How Many People Does it Take to Manage a Property?

A good property management team can make your investment work.

A group of happy employees taking a break.
Royal Rose Properties is a fairly unusual property manager – we do a lot of things that most property managers don’t. In particular, we’re renowned for our in-depth record-keeping, our unique approach to the most high-risk/high-reward neighborhoods in Detroit, and for having a relatively vast roster of employees. But just how many people does it take to manage a Property

Some property managers get by with four or five people – perhaps a manager, an assistant manager, a marketing expert, and a pair of administrative assistants. Royal Rose Properties has more departments than those guys have people. We have a manager, and that manager orchestrates a Maintenance Department, a Marketing Department, an Evictions & Collections Department, an Accounting Department, a Tenant Liaison Department, a single Utilities person, a single Inspections person, a single Owner Liaison and one full-time administrative assistant.

Why is this important? Because it speaks to the level of support that we are able to offer our owners. Our competitors can get the job done…as long as the job remains simple and the owners don’t ask for too much by way of detail. But when things get complex (and they always eventually get complex), we’ve got the support staff that we need to keep track of the situation and explain how to navigate it – or at least what went wrong.

Of course, there’s something of a downside as well – we have gotten occasional complaints from people who say that we have trouble seeing the whole picture sometimes because there are 3-5 different groups tracking different aspects of what’s going on with each property. When a single problem is described differently by Tenant Liaison (“Tenant reports water not running”), Utilities (“Water shut off by city due to ‘meter broken or missing’”) Inspections (“no water meter present”),Maintenance (“water pipe from street broken; no way to install water meter until pipe is fixed by city”), and Tenant Liaison again (“Cannot contact tenant to set appointment with city water workers”), your impression of what is actually going on can change dramatically based on who you find out about the problem from and where you look for more information.

On the other hand, the whole picture is available, whereas with a more typically-staffed property manager, your notes would most likely consists of “No water in house. Can’t reach tenant to set appt,” and you’d have to speak directly with the person handling the situation in order to know what the actual problem is, what appointment they’re trying to set, and so on. If that person is sick or goes on vacation, you’re stuck waiting for them to get back.

Ultimately, there are some owners that don’t really like our style, and others who have been momentarily seduced away by other companies offering special deals or making big promises but have come back to us grateful for the level of support and communication they get from Royal Rose – and that, to us, is what it’s all about.

Posted in: 1. Property Owner Blog Posts, Acquiring Rentals, Detroit rental market, Hiring Property Manager, Investing Strategy, Managing Rentals

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