As background, I have worked with Brenda and her team since outsourcing my own in-house property management company in 2008. I was very reluctant to give up that control and interviewed no fewer than a dozen firms for the assignment. At the time, Brenda's group only managed in Florida and because we had assets across the country, I had the opportunity to work with a couple of different management groups over a period of years. We now only work with Horizon whenever possible.
Horizon stood out from the other groups I worked with for several reasons. First, they only do third party management and so there is no conflict of interest between the quality of talent they would put on our assets versus assets they might own. Second, they have a disciplined growth strategy. I've never had an issue with getting sufficient resources on our properties because Horizon purposefully does not take on more assets than their existing team can handle. Third, they have very low staff turnover among their corporate team. Many of the people who work at Horizon today were working there when I originally hired their firm back in 2008, including both Regional Managers who oversee our portfolio. This creates a consistency you often don't find with a larger management group and is imperative when executing more complicated business plans. Fourth, they don't nickel and dime. This is a constant annoyance with the larger firms. Everybody charges the same fee, but if you peel back a few layers, with the larger groups you will discover that you may be paying for some of their corporate staff to oversee your marketing, or you may be paying for a fixed (and much higher) cost for employee benefits, regardless of whether or not that management company is spending those dollars on their employees. Finally, Horizon's smaller size was important for me and should be for any group that has fewer than 5,000 units under management at any given time. With Horizon, you will be a bigger client, which translates to more attention than you would get from a Greystar, a Pegasus or other management behemoth who would be incentivized to put their best resources on either their own properties or on those of their bigger clients. With Horizon, the President knows your asset as well as the Regional Manager assigned to it and she picks up the phone when you call.
By way of example, I had a particularly challenging lease up at one of our assets in a market that was seeing an unprecedented amount of new multifamily deliveries. I spoke with Brenda and within a week she personally flew out to the property to conduct leasing training with the on-site team. She followed that up with at least 4 more visits, 3 days at a time, to ensure that the team was trained properly, and the building was at its best. She took ownership of the entire process, conducted weekly leasing calls through stabilization, held training sessions with the maintenance and housekeeping teams and even took me to task on some of the deficiencies with the construction. She understood that in a lease up, it's not just about the leasing team, it's about the entire operation.
In closing, you can't go wrong with selecting Horizon. From the reporting to the operations to the risk management, I've found no other management company that has paid more attention to my bottom line and the value of my dollar. Horizon has always treated our assets as though they owned them, which is exactly what you want in a management partner. Should you have any questions, I would be happy to discuss our experience in more detail.
- Brooke Klink