Every successful owner of multifamily property must deal with the Three P’s of real estate in a proactive manner. They are; people, property and paper. Real estate investing requires expertise in all three categories. Following are examples that fit into each category. This is by no means an all-inclusive list, just a sample of items that impact the value of your property.
People. Every business is built on relationships and the multifamily business is no different.
- Customer contact – Who is the public representative of your property? Who is the first person they meet when considering your property as their residence? Are they representing you well? I remember reading about the CEO of Avis having an eye-opening experience when calling his own company to rent a car. Not all was well on the home front.
- Maintenance. Is maintenance not only responsive but respectful? There is more to customer service that just fixing the issue. Along with promptness, courtesy always goes a long way.
- Vendors. Can you call a plumber at 5:01 PM and not get hit up with an after hour charge? What is your relationship with vendors? Take the time to get to know when their slow season is and hire them during those times. This will go a long way to get you closer to the top of the list when you need a good turn.
- Banking. This industry has changed dramatically in recent times but do not discount the need to have a working relationship with you bank. Do you have a “go to” person for not just loans but everyday banking services? Is there more than one person at the main branch that knows your name?
Property. What is the first impression and lasting impression your property presents to current and future customers?
- Management. Are your management systems in place and being followed?
- No unit is ready for showing until it’s ready. No shortcuts here. You only get one chance to make a first impression.
- Is landscaping in good order and trash picked.
- If the pool is open is must be sparkling and be ready for use.
Paper. Paper represents the documents that secure your ownership position. Without it, there is no “paper trail” to prove to anyone your right to the income stream created by the asset.
- Ownership documentation.
- Ownership structure.
- Financing. Bank loans and other financing documents.
- Insurance. Is your insurance in order and up to date? Do you have emergency phone numbers for weekend emergencies? Hail and wind damage does not wait until Monday to be addressed. Does your manager have a camera on hand to take immediate photos of an occurance?
Reprint from Multifamilyinsight.net by John Wilhoit Jr.