As in any industry, you’ll find varying levels of quality in property management. As a company committed to excellent service, TPI Management follows the guidelines below (among many others) to deliver the best experience possible for our clients, our tenants, our staff, and our communities.
1. “It starts at the top.”
You’ve heard this before. In fact, if a company has a flailing reputation, it’s probably due to lack of outstanding leadership at the top. Outstanding leadership means that your top managers are empathetic, are willing to get their hands dirty, give credit to others, take responsibility for their own actions, communicate openly and regularly, and empower others to make decisions and do what they can themselves.
2. Demonstrate expert financial management.
Precise budgeting is crucial to your profitability, and so is flexibility. Your property’s income will include rents and fees. Your property’s expenses will include payroll, maintenance, taxes, insurance, and utilities. Expenses will likely also include capital expenditures. But don’t just analyze these line items at budget time. You should be monitoring, evaluating and adapting all year long. For example, when market conditions change, that may give you the opportunity to raise rents. Or other extenuating factors may require a reduction in rent. Either way, you always want to maintain rental fees at the highest level possible.
3. Communicate! Communicate! Communicate!
As mentioned before, success “starts at the top.” This includes with communication, but communication needs to extend far beyond top leadership. There needs to be a corporate culture that’s dynamic, ongoing, and proactive. Newsletters, notices and in-person meetings should be scheduled on a regular basis. Being responsive to client needs is a part of that. Every complaint should be addressed – and addressed quickly. For example, if a tenant complains about noise, you should respond quickly to the tenant in person or by phone letting them know that you will investigate the issue. Then, follow up and solve the problem. Once the problem is resolved, let the tenant know, again in person or by phone. This is a sound, fluid process that should guide every situation.
4. Be proactive with maintenance
You want to act fast when it comes to maintenance issues that arise. Neglected or unresolved matters can quickly escalate and cost a lot of time, work, and money. Also, implementing preventative maintenance practices for your premises will help your bottom line in the long run and reduce resident complaints is. Inspections for just about everything should occur on a frequent, regular basis. In addition, you need to plan for extenuating circumstances such as weather emergencies. For example, property managers in South Florida know when Hurricane Season is approaching. Early planning and measures to minimize the effect of Hurricanes on your tenants and property are essential to your best practices planning.
5. Hire people with passion.
People learn skills, but they don’t learn passion. They either have it or they don’t. How do you identify whether potential employees or contracted personnel will have passion for their work? Sometimes it’s just obvious. Enthusiasm, longevity in an industry, and successful performance outcomes are all signs of passion. However, the strongest indicator is when someone is willing to contribute something of value to their job. For example, someone who ensures the job gets done even if that means sometimes putting in long hours has passion. Someone who hones their skills off the clock has passion. People who maintain a positive, can-do attitude have passion. And if it’s not obvious to you whether a potential employee will have passion, be sure to check references.
When you adhere to these and other touchstones of excellence, you will build company values and a culture that can only catapult you to preeminence in property management.