Applying The Principles Of Luxury Management To All Property Management

by Creating Change Mag
Applying The Principles Of Luxury Management To All Property Management

CEO and Founder of L.A. Property Management Group and Crown Commercial Property Management.

In 2019, I wrote an article called The Star Treatment: How To Manage Luxury Properties In Style, about all the ways property managers should manage luxury properties differently than other residential properties. A lot has happened since then—both globally and in the industry—but one thing I hadn’t predicted when I wrote that piece was just how much my management of luxury property would affect how I approached management in general. Yes, luxury property comes with a different set of expectations and priorities, but it can also teach managers some valuable lessons about other types of real estate, as I’ve learned in the last year since taking over a larger luxury portfolio.

One way the lens of luxury changed my view of all management was through special requests from owners. We knew when we started managing significantly more units on the luxury side that high-net-worth individuals tend to expect versatile management, service that often goes outside the usual work of maintaining rental property. For instance, a client living out-of-state recently asked one property supervisor to go in person and purchase a white grand piano for him and arrange to have it transported to his property. Not only did the supervisor oblige, but he also negotiated the client a significant discount on the piano, saving him $8,000 and effectively paying his management fee for a year.

Adopt the mentality of “what can I do for my clients” rather than “what do I have to do for my clients,” and you may find your client retention rate improving. Another client, who lives abroad, requested that one of my representatives drive his Rolls Royce across town to have it serviced, which they did. Even though it might not seem to have anything to do with property management, it has everything to do with accommodating a client in a way that builds rapport and trust. But don’t just field calls like these from owners of upscale properties. You should always strive to go above and beyond the typical job description of a property manager.

Another key practice I’ve applied since moving further into the luxury property management sphere is seeing the property through the client’s eyes. Is it a point of pride for them or primarily a source of income? It was a bit of a re-education for all of the property supervisors, getting a sense of how all our owners view their properties. Frankly, I noticed that not all multifamily owners care deeply about the aesthetic and visual appeal of their property—whereas most luxury owners do. But it’s important to ascertain the preference of all owners because it will help you know whether or not to propose certain beautifying maintenance measures to them. One owner might be thrilled that you came up with a concept for a new fountain in their building’s courtyard, while another might view it as unnecessary. This all comes down to clear communication with an owner and perception of their needs.

The saying that “a high tide lifts all boats” applies here. If you haven’t branched out into luxury management, I recommend doing so for the bump in quality it will add to all of your service. Your team won’t answer the phone and think: “Is this a luxury owner/tenant or a different kind?” They’ll simply serve whoever it is at the highest level they know how. For instance, consider asking your technicians to walk into your clients’ homes by first covering their shoes with surgical footwear coverings. For luxury properties, this is standard practice—for others, it’s a sign of respect. Furthermore, inspect more closely than you used to for ways to improve a property or the owner’s experience. If you’re managing luxury the right way, it will sharpen your eye and make you and your team more creative with ways to serve your customers.

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