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When I got started in multifamily, I was much too hands-off with property managers. Yes, I reviewed the numbers, but otherwise, I stayed away and simply let them manage everything.

Then I realized that experienced syndicators are much more actively involved with their property management companies, and we started to build more collaborative relationships.

So, where is the sweet spot between too hands-off and too involved? What does a healthy relationship between property managers and ownership groups look like?

Nathan Ridgeway is Regional Vice President at First Communities, one of the nation’s most successful property management companies.

Founded in 1978, FCM has managed over 200K units in 100K communities, growing their market reach to include Washington DC, Dallas, Austin, Houston, Atlanta, Charlotte and Nashville.

On this episode of Financial Freedom with Real Estate Investing, Nathan joins Garrett and me to discuss the relationship between property management companies and ownership groups.

Nathan explains what differentiates FCM from other property management companies, describing his team’s approach to building a deep bench in a given market and managing expectations with ownership groups.

Listen in for Nathan's advice on vetting a property manager and learn how to strike the right balance between trusting your management team and verifying their performance.

Key Takeaways 

How Nathan got into the real estate industry

  • Dad worked as appraiser in SFH residential business
  • Got start as leasing consultant and worked way up

FCM’s approach to client acquisitions

  • Majority of business comes from word of mouth
  • Build team that is driven to do good job

Nathan’s take on the sweet spot for ownership involvement

  • Transparent, honest in communicating concerns
  • Without hindering ability to get job done

FCM’s process for fixing broken properties

  • Collect as much intel as possible early on
  • Maintain strong on-site manager

FCM’s market dynamic in Atlanta, Georgia

  • Deep bench and long-term presence
  • Regional team available to fix problems as arise

How First Communities builds its bench in a market

  • Use best-in-class tech to attract talent
  • Make local connections to build teams

What Nathan’s team is doing to solve the maintenance crisis

  • Provide opportunities to grow within company
  • Call center to troubleshoot, avoid unnecessary calls

How FCM differs from other management companies

  • Great group of people at top of organization
  • Truly care about ownership groups they work with

Nathan's advice on vetting a management company

  • Get to know each other face-to-face
  • Build relationship to foster trust

How often First Communities meets with ownership groups

  • Share weekly report on property performance
  • Monthly financial report to pass on to investors

How Nathan manages expectations with ownership groups

  • Responsive and open to collaboration
  • Communicate bad news fast

What resources ownership can bring to the relationship

  • Knowledge and experience
  • Communicate goals for property performance

Connect with Nathan Ridgeway

First Communities

Email [email protected]

Connect with Michael Blank

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Apartment Investor Network Facebook Group 

Email [email protected]

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Podcast Show Notes

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