There are any number of ways to structure a property management business. Some companies have departments to oversee certain aspects of the process, others have one person handle every aspect of the management process, and others still, use technology to allow their managers to work from a distance. At RentWerx, we have determined that none of these systems are perfect, so we came up with something better: The Portfolio Management System.
To fully understand what this system offers, I want to explain what the others lack first.
Organized into separate departments
The first structure to mention, which is the most common, is one where each aspect of management has its own department: Maintenance, Leasing, Marketing, Client Retention, Inspections, Lease Preparation, and Property Management.
Separating out departments and allowing employees to become proficient at a single piece of the process does lead to increased efficiency for the company, but where the fault lies is in communication. If a client’s home is on the market and they have a leasing question – they will speak to someone in leasing. Once the home is rented, if they have a general question, they will need to speak to someone in a different department. If there is a maintenance call down the road, someone from another department will be contacting them.
A client who just has a simple question will likely be transferred between 3-5 different people before getting the answer they need. This creates confusion for home owners, who prefer to speak to, and build a relationship with, just one person, who knows the ins and outs of their property.
One manager system
This system is characterized by having one person sign up new accounts, get the home leased, manage it throughout the year, handle the maintenance, and all other aspects of the Property Management life cycle. The advantage to this set up is that the Property Manager is completely familiar with all aspects of the home, the owner, and any special circumstances. However, as you might imagine, being a jack of all trades typically means you are an expert at none. So, your Property Manager may be proficient in one aspect, but not another. Another drawback, if your Property Manager goes out of town, gets sick, gets into an accident, or just quits their job – Your account is now in serious jeopardy of not getting the attention it needs.
The national manager
A more recent development in the Property Management industry, is large conglomerates who manage homes nationally, from a distance. These companies leverage technology to keep costs low, but often reveal their own inefficiencies. The fact of the matter is, Property Management is still a very hands on business. If your Property Manager is in St. Louis, and your home is in Austin, how easy is it going to be for them to check on it? They can’t just take a quick drive to make sure everything is alright. No, they would need to hire an inspector, charge your $100-$150 to have them go over, and do something that someone local could have done in minutes. These companies claim that they provide full service at a reduced price – but from what we have seen in the market, they offer sub par service, at a higher price than many other managers.
The Portfolio Manager Difference.
The system RentWerx has devised to Manage Properties in the Austin area is a hybrid of each of the above. You will meet with our Business Development team who will explain the entire process, from start to finish. Their only goal is to make sure you understand exactly what we offer: Pricing, service, expectations, and more.
Once you have decided to become a client, you will then begin working with your Portfolio Manager, who will be your single point of contact throughout the management of your home. However, your Portfolio Manager is not doing this all on their own. They have a team of folks working with them to ensure every aspect of the management process is running efficiently. Your Portfolio Manager will work closely with the Leasing Team, while the home is on the market, relaying pertinent information to the Home Owner. Once a qualified tenant is found, the Portfolio Manager will explain the lease signing, and manage the process. After the home is rented, the Portfolio Manager will get in touch with the tenant, and introduce themselves as their point of contact also. If there is a maintenance call, the Portfolio Manager will coordinate with the Maintenance Department, relaying information to the Home Owner, to get any issues resolved. This system ensures that homeowners and tenants are able to easily communicate with the person over seeing their home, while still allowing for optimal efficiency.
To be clear, RentWerx has experimented with all of these systems, and our years of experience has lead us to land on one. So, if you are wondering why you can’t get a hold of anyone at your management company, or if your Property Manager has ever even seen your home – ask them how they have structured their business. It will tell you a lot.
Learn more about our Austin property management services.