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Why Not Find a Better Building Manager?

March 14, 1993

On Feb. 14, Robert J. Bruss ("Real Estate Q & A") answered a question from a reader who had inherited a 12-unit building currently under a professional management company who felt it was overcharging for various fees and expenses. The reader was afraid to fire them because the reader didn't know how to manage a building of this size. The reader asked, "What is the best way to learn about property management?"

Bruss responded by suggesting the reader enroll in a local community college or university offering a course in property management, or to buy books on the market.

I would call Bruss to task for not suggesting that she get a better property management company. He could have suggested that she contact the local office of the Institute of Real Estate Management, a nationwide institution dedicated to professionalization, education and certification of property managers. While I may be accused of obvious self-interest (since I am a property manager), I would like to point out that in my 30 years of experience, I have seen many apartment owners lose substantial amounts of money attempting to operate apartment buildings that they are clearly not qualified to handle.

By the time the reader obtains enough information from books and college courses, they may have lost very substantial sums by mistakes that could have been prevented by a good professional property manager. If this person had obtained a bad previous lawyer, would Bruss have recommended that the reader handle their own legal problems, while reading books and taking courses on law?

DAVID N. SCHULTZ

Glendale

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