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Market Cycles Influence Alternative Business Development Options

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By Peg Guinta, CRP

Kathy Connelly, SVP Corporate Services, Prudential Georgia Realty, says property management services are a strong and consistent revenue generator. Over the last 20 years, the company built a thriving property management business and currently manages about 600 properties. Services include lease listings, tenant screenings, rent collection and maintenance, repair and rehab services.

“Strong demand for rental properties and the decline in property values has created significant need for professional property management,” says Connelly, who has seen significant increase in business the last 18 months. Connelly says it’s due in part to investors, but also to “accidental landlords,” as she calls those who lease properties until their equity positions improve enough to sell. Most properties are tenant-occupied and represent individual homeowners, small investors (1-5 rental units) and institutional investors; about 15 percent are corporate relocation properties.

Connelly says some corporations, typically those using menu-driven policies or willing to consider alternative options, offer property management assistance to relocating homeowners unable to sell. In some cases, companies allow the dollar amount attributable to a sale commission or other paid benefit to cover property management services for transferees; others provide resource contact information without financial support.

It’s no accident that property management services are handled by Prudential Georgia’s corporate division. “Property management is high maintenance managed care,” says Connelly and “requires skills similar to those of agents serving the corporate mobility market.” A bonus: managed properties’ lengthier service cycles (compared to single sale transactions) offer agents the opportunity to develop stronger customer relationships for future buying and selling transactions.

Corporate and relocation management clients learn of property management services through Connelly’s activities with Worldwide ERC, the Relocation Director’s Council and Prudential Georgia associates working with owners interested in alternatives to selling.

Sue Von Hor, Crye-Leike Real Estate Services, Huntsville, Ala., is active in traditional real estate business activities, but specializes in distressed property disposition and investment property marketing. She also assists several local major corporate clients to dispose of corporate inventory properties. Von Hor holds the CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert) and CIAS (Certified Investor Agent Specialist) designations. Von Hor is well-suited for her specialization, having had experience in special asset liquidation, oversight of property sale processes for banks, corporate holdings, REOs and short sale activities.

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