The good old days of property management are over. But the good new days are here. Let me explain.
In the good old days, with rents and home prices rising into the stratosphere, property managers didn’t have to worry much about cutting costs and running a lean operation. Then the recession hit. Now, in the good new days, property managers are a lot more interested in cutting costs. And in many ways they don’t have much choice. Cutting costs, for property managers, is really the cost of doing business — and staying in business.
A recent article in Nevada Business magazine bears this out. In it we get a picture of the state of property management today in the wake of the economic recession:
- Struggling to get even close to full building occupancy, despite lowered rental rates
- Working closer with worried property owners to trim all unnecessary expenses and reduce tenant churn
- Financially pinched tenants asking for more flexibility in paying their rent, even while demanding more services
- Dealing with reduced management fees as a result of lower occupancy rates and reduced rental rates
So, given all of this, why are these the good new days? There’s a clue at the end of the article, where the author notes that property management software has become “the norm” in the industry. Using property management software allows property managers to work smarter and not harder by managing maintenance requests online, collecting rent and paying vendors electronically, and generally freeing up time to focus on marketing and business development.
And it’s precisely better marketing and a solid business development strategy that will separate the winners from the losers in what one property manager quoted in the article called an “extremely challenging” economic environment. As one property manager told me, new economic realities present new opportunities for growth — but you need to be creative.
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