Does bigger mean better in property management?


What our Director of Business Growth Steve Fitzsimon thinks.

When it comes to property management, the debate often centres around whether a larger agency or a boutique firm offers better service. Having worked in real estate offices ranging from 7 to 77 employees, I’ve gathered some insights that might help clarify this discussion.

Let’s distinguish between the brand’s size and the office’s size. This isn’t about how big the brand is, but how the office size impacts service quality. Many landlords believe that a smaller agent can provide a more personal service. While this might be true in some cases, it’s crucial to focus on the staff member you’ll be interacting with daily. Do you have a main point of contact at both the big and small firms? How many clients do they each manage? An agent with fewer clients can likely build a stronger relationship with you. However, some owners worry about being just another number in a larger firm. Yet, there’s a counterpoint: larger agencies often have robust processes, procedures, and supervision to handle their client load efficiently.

Training is another significant factor. Larger firms usually emphasise training more because they can spread the cost of an external trainer across many employees, making it more feasible. They might also have internal training departments. In contrast, smaller offices often handle training more ad hoc.

Coverage is typically easier in a larger office. They might have dedicated coverage teams or simply more staff to share the load when someone is sick or on leave. In a smaller office, you might need a temporary worker who’s unfamiliar with your property, or your agent’s workload could double.

When it comes to leasing, larger agencies often have more transactional experience and data to perfect their processes. They usually have more resources to conduct inspections, and process applications thoroughly, and quickly. While a smaller agency’s consistent agent might know more about a specific property, a well-maintained notes system in a larger agency can mitigate this advantage.

Finally, the best property managers often seek high-performing environments where they can grow, develop their skills, and thrive in a stimulating workplace. These environments are more likely found in larger agencies, which can offer more opportunities for career progression and professional development.

While you might get lucky with a particular agent in a smaller office, if you’re looking for dependable service and consistent results, my recommendation is to go with a larger agency. They offer the infrastructure, training, coverage, and experienced staff that ensure a high level of service.

In property management, size does matter, and in this case, bigger is often better.


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