are turning to
to help them
ute, my big-box owners are moving
out. I better get someone who knows
what he/she is doing to come in here
and salvage the tenant, bring in new
tenants or market my building.’ So,
right now we’re in growth mode.”
“They’re looking for professionals
to come in from the ground up to
optimize the bottom line, to bring
profit to their bottom line,” Burger
However, property management is
hardly immune from the recession.
“There is economic stress in
everything we touch,” said Jesse
Holland, CPM, president of Sunrise
Management and Consulting, AMO,
in Latham, N. Y. “[We’re] seeing high-
er vacancies and more lease cancellations. [We’re] seeing more people trying to
renegotiate things in the middle of leases, [as well as] bankruptcies and layoffs.
All of those issues impact the property manager because he/she is the person
who has to deal with the fallout.”
As a result, property owners, managers and investors are all watching their
receivables closely and setting the bar higher.
“The world is a very nervous place right now,” Holland said. “That is translating into a lot less patience in general… there is a lot more negotiating going
on. The expectations are much higher.”
With property investors’ and owners’ needs ranging from marketing to lease
renegotiations to cutting operating costs, property managers’ specialized skills
and resources can lead to lucrative consulting business.
“There are investors needing to sell, but they still have to hold onto the properties because there aren’t great buyers out there,” Pountain said. Consulting
is particularly useful for properties that had previously required little effort to
“Projects that ran themselves don’t run themselves anymore,” said Pountain.
“Properties that always stayed full didn’t [require] marketing because of their
nature or location. They rented themselves. Now, all of a sudden, when traffic
drops, [owners] don’t have the budget to hire a full-time person [or additional
staff] on the property as they have done in the past.”
Many find that networking is the best way to gain consulting work. Pountain,
for example, has also found opportunities through her large list of developer
“In a couple of cases, new developments are coming online in the metro
Milwaukee area in 2009 and developers are looking for strong people to creatively and quickly rent those units,” Pountain said. “So I help with their marketing exercises.”
In the tight-knit property management community, networking has also long
been one of the best recruitment methods for management companies. Today,
many property managers are tapping into their networks to include staff
recruitment in their consulting services.
Recently, a group of investors hired Pountain to help them set up their own
property management company. With her years of property management
experience, she offered valuable insight and instruction about what the group
needed to launch a successful management business. She also helped them hire
a knowledgeable staff of professional property managers.
“I am very well connected through IREM and other real estate organizations,
and I have always done matchmaking as a hobby…why shouldn’t I get paid to
do that now?” Pountain said. “When people put a position on a job Web site,
they can get buried in 50 to 75 resumes of mostly unqualified people, especially
with all the people out of work today. [And] that opens opportunities for me.