Professional property management services are the backbone of commercial real estate services. Property Management professionals are highly skilled in a variety of disciplines including project management, budgeting, and maintenance and repair. The scope of work these individuals oversee is so significant that it is quite common for them to partner with a management firm to support their in-house teams. Despite this common practice, their remains a handful of misconceptions that may be holding you and your team back from engaging with a team to support your work. In the text that follows, our property management professionals have provided responses to some of the most common questions/concerns we’ve heard in our pursuit and development of property management business. Hopefully these responses can help grow lasting and valuable client-vendor partnerships.
Hiring a property management team is more expensive than performing the work in-house.
It’s common for prospective clients to take a quick look at the work order numbers and debate the cost effectiveness of hiring a property management firm vs. performing the work in-house. Analyzing the total cost of ownership for clients can lead to helpful conversations. This approach includes repairs, maintenance, capital projects, energy consumption, technology infrastructure, and internal/overhead costs. The analysis usually reveals that fine tuning approach and delivery lead to reductions in spending in addition to a reduction in your workload and office and administrative costs. Specifically, the change in scale on work orders has a positive impact on those costs; technology costs are reduced as a result of using platforms maintained by the property management firm; and the overall benefit of lessons-learned/experience by your peers in the field are shared on a larger scale increasing value. A property management partner brings a vast amount of experience, buying power, and support that translates into savings for the client.
The quality of work and service will decline when facilities work is outsourced.
Many of our clients are a part of a team that operates like a finely tuned machine. While their portfolio is enjoying the benefit of on-the-job knowledge that can be very valuable in providing service and planning projects, it’s not a promise of quality and value. One of the quickest and easiest ways to improve quality is to implement a tested technology platform to manage work orders, projects and staff. The information is collected on a single platform eliminating voicemails and emails that are often overlooked or misplaced. Technology can also help manage KPI’s, assess workflows, and predict maintenance and repair issues months and even years in advance. So, while existing employees are invaluable, they may not be leveraging the information they have at hand to deliver higher quality outcomes. A technology platform can deliver this information.
Hiring a property management partner puts my job in danger.
Clients have revealed that they are concerned outsourcing their work to a property management partner puts them at risk of being replaced entirely by the vendor. Having proper perspective on the relationship between client and vendor is critical to overcome this misconception. Both teams need to share resources and cooperate to be successful and add value. That success is the result of a dedicated effort by all involved. A property management employee’s oversight of the vendor relationship and processes make them more valuable to their employer. A strong partner can provide a bump in productivity, organization, manpower, quality, and value to in-house property management efforts. The training and maintenance needed to maintain systems and qualifications among an internal team add cost to overhead – outsourcing to achieve management goals and making that cost and effort the responsibility of your property management partner makes sense. The additional knowledge, established tech platforms, and buying power along with numerous other benefits to your team and portfolio all combine to deliver significant value to clients.