Managing your multifamily property
While mastering multifamily property investment is crucial, it’s all for naught if you can’t implement quality management. Having a property with all the bells and whistles, even in the hottest part of the city, won’t be successful unless you can retain your tenants and keep them happy.
You are only as good as your reputation. Whether you’re investing in lower-rated multifamily housing with an aim to dramatically appreciate value, or you’ve invested in grade A real estate ready to run out of the box, your ability to manage your properties will define you financially and otherwise.
Here are some pointers to keep in mind whether you’re a seasoned veteran or new to the game of multifamily property management:
A – Ensure you have a product, or a product in the works, you can sincerely get behind
You’ve made an investment in a property and your first order of business will be setting up the proper infrastructure. Make sure any necessary renovations have been made (these alone will have the potential to raise the value of your property considerably), the rooms are completely clean (and, optionally, well-furnished), and you’ve put together a reliable staff (office management, maintenance, etc.).
Your staff will be your biggest weapon, and creating a friendly, welcoming culture of high-level professionalism will require a thorough investment on your part. You want to have an idea of what style of staff you need and stick to your convictions during the interview process. You’ll want to make sure your product is something worth selling.
B – Now that your product is in place, see that your connection to tenants is genuine
Building your multifamily housing management reputation often means having a genuine relationship with your tenants. To treat them as individuals rather than simply people paying rent makes a world of difference and sets the cultural tone. Managing and building your relationships with tenants is directly tied to your management philosophy and can mean the difference between retaining and losing tenants over time.
Still, whatever staff you have will have an easier time building relationships if they believe in the facility and your property manager. You won’t have to resort to the high-pressure sales tactics many multifamily complexes will employ with potential residents if there’s a product that handles the negotiation on its own.
Simple gestures like personalized notes or special complex-wide events change the game and make your property develop a sense of lasting community.
C – Take care of tenant needs promptly
Again, this ties back to putting together a great staff. Your policy for maintenance should be very clear and, if there are any known issues with delayed service, you should be able to effectively communicate those problems to your tenants. Make sure you follow up to see if the tenant’s problems are fixed within a reasonable time frame and, if not, move quickly to find out why.
Whether or not you plan to stay with the property for long, you should take making a viable business of management as seriously as you did the investment.
You’re only as good as your reputation…and your property management.