Keeping the owners happy

For fee-based management companies, keeping property owners happy is a top priority. But what do you do when a community's performance falls below the owner's expectations? Ask yourself: Do I have the right team in place? Are they making sufficient effort in the right areas to get results? Am I giving them the tools they need to succeed? If the answer to these questions is a resounding yes, perhaps it's not a management issue at all.

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Sometimes, despite good management, leasing results fall short. This may reflect such things as seasonality, weather, the local economy, or other factors beyond a manager’s control. How do you effectively convey this information to a property owner? At my company, CallSource, we help management companies with what we call “Owner’s Analytics.”

These past 20 years in the multifamily housing industry have taught us that it takes a lot more than technology and data to increase a management company’s revenue and profitability. Improved performance comes from careful review and analysis, smart research, experienced advice, and impactful training. This is the evolution our own company has had to make. Fortunately, we are able to bring the kind of analytics to small and mid-sized businesses that only a few of the largest companies possess.

An owner’s analytics report can show property owners a clear comparison of your portfolio’s performance vs. that of other management companies within the same market. How important is this? It could be the difference between losing business and retaining or even expanding it.

Key to owner’s analytics is the preparation of what we call an effort matrix. Not every community performs at the same level. The matrix helps identify which communities are using best practices and making all the right moves, regardless of leasing results. It can compare your results with like properties in the same vicinity, showing owners everything you’re doing right. This can plainly demonstrate that switching management companies is not always an owner’s best response to a disappointing result.

How do successful fee-based management companies keep property owners happy? It’s simple.They manage communities efficiently and profitably. They develop great on-site teams. They effectively communicate their success to their owners. And if they work by the numbers, they get results.

Author: Jerry Feldman is chief executive officer of CallSource, a Westlake Village, Calif. company