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Starting a Property Management Company

Property Management is a Great Profession

Welcome to LandlordSource!

When I entered the real estate / property management world, there were little resources available – actually just about none. At that time, we virtually managed by the seat of our pants. I always refer to this period as the “dark ages of property management.”

Jean Storms - Owner and Author of LandlordSource Products The only “forms” available to me at the time were a rental agreement and a notice to pay or quit, both completed laboriously by hand or with a typewriter. Computers were just emerging into the business world with limited applications and most companies still utilized a manual bookkeeping system (including ours). Manuals didn’t even exist and there was nothing resembling an organized system to handle owners, tenants, and properties. Newspaper advertising was costly but usually necessary to rent properties. As our company grew, managing often seemed overwhelming; supporting resources were non-existent. As more Federal and state legislation passed, the job became more arduous.

When we purchased our first company computer, I recognized the capability of not having to “reinvent the wheel.” Every time I wrote a letter, I saved it in my new word processing system. Then I converted the letters to “templates” to reuse for future problems. I realized I could expand my lease and include supportive documentation, such as a multi-page maintenance addendum, a pet addendum, and many more. As word processing evolved, I turned them into easy “fill-in forms.” I made checklists to help my staff track important duties and created a policy and procedures manual to assist everyone. As technology grew, so did our property management office systems.

Creating all these documents and managing everything was difficult but worth it. Creating this documentation was a process that took a love of managing, writing, and learning computer applications. I did all this while managing over 400 properties, selling real estate, and handling all the many facets of running office.

The most important lessons I realized over the last 30+ years is that whether you are new to property management or a seasoned veteran, you must learn and keep on learning. Know your industry laws and regulations; use reliable documentation; implement organized systems and technology; and join valuable industry resources, such as NARPM®.

It’s a wonderful time to be in property management. It is an industry that will always have people who need to rent, investors who will buy in any market, and homeowners who cannot sell their property or decide to turn it into an investment. Property management is a great profession in any market.

Today, as a property manager, you have so many resources available to you – take advantage of them! I hope this site is one that helps you with your property management needs. You will find articles & resources, can sign up for the free Professional Management Matters newsletter, or can browse our suite of products for property managers.

I wish you a great day in real estate / property management.

Jean Storms, Owner of LandlordSource
Jean Storms, MPM®
Remember – you don’t have to reinvent the wheel!