FORT FEATURES: WORLD-CLASS PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
In the fast-paced world of property management, we strive to differentiate ourselves by adopting innovative approaches aimed toward success. We believe that our Property Managers (PM) are equipped with a unique set of skills, tools, and resources to excel. Our three biggest differentiating factors are Technology Infrastructure, an Ownership Mindset, and Relationship-Focus.
Technology is an incredible asset to the team, and it can be used to streamline many processes that can consume a PM’s time. Many of the efficiencies demonstrated by our PMs can be credited to our in-house technologies.
Fort Operating System (FOS): This operating system allows organized and focused collaboration between team members, where tasks get assigned to the appropriate members at the right time. Further, many tasks that a PM does on a monthly basis become automated, ultimately freeing up their time and significantly increasing efficiency. The property onboarding process has been systematically organized by these workflows to provide a reliable structure to PMs in this busy process. Once a deal goes under contract, the investment strategy workflow is initiated. This launches all necessary jobs in FOS to all the appropriate players in the process. These jobs outline exactly what each team member should do and what they are responsible for. With this, the team can work as one rather than worrying about making sure everyone is on the same page in the process. These jobs ensure that our property management team is working towards a seamless transition for our tenants and guarantee a proactive approach to maintaining the physical assets.
Dashboard: These data warehouses are made to accumulate from multiple data sources, such as YARDI, third-party leasing tenants, or our own leasing. With access to essential information, manual input is drastically reduced and the opportunity for PMs to excel at their job is presented. Leasing Activity is one of the many dashboards that save time and bolster efficiency. Here, one could find any relevant piece of information regarding any property across all portfolios. Data points like current occupancy, future lease expirations, and current tenant info are easily accessed and clearly presented. On top of this, a wide range of filters covering many categories makes navigating through all the data simple and streamlined. Our motivation for improving dashboards is to prevent siloed data. A huge limitation with siloed data is that people will tend to focus on only what they know, resulting in inconsistency across the organization and the formation of bad habits that could be harmful to the future.
Operation Paperless: We directed the transition to only accepting online payments for tenants at our properties. As little as this change may seem, countless hours are saved by preventing our PMs from gathering and hunting down checks from tenants. This allows our Property Managers to focus on building and maintaining relationships with their tenants which in turn drives tenant retention and higher returns to our stakeholders.
Our PMs fill a unique role that goes beyond traditional property management. They are dialed into the overall business plan of the asset, not just its performance. Our PMs have an emphasized focus on strategy and tenant retention.
We involve our PMs heavily in the transaction process. This allows a lot of early exposure to what the asset is, who the tenant base is, and more about rent roll. Therefore, they can master this information 30-60 days prior to closing rather than waiting until the day of closing.
Building onto this, our PMs also have an important role in the tenant interview process, another big advantage prior to closing. By familiarizing themselves with the asset and tenants, they are able to proactively request data that wouldn’t normally be available in a standard acquisition structure such as:
- Are there any issues with the property we need to be aware of?
- What do you like about your current PM team? What do you not like?
- How do you prefer to be communicated with?
Back-end support from our phenomenal lease administration team makes all this possible. By taking care of other essential elements in this process, our PMs can fully immerse themselves in taking care of the asset, customer, and collecting rent.
Bringing all this together, our PMs use this early information to take a proactive approach to taking down a property. By preparing ahead of time, they can be responsive and efficient in dealing with the wide mix of properties they cover. This is essential in dealing with time-sensitive jobs, such as being notified about a problem with an asset. With their established familiarity, our PMs can quickly get multiple bids for the repair, leading to lower costs and faster completion. All in all, these practices significantly impact tenant satisfaction and asset performance.
Ultimately, a PM’s efficiency boils down to hiring the right person. In order to work synchronously with the rest of the team, they must be a good culture fit. This means aligning with our core values of being accountable, driven, resilient, and agile.
In addition to hard skills, we look for intangible characteristics that predict continuous development and strong people skills. This is someone that is willing to ask questions, risk failure and displays a top-notch attitude. With these characteristics, this person will be more dedicated, bought in, and excited by their performance.
The most important thing a PM can do is be present, interactive, and on-site. All of this starts with the PM’s effort. Interactions between a tenant and PM will be streamlined and effective if there is a healthy relationship present. A good PM can establish this relationship that encompasses a strong balance between respect and assertiveness.
The most common downfall that leads to inefficiency in property management is idleness and poor framing in communication. Firstly, it is necessary to be timely and helpful in addressing the needs of tenants. Second, framing can go a long way in a PM’s communication with a tenant. If a tenant asks about a repair that is their own responsibility in the lease agreement, a PM can greatly harm the relationship by brushing it off and telling them they must take care of it. A relationship-focused PM will gently remind the tenant it is their responsibility and take steps to help them, such as connecting them with a provider that commonly does repairs at that certain asset. Small differences in a PM’s response can go a long way in establishing a healthy relationship making the process much easier for both sides.
In conclusion, bringing property management in-house has been one of the best decisions our company has made. Click here to learn more about why we started FCP Management in 2020. With the tremendous growth, as of August 1, 2023, we are currently managing –
- 7.2M square feet
- 260+ buildings
- 1,500+ customers
- 24 team members
An additional benefit is utilizing our tenant data to inform our acquisition strategy leading to better investments and higher returns. Each of these factors is essential to our team’s incredible performance as property managers. All in all, these characteristics contribute to Fort Capital’s mission of becoming the best real estate operator in the world.