Building Trust: An Interview with Allegiancy Principals
Building Trust: An Interview With Allegiancy Principals, Chris and Steve Sadler
Talk to Tenants, Deliver on Promises
In an exclusive interview, Allegiancy principals Chris and Steve Sadler talk about what happened at two of their properties and what they often see.
So you faced a critical tenant situation when you were hired by the owners of the Breckenridge Exchange property in Atlanta. What did you do first?
“The first thing we did was meet personally with all the tenants, as we usually do. There’s real value in face-to-face communications: people see who you are. They find out they can relate to you and they learn they can trust again. This ultimately protects our owners.” -STEVE SADLER
What do you say to these tenants which suddenly gives them confidence in people they’ve never met before?
“We tell tenants up-front that we represent the owners and that we can make decisions on their behalf. And then we execute on what we promise. Tenants quickly realize that we don’t have to run back to a boss before every decision like a traditional property manager and that gives them hope. They are very relieved to find out that we understand their problems and we will actually fix them.” -STEVE SADLER
“In Atlanta, as is often the case, the tenants had years of pent-up frustration that could be resolved in a few honest conversations. After all, a direct, honest conversation is much cheaper than having tenants default on leases. We tell tenants, ‘We will find the right way to pay for what’s needed. We want to keep good tenants like you.’” -CHRIS SADLER
Once you get tenants’ attention by giving them hope, how do you build a trusting relationship with them?
“We treat them with respect. We execute. We show them that there won’t be surprises or backhanded stuff. With our 25 years in the industry, we bring credibility which is one of the most important factors. They see us get in, get our hands dirty. They see the elbow grease and shoe leather approach working. We give tenants a concrete way to get satisfaction—they may not be overjoyed, but they can be satisfied that they’ve been treated fairly.” -STEVE SADLER
Does that approach work at every property?
“It works everywhere. Honest dialogue followed by action makes all the difference.” -CHRIS SADLER
How much impact do “the little things” have?
“We saw once again in Atlanta that details matter and first impressions can make or break a property.
Here, we actually painted all the curbs, which were key to first impressions and ‘curb appeal.’ Rather than replacing a large entry sign, we cut back the trees and bushes covering it and power washed it. We had all the flowers planted at the property entrance for maximum impact. We undertook some simple projects to show tenants responsiveness and progress.” -STEVE SADLER
What were the results?
“The owners saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs by our preventing tenant defections and capturing missed opportunities. The owners were saved even more by not having to give away free rent. And finally, the concern shown to tenants gave everyone confidence and boosted our leasing efforts.
We were able to lease more than 30,000 square feet of new space over the next eight months in a market with a 20 percent vacancy rate. The property value was restored, and more value was added. Breckenridge Exchange was brought back from the brink.” -CHRIS SADLER
Let’s talk about a property you managed in Tacoma, Washington. You also had serious deferred maintenance issues there, correct?
“Yes, we even had one tenant who hadn’t paid his prorated share of operating expenses in five years, amounting to more than $200,000 owed. We used that debt as leverage to get the tenant to renew his lease, which helped stabilize the property. We then implemented our high-impact, low-cost improvement strategy across this property.
Once the property was stabilized, it became an attractive candidate for an early sale. We helped complete the sale within one year of coming onboard and at a price that made the owners extremely happy.” -CHRIS SADLER
What would you say to property owners who are not happy with how their real estate investment is performing today?
“In some cases, owners working with us recapture hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue. We often help save them tens of thousands in operating expenses. Our high-impact, low-cost improvements typically impact leasing immediately. This drives revenue and asset value for our owners.
Our niche is to protect the investor. Our premise to our clients is that we conduct ourselves as frugally, thoughtfully, and intentionally—just as you would if you were here. You need someone to watch out for you, not just collect fees. We maximize your return on investment.” -STEVE SADLER
If you and your tenants aren’t getting this level of service, this attention to detail, this dedication, this success with your current asset manager—call us. Call people who will have your back. Sign us up as your advocate today.
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