Welcome to Portland Homes & Commercial Properties — and the inaugural blog posting.
For those that know me, most will agree that I tend to be someone not wanting for words. And for those things of which I am passionate about…well, I can go on. But, as I was sitting here contemplating what should go into this first posting…I was a bit stumped. Wasn’t quite sure where I wanted to start this conversation.
..and then it just sort of seemed obvious…start from the beginning. Start with the “Who, What, Why.”
We are Portland Homes & Commercial Properties. A property management company based out of — yup, “Portland, Oregon.” Ok, more like the Portland metro area and beyond…
Our focus is on the management of residential properties (i.e., single family homes, plexes, and small apartment complexes), and small commercial buildings (50,000 sq ft and less). Our property management services goes as far North as Portland; down South to Wilsonville, and as far East as Sandy, and West to Beaverton/Hillsboro. Portland Homes is comprised of professionals that bring over 60 years of combined experience in all aspects of property management.
What do we do? To say we do property management is an oversimplification. The, “what” is driven by how we view property management; how we view your property. Portland Homes does not view your rental property as just simply an investment, a static thing that we are just keeping an eye on for you. We are not simply just collecting rent.
From our perspective, your rental property is a business. Whether you own one single family home, two plexes, or 20 units — these are not just homes; they are not like a stock in IBM that you buy, and forget about for 15 years. Your rental property — no matter how small, or few IS A BUSINESS.
Yeah, you thought that cute single family home you picked up for a steal is an investment… No… you made an investment…in a business…the business of rental properties. Your rental property is a product. Your customer — is the tenant. And this business — more than anything, is about customer service. This is a business with the potential of great rewards. But, it has risks, liabilities, daily challenges. You have to know the laws, you have to be willing to take calls at all times of the day. Sometimes you have to be a mediator. And, sometimes you will be faced with doing unpleasant things — evicting people. This is a business that succeeds or fails on the quality of communication.
No business is without it’s challenges, and ownership of a rental property certainly has them. But — the rewards can be very much worth the effort.
As a property management company — you’re not just hiring us to collect rent; you’re hiring us to be the operations end of your business. You are hiring Portland Homes to free you from the daily task of property management to focus on things that are more important (e.g., acquiring more properties, generating more capital for investment, you day job, your family, etc.).
Not every owner of a rental property needs a property manager. In fact, when I am interviewing a prospective owner, I want to determine whether they truly need us. If it makes sense, and if I’m hearing the “right” things — I’m the first to tell an owner that they don’t need me. That they clearly understand what it takes to run this business, they appear to have the time, and knowledge, and skills, etc.
But for those owners that truly do need a property manager — Portland Homes is here for them. Not just to collect rents — but to be the operational arm of their business. Advertising, showing, screening, adhering to rental laws, maintenance, accounting, problem solving, tenant management…. These are the things that a property management company does for you. Whether you own one property or 10, to be successful, to maximize the financial performance of…yes, your business, and minimize your exposure — you must execute on each and every aspect.
In the end, your property manager is (or should be) hired to help drive the success of your rental property business. And that means — ensure that your customer…yes, YOUR CUSTOMER is SUCCESSFUL. And guess who your customer is? The TENANT.
All too often, the tenant is seen as an inconvenience; a necessary evil. If that is the way you view the tenant, I sincerely suggest that you sell your property because property management will be very, very painful with that mindset.
As I said earlier, your rental property is a business. The house, condo, plex — it is the product. Your customer — yup, the tenant.
So bottom line — our mission as your property manager is to ensure we have a successful tenant, and run the operations of your business such that we are maximizing your returns, and while minimizing your exposure to any downsides.
And the Why…
Why Portland Homes & Commercial Properties?
There’s a secret about property management that — if you’ve done any research, you probably already discovered…. Shhh. Don’t tell anyone else… we all do the same thing… An analogy I often use is that property management is like banking. All banks do one thing… they sell money. So, why do you go to one bank vs. another. Or, one branch vs. another.
For me — it’s about the customer service. It’s about the communication. It’s knowing the people taking care of me understand what I need, and work with me to achieve that. I don’t dread going to the branch; I look forward to speaking with the team there.
Well, in property management — on a fundamental level, it is no different. The question is — does our philosophy of property management mesh with yours. Does our approach appear to be in sync with the way that you want to run your business?
If you have been to any number of property management websites, you will have quickly noted one thing — they all say the same thing.. “We are the best.” “We’ll maximize your returns.” “We have the secret formula to investing in residential properties.” “We have the best technology.”
This last one really kills me…because we all use the same technology! Really.
When you’re interviewing property management companies, you need to ask a fundamental question, “What is your philosophy? What is your approach to property management?” “How are you (Mr. Property Manager) going to team with me?”
Suffice it to say, you will hear some very interesting answers.
Perhaps you’re happy with your current property manager. If that is the case, call Portland Homes — let us play devil’s advocate to your current way of thinking. Worse case — you validate that you have the best property manager for your needs. But you might also discover, there is another approach.
Perhaps you are new to the business of rental properties. Whether you know you want a PM, or are on the fence as to whether you should do it yourself — pick up the phone and talk to as many PMs as you can.
Find out how they approach the business. Why they are even in the business.
Possibly most important, get a feel whether their style fits with yours.
Just remember — this is your business. Decide how you want to run it. What’s important to you. You’re interviewing the property managers; don’t let them sell you.
Rental property is a great business; with great potential of rewards. You just need to take control. You need to run the business; don’t let it run you.
So, that’s the Who, What, and Why — plus a few tangents here and there. But hey, it’s my blog…I can “tangent” if I want.
Moving forward, the goal with the Portland Homes blog is to share, and educate, and …hopefully, be the cause of a laugh or two (at least for my horrible humor). Hopefully, the information shared here will help you in your efforts as they relate to the management of residential rental properties.
Portland Homes & Commercial Properties