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The Disciplined Approach to Property Management

9 May 2014

Property management is actually a science, and choosing the right property management company (especially here in New York City) can mean the difference between owing or owning the bank. Your goal is to watch your investment grow, right? Then why treat your property as anything less than an investment? Keep reading to learn a few of the things we tackle immediately to help new clients “simplify ownership”.

Our Roadmap to Building a Cash Reserve

We hear from desperate owners on a daily basis. They call us to rescue them from delinquent tenants, improve compliance with NYC regulations, or simply to ask us for help in rehabilitating buildings that have fallen into disrepair. When we agree to take on new clients, we begin with a full evaluation of the property and create a detailed action plan for each major area – financial picture, physical upkeep, and resident relations.

In our experience, it is best to begin on multiple fronts and we begin work on items within each of our major areas simultaneously. It can be a bit frightening and you may be scared about making the wrong choice…that is where a good property management company comes in handy.

Regardless of whether you need modest changes or a complete overhaul, there’s no time like the present!

Stop #1 – Stick to the Budget

This may seem simple, but the very first thing that needs to happen is the establishment of a budget. You need to know how much you can spend every month in every major expense category. Our #1 rule of property management is never go over the budget.

Sound simple? It’s not.

Sticking to a budget can be tricky at the best of times. It takes an enormous amount of discipline, experience, and foresight to establish it in the first place. Each building’s budget should include line items and needs to allocate enough funds to anticipate problems, and unexpected expenses. While none of us can prevent emergencies from happening, we can plan accordingly and make sure that we aren’t surprised.

The takeaway here is that (1) you need a budget and (2) stick to it!

Stop #2 – Basic Appearances Matter

We know that the physical maintenance of owning or managing a property can be overwhelming at the best of times, but what happens when the property has been neglected for a while? The to-do list keeps on growing. It never stops. The longer it grows, the more overwhelming it becomes and finally, you are faced with an almost insurmountable mountain of repairs.

The bad news is that yes, your list may be long, but the good news is that you have a list! If you haven’t gotten that far, the first step is to determine all the items that need attention. For many of our clients, we begin with helping them come up with the master list of repairs. From that list comes our action plan.

In prioritizing what to tackle first, often we find that the best answer is usually the simplest. For a recent client, we began with painting the front door. Sound simple? That’s because it is. It’s amazing how something like painting the front door can make a major improvement in resident relations. They see the front door every time they come and go, and it gives them an immediate sense of pride in coming home.

We stick to our list and do not deviate. Our discipline is absolute and if you find that this task is a bit daunting, then beginning to search for a new property management company may be the way to go.

Stop #3 – Win Back Your Residents

The bottom line here is that unhappy residents usually translate to delinquent association payments, unpaid rent, and $0 cash reserves. We believe in immediate action. Failure to take positive steps in this scenario does nothing but escalate the problem and potential variables include the cost of potential litigation, lost revenue, and lost faith on the part of your residents.

Again, it always returns to discipline. Delinquent rent and late payments need to be dealt with promptly, and without exception. Although it may seem harsh at times, treating everyone equitably will build bridges and begin to repair the relationship between you and your residents.

Take a Trip on Newgent’s Property Management Roadmap

Still feeling a bit overwhelmed? We offer property management services for clients throughout the New York City metropolitan area including Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn. Please contact us via our website or directly at CONTACT US for a personalized quote and walk-through.