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Asset Management: A Balancing Act

By: Emily Schamberger, Associate Asset Manager

To a casual bystander, asset management might seem like a simple process. A property manager is hired; the property manager takes care of the day-to-day needs of the community and sends the asset managers the information they need to keep the portfolio running. But this is only a small part of what makes a successful asset management strategy.

Through streamlined and open communication, the asset management team spots potential issues before they arise, shows residents their comfort and well-being is a priority, and supports the property managers.

Like the U.S. government, asset management involves a series of checks and balances between three major parties: the tenants, the property manager, and the asset management team. If part of the system makes changes, without taking into account how those changes will affect others, then one or more of the parties could face unforeseen consequences.

The key to maintaining balance is to create open communication so each group understands the needs, wants and frustrations of the other parties. This means that the asset management team should not only be communicating with regional managers, but also with property managers, residents and other related parties. Asset management’s overarching role is to facilitate communication, ensure everyone has the same expectations, and unite groups in working toward the same goal: healthy, stable and safe affordable housing.

How does NHT-Enterprise accomplish this goal? We ensure open communication and understanding between parties is an integral part of our ownership strategy:

We seek feedback from our residents about the property and work with our property managers to understand that feedback. Using resident satisfaction surveys, NHT-Enterprise can experience the community from the position of the tenants and then make changes to address outstanding issues. Whether it’s increasing the budget to enhance a community room or opening a discussion about maintenance, these surveys are a direct bridge to the families at our communities.

We talk to our property managers to gain understanding about the issues they may have regarding the property. An effective way to show property managers what we expect at our communities is to host a portfolio-wide property managers meeting to discuss, collaborate and learn what is working and what isn’t working at each other’s respective communities. Often, the issues our property managers face are not unique and are easily mediated through peer discussion.

We invite outside groups to work on neighborhood issues, which often leads to productive outcomes. For example, a meeting between the property’s security company and local police can increase tenants’, managers’ and owners’ knowledge of security and surveillance in the community.

As an asset manager, NHT-Enterprise takes the different components of a property and successfully melds them together to create safe and healthy communities for everyone involved. It’s a balancing act, and the key is figuring out how to get all the pieces to balance just right.

For more information on NHT-Enterprise’s asset management strategy, contact Associate Asset Manager Emily Schamberger.