Over the years, the role of third-party property managers and landscape contractors have become very similar. Throughout my sixteen years in the service provider business, it’s amazing to see how similar they have become.
I would be interested in your thoughts on the following commonalities between the two roles (share in the comments below!).
Here are six reasons why property managers and landscape contractors are more similar than you think:
When you get down to it, from the standpoint of landscape contractors, it is tough to differentiate your business by the “nuts and bolts” (mowing, pruning, weed control, seasonal color, etc.). In the Atlanta market, the consumer has many great companies to choose from, so it really comes down to communication and relationships, and price.
The third-party property managers’ world is no different, as there is an abundant supply of companies (both local and national) that offer their service. I suspect price has something to do with the selection.
Price vs. service level
Over the years, most costs associated with running a business have increased: salaries, insurance, utilities, (in our case) fuel, etc. However, the pricing of services has gone down. How does this work?
If your overhead structure continues to rise, yet the price you sell your service at has gone down, increasing market share is one way to make this up. Thus, our folks’ portfolio load has increased to accommodate the “market-driven” price.
The same concept can be seen with a property manager today. When I began my career, a typical portfolio manager might have five or six properties for which they are responsible. Today, many have double that (thank goodness they have double the salary!).
Dealing with expectations
For contractors and property managers alike, we are always dealing with expectations. Our clients want to be well informed, mitigate any issues, limit interruptions, and get the job done the first time correctly.
We know that there will be problems that need to be addressed; it’s how you address them that really shows your true nature. Do you run and hide or face the problem head-on? To be successful, the latter is the better choice.
It’s unfortunate, but most of the time, in the parallel world that is third-party management/contractor, no news is good news.
Typically, you won’t hear from a tenant that the lights turned on, the toilet flushed, and the parking gate granted you access. At the same time, we won’t hear that the grass was neatly blown off the curb, the leaves never accumulated, or the irrigation system ran properly.
This is more personal ownership rather than the ownership of a building or company. Taking ownership of a property is a trait that both property managers and contractors share.
At the end of the day, property managers and contractors care about the job they have been entrusted with, almost to a fault. How many family dinners have been ruined because of something that happened on a property? I know they say that you are not supposed to take your work home with you; however, this must have been said by someone, not in property management!
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