Last modified on October 2nd, 2018
By Elizabeth Millar
If you’ve decided that you’d like to open a property management company in 2015, you might be wondering how to get started.
Operating a property management company that oversees the daily operations for multifamily housing communities and commercial properties is more complex than it was a few decades ago. Fortunately, there are dozens of resources today to help you get started on the right foot.
While experience is definitely valuable, self-training is a risky approach if you want to succeed in the property management game today.
Legal Challenges Can Quickly Drain Your Financial Reserves
There are literally thousands of laws and regulations governing everything from lease structure to discrimination avoidance. Retaining an attorney who specializes in real estate law is not required, but it is highly advisable in our litigious society. Every state has a unique set of rules and regulations and many municipalities have additional laws regarding evictions, privacy and property maintenance.
In addition to regulations governing rent collection, building repair and maintenance, and leasing, code enforcement includes things such as workplace safety, sexual harassment, insurance and a host of tax responsibilities.
Relationships Can Build or Break Your Business
Starting a property management company naturally requires some negotiating and relationship building skills. You’ll need to manage relationships with employees, contractors, bankers, owners, residents and other business leaders.
Building your brand requires creativity, an innovative spirit, exceptional sales skills, and conflict resolution strategies. If you’ve never taken a class in communications, you should. Understanding the nuances of body language and respectful dialogue will help you communicate effectively with diverse groups.
Building a good reputation takes time, but rebuilding a damaged relationship is exponentially more difficult.
Technology and Information Move at the Speed of Thought
A few decades ago, many property management teams relied on manual accounting systems and the telephone to dispatch maintenance requests.
Today, residents can report maintenance issues and monitor the progress on their mobile devices. With social media, a disgruntled resident can broadcast dissatisfaction with management in a matter of seconds to hundreds of online friends.
Deploying technology-rich resources will help you efficiently manage the day to day operations of your properties, improve communication and build long-term relationships.
What Steps Should You Take to Get Started on the Right Path?
- Get certified/licensed in property management. Having credentials, whether it is a real estate license, a property management certificate, or other industry recognition will build credibility with clients and residents.
- Fine tune your leasing skills. Take a class in communications. Talk to your attorney about lease language and enforcement. Compare resident screening technology that weeds out undesirable residents and identify solid prospects.
- Subscribe to trade journals and industry publications. Many organizations and industry advocates offer online resources for property managers. Access to market research and up-to-the-minute regulatory changes gives you valuable information about the economy, demographic expectations and technological advances you can use in your business.
- Build relationships within your community. Join the local Chamber of Commerce or the Downtown Leadership Club. Engage in community events or volunteer with a local charitable organization that supports your area.
There’s never been a better time to start a property management company than today. Technology makes it easier to gather research and document conversations. New tools allow you to screen residents, communicate with clients and monitor your financial activities.
Your experience is valuable, but you’ll want to partner with industry professionals and make sure you deploy key technology solutions to better serve your clients and grow your business.