Property Management Structure -"Who Will Be My Property Manager?"

When a landlord is considering hiring a property manager there are many things you want to understand before committing.  One of the interesting decisions you should consider is what is the property management structure?  How does the property management company operate?  Specifically, who will be your property manager?

Portfolio Property 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 everything about their property's details.

In a perfect world this desire seems preferable. This means the property manager handles:

  • Leasing
  • Marketing
  • Move-Ins
  • Repairs
  • Maintenance
  • Renewals
  • Bookkeeping on the Property
  • Tenant Communications
  • Owner Communications
  • Rent Collections
  • Inspections
  • Move-Outs
  • Turns
  • 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 Property 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 Property Management Structure

Is it possible to blend these two operating styles?  It may be.  If the property manager creates systems, communications, and record keeping so one person can find answers simply and be kept informed of important issues.  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.

Summary

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.

To learn more about WILMOTH Group and our property management structure, listen to this very brief conversation with Jennifer Wilmoth, co-owner and broker.

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WILMOTH Group is headquartered in Indianapolis and Fort Myers, Fla. WILMOTH Group focuses on providing creative local solutions for a variety of residential real estate needs including, properties for sale, property management services in Indianapolis, and short-term management services in Tampa and Fort Myers.

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