to look for someone who is goal-oriented, highly motivated, and facilitates the following of a process.
There are four main areas of focus for owners and property managers to keep in mind when it comes to property management; evaluation of your property and your goals, problems and solutions, sustainability, and customer service.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR PROPERTY/DETERMINING YOUR GOALS
The first step to successful property management is to know your property and to know your goals. As an owner, it is critical that you bring a property manager on board who is on the same page. Knowing your property simply means objectively evaluating the property and honestly assessing what it is or is not currently capable of. Take notes on the status of the building. What is the condition of the physical building and surrounding land? Is the building falling apart, or does it just need some minor repairs and cosmetic work? How is the property currently operating? Are residents frequently coming and going or are they long-term? Are the current residents the type of residents you want to attract more of, or do you need to implement some new rules and attract new residents? Most importantly, what is the property currently capable of? Is the property in good shape, functioning well, and attracting good residents to achieve your goal? If the answer to this final question does not line up with what you envision, it provides a great perspective moving forward.
The second piece of step one is knowing your goals. What do you, as the owner, envision for this property? What do you hope to accomplish? Do you want to position this property to eventually sell or refinance? Or do you want to increase operating efficiency for long-term management opportunities? Either way, you need to understand what your goals are with your property to help it reach its maximum potential.
Understanding your property and what you desire to accomplish through it, provides the underlying foundation upon which you direct your path. Bringing along a property manager who is aligned with your vision provides the confidence moving forward.
PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
Once you know your property and what your goals are for it, it is time for your management team to begin identifying any problems threatening your organization so you can begin to create solutions. This is where knowing your property comes into play. Now that you have a thorough understanding of the ins and outs of your property, you should be able to compile a list of strengths and weaknesses based off of your notes in step one. It is crucial that all existing problems are properly addressed at this step in the process so as to avoid recurring or worsening issues in the future. Think physical property – water lines, cabinetry, flooring, electric, mold, pests. There can also be problems with current residents and current management. Implementing new rules and management personnel can help resolve issues among people.
Focusing on the weaknesses at this stage is critical in ensuring problems are resolved so that you can move forward further improving your strengths.
Once you and your management team have resolved pre-existing problems, the next step is getting your property to a place of sustainability. Sustainability is achieved through the development and implementation of a unique and specialized plan for each specific property. This plan will help your entire team know what needs to be done and what to expect moving forward. Now that issues have been resolved, both with the property and personnel, the property should be at a place where it is attracting the type of clientele you want. In order to reach sustainability, it is key that each plan for each asset is unique to the property and has been individualized to meet that specific asset’s needs. This cannot be a “one-size-fits-all” approach, which is why is it incredibly important for you as the property owner, to work closely alongside the property manager to develop and implement this new plan.
Once sustainability has been achieved, step four is improving customer service. Sustainability is a necessary milestone along the process, but it is not the end goal. As an owner, you want your property to thrive! After reaching sustainability, your next step is to make the property a place where residents want to come home to by providing exceptional customer service. Increasing customer service from the property management perspective looks like several different things: returning phone calls in a timely manner, taking a proactive approach to maintenance, and creating community among residents. Fostering a sense of community among residents is key in achieving customer satisfaction. Your goal as an owner shouldn’t be just to get people into your building, but to make them want to call your property their home. Hiring a goal-oriented and customer-focused property manager is key in providing excellent customer service.
VALUE OF PROVEN PROCESS
These four areas provide a broad overarching structure of how to begin managing multi-housing properties, and each listed category includes many minute details. The following multi-housing proven process is a perfect example of what it looks like to develop a multi-housing management strategy around our four main categories.
BRADLEY COMPANY’S MULTI-HOUSING PROVEN PROCESS:
Step One: We Learn Your Property and Your Goals
Working with a property manager who is aligned with your vision provides the confidence that your asset will grow in value over time.
Step Two: Identify Problems and Solutions
Using property checklists, property updates, market analysis, resident surveys, and more are necessary in order to identify problems and formulate solutions.
Step Three: Maintain the Asset
Maintaining the asset is at its best when a unique, specialized plan of action to reach sustainability is put in place.
Step Four: Improve Service
Creating a sense of community is the key to maximizing resident retention.
Step Five: Access
Step five is where Bradley Company differentiates itself from the rest. When you partner with Bradley Company, we give you access to our full menu of real estate services from leasing to maintenance and repair. We are committed to partnering with you throughout the entire process and managing your property with a full-service approach.
Step 6: Increased Value / Increased Revenue
Our proven process is effective and proven to help clients achieve one of two end results:
A: Increased Value
This is meaningful to owners who are considering the option to sell the property or to refinance
B: Increased Revenue
For owners looking to keep their property, increased revenue is critical for long-term operating efficiency and generating significant returns on the investment. Bradley Company’s multi-housing management process has proven to be successful time and time again.
BRADLEY COMPANY MULIT-HOUSING CASE STUDY
Formerly Courtyard Place Apartments, this 181-unit conventional apartment community was plagued by high crime and a very negative reputation. There were serious deferred maintenance issues that led to numerous water leaks and mold issues. Most of the cabinetry and flooring were in very poor shape which made it difficult to attract good residents.
Bradley Company started by consistently enforcing the house rules which resulted in several residents exiting the property who were refusing to comply with the rules of the community. While this initially led to increased vacancy, it provided an opportunity to completely remodel the units. In addition to new flooring, kitchen cabinets, and appliances, the exterior was remodeled and landscaped, and all the horizontal water lines were replaced to virtually eliminate all water leaks. Applicant screening was then tightened up to include better paying residents and those that were not averse to following the rules.
As a result of these management initiatives, Occupancy continues to grow and the property is considered a valued member of the neighborhood. The financial performance of the property also continues to improve as less is spent for damages caused by destructive residents. The current residents are taking pride in their homes making it easier to attract like-minded residents which improves net operating income.
As a multi-housing property owner, your goal is to increase the value of your assets. Choosing a like-minded property manager with the same vision is key to your success. Following a standard process that is individualized for each unique asset is the most effective and efficient way of taking your property from its current position, to a highly valuable asset.
Bradley Company has developed proven processes that we are committed to following to help each property managed meet our standards. This process truly is proven to work. Learning your property and goals allows us to identify problems and create solutions which we can then implement in a specialized plan to help you maintain your asset. Once we’ve reached sustainability, focusing on improving services not only increases satisfaction but maximizes resident retention.
Our multi-housing management team provides a full range of services to meet all your multi-housing needs and our professionals are experts in leasing, resident relations, financial management, maintenance and repair, and more.
When it comes to multi-housing management, whatever your needs, Bradley Company’s multi-housing management team has you covered.
Get in touch with any of the Bradley Company multi-housing professionals today for more information and we’ll make your goals and your property our priority.