July 31, 2015
Buildium.com quoted me in Can Rapid Growth Endanger Your Business? It reads, in part,
For property managers, the prospect of rapid growth can be thrilling. You lease the units in your first building, fill vacancies quickly, add services that let you charge higher rent, the building owner compliments your work, and before you know it, you’re thinking: “Why not more?” After all, why waste a great opportunity to make more money by simply repeating what you’ve done so well at your first property? All the stars seem aligned…
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7 Steps to Find Out If You’re Ready to Expand Your Property Management Portfolio
Here are seven steps to take before fast-tracking you company’s expansion:
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#6: Know the local rules & the laws
If the buildings you manage are different entities — one rent-controlled and the other a cooperative in an historic neighborhood, for example — you must understand their different requirements. The same can hold true for buildings in different communities where regulations covering trash pick-up and snow removal may vary.
And differences can be even greater for buildings in different states. In New York City, multifamily buildings with more than four units [may be] rent-regulated and involve a complex set of regulations between landlord and tenant, says attorney David Reiss, a professor of law and the Research Director at Brooklyn Law School’s Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship. “If you don’t know what they are, it can be a recipe for disaster,” he says.
Also important to know, he says, is that some buildings are located in historic districts, which the Landmarks Preservation Commission can authorize, and that affects how owners and managers can renovate, rehab, and maintain exteriors, Reiss says. “You might have to place an air conditioning unit a certain way.”
#7: Consult with other property managers
Besides doing your homework, talk to owners and managers of similar properties who’ve expanded beyond a single listing. Reiss says many communities have property management organizations that share information, or your city or town may have an association of like-minded businesses. If not, maybe, you can become a local hero by starting one.