x They can be used as a tool for reviewing and updating employee job
descriptions, for conducting internal performance assessments and for
creating employee development plans.
There are numerous opportunities to incorporate the IREM Best Practices
into a management company’s business development plan.
One obvious opportunity is to use the best practices checklist when soliciting new business. The checklist can be incorporated into proposals—
either in the form of a survey that shows all the things the company is doing,
or as a grid that compares your company to others. Using the best practices
checklist in this way can showcase the scope and depth of a company’s operations and ensure the client that your company is built on a solid business
In the same vein, the checklist can be used as a business retention tool.
Incorporating the best practices checklist into reports to clients provides a
vehicle for demonstrating the controls the company has in place and how
they benefit the client and the real estate asset that has been entrusted to
your company. In effect, the checklist becomes a report card that shows clients the professional level of service they are receiving.
A company that produces a newsletter that it sends to clients can make
the best practices a part of that communication. For instance, you might address one of the best practices in each issue and include an article about how
the company has executed this best practice for the benefit of the clients it
serves. You can also reference the best practices on your company’s website
and in company brochures—referencing the best practices and sharing that
the company runs its operation in alignment with them.
MAKE THEM YOUR OWN
The IREM Best Practices is all about the “what”—what needs to be done
by a management company to run efficiently and effectively and serve its
stakeholders well. Each company will determine its own unique “how” and
by doing so, institutionalize the best practices within the corporate culture
For example, one of the Best Practices states that a firm shall have insurance. It doesn’t specify how much insurance, the terms of the policy and the
like. This is left to the company to determine based on its own overall risk
management programs and profile, the types of clients it serves and properties it manages, its location and environmental risks, and so on. Articulating
and documenting the “how” for each of the best practices that are meaningful and relevant to a given company is an exercise worth the effort.
JESSE HOLLAND, CPM, ( JHOLLAND@SUNRISEMC.COM) IS PRESIDENT
OF SUNRISE MANAGEMENT & CONSULTING, AMO, BASED IN ALBANY,
N. Y. HE IS THE PRESIDENT OF IREM CHAPTER NO. 93, AND HAS SERVED
AS A REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENT AND CHAIR OF THE IREM INDUSTRY
STANDARDS ADVISORY BOARD.
AMO Firms were surveyed to identify the extent to which they were
in place at those companies. Generally, the AMO Firms indicated that
they were operating their businesses and running their properties in
alignment with the best practices.
But there were a few best practices
that came up short:
x About half of the companies
did not have an emergency pre-
paredness plan in place for the
company (Best Practice 1. 4).
x More than half of the compa-
nies did not have a strategic
plan for the company (Best
Practice 1. 14).
x Only half of the firms indicated
that they followed Best Practice
2. 1, which calls for confirming
client objectives in writing.
The Best Practices also can serve
as a platform for employee development programs. Among the possibilities:
x They can serve as a model for
staff training and development. By reviewing one section
each month at monthly training sessions, employees will
gain a broad understanding of
the many responsibilities undertaken by the company and
how they are being executed.
x They can be particularly valuable in onboarding new employees, especially those new
to the property management
business. Not only is this a
way to share with new employees the practices the company
follows, it reconfirms that they
have chosen to work for a company that adheres to industry