In a small agency, one person fills all the roles of property management. Letting, Initial & Routine Inspections, Repairs, Rental Arrears, Owner Communication, New Business, Accounting and more. They know everything about each owner, property and tenant. This is an ideal structure, except for the issues of being small, with a single point of failure. And no chance of a holiday.
As agencies grow the number of properties under management, a structural choice is required.
Portfolio – Effectively the same structure as above is maintained whereby multiple staff members split the portfolio and each is responsible for all the tasks associated with their properties. The intense familiarity with the owner and property is maintained. Backup is provided by peers and administrative assistance.
Task – Where different people do different tasks – you can have a letting clerk, someone who does just inspections, someone who organises repairs, arrears, accounting, new business etc. The landlords may get phone calls from five different people or perhaps from one person trying to relay information from others – or a combination of forms.
When asked for their opinion, the vast majority of Landlords and Tenants prefer Portfolio. However, many agencies adopt the Task model as they can gain efficiencies and pay people less for the menial tasks. The senior staff do the tasks they prefer and delegate the ones they don’t. Another consequence of this structure is high staff turnover, as employees get fed up with doing the same thing over and over and not developing their skills and building fulfilling relationships with clients.
Marriott Lane has a Portfolio structure as it’s best for owners.