When an Indianapolis property owner is considering hiring a property manager there are many things to understand before committing. One of the interesting decisions to consider is what is the property management structure? How does the property management company operate? Specifically, who will be your property manager?
Portfolio Management Structure
One common property management structure is known as portfolio management. In a portfolio management structure, there is just one property manager who is responsible for a portfolio of properties. Many owners will state this is what they want.
They want just one person who they can discuss all their property’s details with.
In a perfect world this desire seems preferable. This means the property manager handles:
- Bookkeeping on the Property
- Tenant Communications
- Owner Communications
- Rent Collections
- Anything else that comes up
Typically, we hear that the correct size of a portfolio for one person to handle is up to 200 properties. As an owner, if this is the type of structure you prefer be sure and ask just how many units your assigned manager is handling. You may also want to give some thought to how proficient the manager must be in so many different skill sets. Preferably get to know them and their background before committing.
Departmental Management Structure
In the departmental organization structure, the above responsibilities of managing a property are divided and managed by departments. Each department has a proficiency with the specific skill. So leasing and marketing is handled by devoted staff that only thinks about those activities. Lease renewals are monitored, tracked, and pursued by a Renewal Coordinator.
Sounds great, right? Unless you are that owner that insists they just want one person to communicate with. In the departmental structure, the owner may have communications from many different staff or team members. When you think about it, this is the kind of operating structure most service companies utilize. This property management structure provides a level of skill and proficiency in respective areas of operations.
But multiple points of contact.
Hybrid Management Structure
Is it possible to blend these two operating styles? At WILMOTH Group, we believe it can be. We have found that it is just too much to expect a property manager to create systems, provide timely communications, and retain accurate documentation. It is too much to expect one person to juggle all of these crucial balls while researching answers and managing the day to day activities of a rental portfolio. At WILMOTH Group, we have addressed the best of both of the above common property management operating systems by creating our own hybrid system.
Accomplishing a hybrid system is not something a brand new company will be able to create. Developing the infrastructure to support such high levels of coordination and communication requires years of experimentation and implementation. If a company dedicates themselves to the effort, it can meet with positive results.
In the hybrid property management structure the one point of communication is not a property manager but a liaison. They are the person who can deliver and get answers, provide customer service, and be dedicated to the owner’s satisfaction. So, in the Hybrid the liaison has a skill set high on organization and communication. They are supported by a professional team with different responsibilities within the property management structure of operations.
In summary, you now have guidance to know about the ways property management companies operate. When combined with your own needs, the above should be part of the analysis you review when hiring a property manager.