Best Property Management Style: Departmental vs. Portfolio

By Jennifer Bajema | Property Management Tips

Sep 04

In the world of Grand Rapids Property Management, you will find different types of property management styles. As you look around at property management companies in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, you will find each to be slightly different. Each will structure their companies accordingly depending on their type of client, type of service, and size of company. Read on to see an in-depth look into the different styles.

Departmental Property Management:

First, departmental property management is the more traditional route. The property management company is divided into different departments in this style. These departments often include leasing, property management, administrative, accounting, and maintenance.  Each department focuses on one set of responsibilities. And each departments works on all the properties.

What Departmental Property Management looks like:

Portfolio Property Management:

Although it is less popular, some companies still use this property management style. With a Portfolio style setup, the properties under management are divided up into portfolios. Geographic regions usually determine the units in a portfolio. Then each portfolio receives a specific property manager. Under that property manager, you will find other team members that help manage the units. This team of experts report to the portfolio property manager.

What Portfolio Property Management looks like:

The “Hybrid” Property Management Style:

It’s rare to find a management company that is purely departmental or portfolio. It just makes sense to split responsiblities or share resources at some level. At Access we use a “Hybrid” style, we take the best from both the “Departmental” and “Portfolio” property management structures:

  • Portfolio – We divide our units geographically (Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo).
  • Departmental – Our team members focus on and grow their individual strengths to manage most effectively (i.e. Eddie focuses on maintenance, Aaron focuses on accounting).

We also utilize outside companies to help us complete specialized work (maintenance contractors) or receptive tasks (data entry). This allows us to keep our costs down and swiftly choose the best options for our clients.

The Best Property Management Style:

To conclude, the best property management style is the one that works best for your clients and residents. The company will need to choose the property management structure that best fits their situation depending on location and type of units managed. Property management companies need to be quick to react, dependable, accountable and professional. The property management style of portfolio v departmental plays a factor in determining these things. Here is a post about What to Expect From a Professional Property Management Company.
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About the Author

Jennifer Bajema is the Co-founder of Access Property Management Group. She has worked in every part of the company, but now focuses on client education and business growth. Her experience in running a property management business is now over 10 years!

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