Property Management Interview
At PhillyLiving, we know it can be intimidating to ask for help when it’s needed or to know if it’s possible to get better service from your existing partner or vendor. For example, if you’re a self-managed Landlord who has never approached a property management company, we know you might not be aware of some of the benefits of allowing a team to help. You might also be surprised to know there are ways to leverage a property management team for their expertise, even when you aren’t a regular client. We recently chatted with Matt Bremner, President of PhillyLiving Management Group to help our self-managed newbies better understand the Property Management division of PhillyLiving.
What’s it like in the Property Management industry?
No one day is the same. We could be helping to lease an apartment, or fixing a plumbing leak or dealing with a billing issue. We’re full service and I enjoy the diversity of it all.
Why do you think your clients choose PhillyLiving Management Group over another property management vendor?
Our staff is a big part of the reason for our success. Many of our employees have been with us for over 25 years and I am really proud of how hard we work. We’re a second-generation family business with real people and we’ve had a relationship with our contractors for over 30 years. Our sole focus is making our clients happy and our clients know we care. I think we do a great job of treating everyone – whether you’re a tenant or a landlord – with respect.
Why is the rent roll (rent financials of a building) important?
The rent roll shows how much revenue the property is generating. Along with the expenses, it can determine how profitable the property is. As property owners, we understand that the balance between income and expenses is the key to maximum profit. We aim for that balance with all of our clients.
What are the most difficult issues you deal with?
Probably questions dealing with evictions. We have a Compliance Director on the team who can also help manage the tough issues with the city. It’s also a challenge when a client has an asset that’s under performing based on the rents and we need to get the highest and best use for it. We’re up for challenges, though!
Oh that’s interesting. Can you help with evictions?
Yes. We can assist with evictions even if we don’t currently manage your property.
Do you have a lot of out of state clients?
Yes, I’d say about 40% of our clients are from out of state. We have an emergency service 365 days a week and working with us gives them peace of mind.
Can Airbnb clients hire PhillyLiving Management Group for maintenance?
Yes. We don’t get involved with guests or manage the regular turn-over of your Airbnb but we can support any urgent maintenance needs and capital improvements. This is ideal for out of town Airbnb clients.
How much should a landlord have reserved for maintenance needs on a property?
That’s difficult to answer due to many different factors. You’ll need to consider the age of the house but remember that even if it’s new construction, it doesn’t mean it won’t have any problems. You’ll need to consider things like the age of the roof and appliances. You’ll want to consider warranties and insurance. The way a property is maintained and even the type of tenants you have can play into maintenance costs on a property.
What are some of the biggest mistakes that self-managed Landlords make?
Some of our clients come to us because they end up needing a lot of support when it comes to the financials. We have a great finance team and they build condo platforms in our Appfolio portal to stay organized and manage all of the financials. The Appfolio portal also allows us to provide full transparency to our clients. Self managed landlords tend to make emotional decisions where a third party financial manager will make compliance and contractual decisions to the benefit of the Landlord. I know from my own experience, when I’ve gotten too close with a tenant I tend to make exceptions. For this reason, it could be good to outsource financial management.
What percentage of your business is Condo Association Management and how did you expand into that?
We manage around 100 Condo Associations, which equates to about 1,500 units. We specialize in small to midsize Condo Associations and that’s about 40% of our business. Back in the late 90s and early 2000s, when people started moving back to the city from the suburbs, developers started converting apartment buildings to condo units in order to answer the need for more homes. Back then, my father hired someone who knew how to manage condos and over time, we developed the expertise.
PhillyLiving Management Group has also been able to focus on LeaseUp services. Can you share more about that?
Our LeaseUp service is ideal for multi-family units and is a simple all-in-one service that reduces costs and increases occupancy. We help any landlord, manager, or developer position their property or asset to achieve profitability and sustainability. We receive thousands of rental inquiries on a monthly basis, and in most scenarios, we can lease buildings very quickly. We can manage the whole tenant process for you.
Want to discuss property management services? Contact Matt directly at Matt@phillyliving.com.