Principles of Effective Property Management

Effective property management requires a close working relationship between tenants, investors, and managers. This enhances the ability to satisfy each party’s needs while improving NOI (Net Operating Income), ROI (Return On Investment), and the property itself. Industry expertise and knowledge in property management cannot be replaced, but there are some basic principles that underlie all good property management solutions:

  • Effective, responsive and customized service.
  • Strength, generated from team effort and training.
  • Creativity and understanding of management principles.
  • Goals to enhance the value and esthetics of a property.
  • Constant reevaluation of procedures to ensure superior levels of quality.

To get a bit more specific, there are two major branches of property management – logistical and physical. A key factor in the logistics of property management is financial reporting. Financial reporting must be timely and accurate to be effective. Regular and comprehensive reporting (typically in a monthly fashion) establishes continuity and reduces the number of lines of communication, thus maximizing time and minimizing confusion. Such reports should always adhere to GAAP (General Accepted Accounting Principles), though employing a higher set of standards for quality assurance is frequently advisable.

Specific reports, such as cash to budget variances, cash flow and income statements, balance sheets, and complete transactional accounting registers, are fundamental and essential to the property management process. Specialized reporting, such as HOA Architectural and Compliance Logs, Affordable HAP Vouchers, Tax Credit Project Status Reports, Periodic Commercial CAM Reconciliation, and Resident Violation Notices, can make the difference between a good project and a great project.

In addition to financial reporting, up-to-date property management software is an important part of logistics. It enables customized reporting for each type of property managed. Investing in infrastructure is critical to managing a diverse portfolio. The more quickly a property management system can identify problems and produce solutions, the more successful a project can be. Further logistical involvement is necessary in developing bid specifications, securing competitive bids, and coordinating with contractors, vendors and suppliers.

Beyond the logistical or back-end component of successful property management is the physical component. Preserving, maintaining, protecting and enhancing the physical and financial aspects of real estate holdings is of paramount importance. Without corresponding efforts in logistical and physical property management, neither can achieve complete success. This includes emergency management as well as regular visitations and inspections of the property. Comprehensive inspections deliver far-reaching results, and should include lobbies, stairwells, landscaping, recreation facilities, walks and driveways, parking lots, and other physical aspects of the real estate.

Maintenance and on-site management training programs should be conducted regularly. Safety inspections for compliance with loss prevention and OSHA requirements must also be performed. Additionally, the managers need to assemble regularly to discuss market trends, ongoing training, contractor service quality, and current regulatory issues. Following these procedures and refining system effectiveness and cooperation is the surest way to optimize management in the 21st century.