Were you expecting the rest of the question? Or maybe you thought Roger Daltrey might become the star of the current topic. Not a Daltrey fan? Maybe Dr. Seuss or Cindy Lou Who are among your top favorites. Or maybe you should just keep reading to see where this story goes.
I thought I’d take this opportunity to explain the “why” in PRO-Visions. Most people in the industry have absolutely no clue who I am or anything about me. If you’ve been in and around the Atlanta Apartment market over the last 27 years, there is a chance you know me. For the most part I think it’s fair to say I’m relatively unknown in the grand scheme of things. I’m not as well known as Terry Danner, Gerry and Michael Blonder, or Val Hammond. Don’t forget Pete Petersen, Jack Weissman, Rhonda Brock, Colin Ferguson, and Deborah Westphal and the wonderful group at IREM Atlanta. I can’t forget Matt Mills and his team which includes Lauren Mayer, Marie Clary, Shawn Guethle and Royce Snider. I learned the most from this extraordinary and talented group of people.
Not to mention all the others I have worked with over the years either. Each one of you was not only my favorite person to work with, but also (whether you knew it or not) a fantastic teacher!
I started as the Office Manager/Admin Assistant for Summit Properties in Atlanta, then worked for Focus Group, Hammond Residential, Hallmark Management, and then got my chance to run/part own a property management company for some investors out of Missouri.
Terry taught me about the property management industry and spreadsheets. Anyone who has ever worked with me knows I have a spreadsheet for everything. (I just love a good spreadsheet, and yes even the IREM CPM spreadsheet). Gerry taught me about the importance of budgets and how to treat your staffs the right way. Val brought out my creative and operational side; Pete showed me you could turn a property around and make it wildly successful; Jack gave me his support and encouragement; Deborah and the team at IREM gave me the courage and support to learn more about this very dynamic industry and I got my CPM. I have learned both what to do and sometimes even what not to do.
So, you’re probably chomping at the bit to know what my firm’s “why” is.
PRO-Visions Property Management Company and Consulting Services came about after I watched properties we had sold go straight down the toilet (for lack of a better visual term). New owners and investors in the multifamily real estate arena bought deals running like well oiled machines, economic occupancies in the mid 90’s, passing inspections left and right, literally no staff turnover, and extremely low resident turnover. Within months numbers hit in the low 70’s, with some even less than that. I hate to see investors answering capital calls, properties not meeting their investment goals, and management companies nickle and diming owners to death for services they obviously weren’t getting.
Vendors tell me horror stories about smaller owners and new investors going with the big, huge, and well known management companies only to find their properties headed for the courthouse steps and vendor payable issues mounting. Owners question why vendors payables are so high when properties are full and delinquencies are below 5%. How does that happen? (Show me the financials and I’ll find out what’s going on). These owners and investors were just numbers on a spreadsheet representing monthly management fees.
Our firm is here for the “little guy” in the big pond of multifamily real estate.
I have former staffs calling in a panic because of vacancy loss rates that make you cringe. There is no training and no support from the people above them, no engagement or empowerment to run their properties as a business. They felt and sounded so defeated. It’s hard because these are very talented, passionate, and dedicated property management professionals who are being underutilized.
Have you read the ratings on some of the big multifamily management firms? For the most part they are horrible. Staff turnover is higher than resident turnover. I understand reviews on line from former staff are probably tainted because they were terminated or even quit in a huff. However, still there is always a grain of truth in there somewhere. I’ve heard that one company changes Regional Managers every six months. It can take that long to get comfortable with your portfolio. Basically as soon as they start to get in the grove they leave and the process starts all over again. Do you realize that constant staff turnover has a huge negative impact on the success of the company, the properties, and the teams in place? Not to mention recruiting time and the expenses that go with this process are astronomical.
Is this what property management is all about? How much we can bring in a month in management fees? What about doing the right thing even though it’s not the easiest? What about putting the owner’s goals and objective before the pockets of the management company? What about telling owner’s what they need to hear and not what you want them to hear? Where does integrity fit in? It should be at the top of the list and it is at this firm.
Granted, no company is perfect and I honestly don’t think any company could or will be. What sets how this firm does things apart from the rest is I don’t care about my company. Yes, you read that right. I just don’t care about my company. I care about the people who work with me and that one philosophy takes care of everything else. Have I ever failed at repositioning a poor performing property? Yes, twice in my career.
It has dawned on me that some investors may not be as passionate as I am about their assets succeeding; however, put that passion into the people running the day to day operations of those assets and your chances of success grow exponentially and without it being like going to have a root canal.
Today’s multifamily management challenges require partnering with a trusted team.
I have several things I am passionate about, but when it comes to my work life, I’m passionate about people succeeding, accomplishing goals and objectives, and helping others. I’m an operations person, I love reviewing financial statements and have a knack for finding income opportunities (or problems) when no one else can. I have a creative side as well and I use it as much as I can, especially when it comes to training and engaging my teams. I’m skilled at finding more efficient and effective ways to accomplish the day to day tasks property management teams face. I see things easily others overlook (I worked for a company where I would get sent to a property to look around because something was not right…nine times out of ten I found it, we fixed it, and things turned around for the better).
I think to sum it up in just a few words (which I am not known to do…I’m a “blue” person according to ADP and love to give a lot of details), I founded this firm with a team of dedicated, hard working, caring people to help the small owners and investors in multifamily real estate realize their investment dreams.
We’re good at it and more importantly, we’re passionate.
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