Property Management: The Balancing Act With Your Community
by Joe Killinger
Many of us investors buy our properties with grandiose dreams of big returns and how this property will be a great addition to our portfolio and make our investors happy. A broker calls us up and says they have a deal. We are focused on the numbers, we run the comps, complete the due diligence inspections, apply for a loan and make sure the area is not in decline. We prepare for the transition and begin the on boarding of the property just prior to closing so we don’t miss a beat in the process, we look at the rent roll to see where we are with each resident and decide whether or not to increase the rental rates.
The one thing that many investors never used to consider is what else we can bring to the community that we are now a part of and how can we enhance the experience of living in one of our communities, not from a revenue standpoint but from a quality of life standpoint. Here are a few things to consider:
- After school programs for your residents’ children
- Create activities for the elderly to be involved with
- Have a small business office with internet access for people to come work in
- Have a meeting space for the residents to use
- Have an event space for the residents and your community to use
- Gyms can be good if they are maintained properly
- Offer classes for some of the residents i.e.: knitting, computer, cooking
- Child care (part time), or pet friendly options
- Community events i.e.: local fair, petting zoos (many local retailers would chip in and help pay if they can have a booth or give items to your resident)
- Hold a community meeting so everyone feels like they have a voice in their community
Some of these may be a bit difficult to immediately implement in your community, but if you can take the time and make an effort, you will find that when you get a vacancy, it will rent faster. Most likely, it will be from a referral from a resident that wants someone they know to enjoy the experience of living in your community, therefore cutting down your marketing expenses and improving your ROI.