I was doing some preliminary interviews of multifamily PMs in Tampa and I ran into a snag I'd like to get people's opinion on.
I called the management company and told them I was an out of state investor with a few questions. I asked what their portfolio composition was, and she said a little bit of everything, and maybe 15 or so MF and commercial properties. I asked if she could send a specific number of multifamilies maybe in an email after the call. She said she wasn't comfortable doing that since she didn't know who I was or if I was competition.
That struck me as a little strange. As an investor I want to know the experience level of a management company I work with. But it was my first call, maybe I'm missing something. Is that question outside of industry norms, any thoughts on how to have handled it?
@Shafi Noss , it is a little odd that she wouldn't answer your question. Not sure how a competitor could use the number of units to their advantage.
On the other hand, the number of units under management is not the best way to gauge a company's level of experience. Look at their processes, talk with their tenants. That will tell you a lot more than how big/small they are.
You can also provide them with your website and credentials to show you are a serious investor and ease any concerns.
@Shafi Noss I agree with @Greg Dickerson on the credentials but at the same time there are a lot of PM's out there and if you did not get a GREAT feeling from your initial conversation, I suggest you move on and talk to more until you do get that great feeling. The PM you choose can make or break a deal and you want to be fully confident they can be transparent with you.
I would make a few more phone calls to other property managers. The owner/tenant relationship is extremely important. If the PM isn't forthcoming, I would go elsewhere.
I would do yourself a favor and give Jeff Copeland a call. He's a good friend of mine and has been managing my business' properties for the past 4+ years. Stand up guy who also knows what he is doing. Let him know I referred you, I'm sure after a phone call with him, you'll find you wont want to deal with anyone else.
Thanks for the answers everyone. Sounds like we're not a good fit for each other.
@Anthony Kelly thanks for the lead, I'll give Jeff a call.
If you aren't comfortable, then find another person. I understand them not wanting to give out that information. You could ask for a ballpark estimate of how many homes of the type you want, they manage.
@Shafi Noss I think you handled it well. We in search of new PMs entering into a new market, making sure they're credible is a must. We always ask for properties that they're currently managing in the area just so we can drive by. We want to see how upkept the property is and if not it may just be a tell tale sign this is how they do business
The PM could have had some feeling from your phone call or past experience from something similar to warrant the answer but there was nothing wrong with your question either. That said, I am of the mind set that you only give out info that is needed or required. Stating you are an out of state investor could potentially get you in bed with the wrong person if they are the unscrupulous type. There is really no need to state that off the bat, rather, I am a multi family investor looking for a new property manager in your area, what can you tell me about your credentials, management history, and statistics?