Kettler Announces Expansion of Property Management Division

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorMcLean, Va.—Kettler Management Inc. has announced the expansion of its multifamily property management division, offering its property management and marketing services to clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.“Particularly in poor economic times, good managers are at a premium,” Cindy Clare, CPM, president of Kettler Management Inc., tells MHN. “There are new properties coming online that were not supposed to be apartments, and owners are looking for assistance with them.”This expansion, which marks the first time the company has expanded beyond its headquarters service area of Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., includes the addition of an apartment community under management in Bayonne, N.J.  The property, Alexan Cityview, is a 544-unit Class A apartment property currently under construction. Awarded the third-party property management contract by owner Trammell Crow Residential, Kettler Management will provide complete management, marketing and maintenance services for the community.Though Kettler, who currently has 14,000 units under management, is looking to expand primarily on the Eastern Seaboard, Clare notes that if an owner had a volume of properties elsewhere, the company would consider adding units in other regions. “We are talking to others about potential deals,” Clare says. “We won’t rule anything out.”Kettler Management has expertise in the marketing and operations of lease-ups, renovations, repositions, tax credit, stabilized, market rate, high-end luxury, garden, high-rise, and mixed-use properties.Marketing services include the development of a customized integrated marketing plan for each property to address issues such as pre-leasing, site signage, advertising, public relations and online marketing with ongoing tracking of customer demographics and effectiveness for each market location. Many property management companies have looked to new innovative approaches to handling leasing and resident retention during the recession. “One of the things we have been diligent about is making upfront concessions, which helps in retention because [residents] don’t see big jumps in rent,” Clare notes. “We try to make sure that’s how we start,” she says, adding that while the company has not necessarily begun any new programs because of these economic times, Kettler is “looking at ways to continue to collect rent and work with people in these tough economic times.”Perhaps one of the most significant keys to retention is allowing residents to feel as though they are truly a part of the community. “You’re much less inclined to move if you feel a sense of community, unless you’re forced to move. But in this market, because of concessions, you want people to feel comfortable and like it’s their home,” notes Clare. Kettler’s average retention rate is between 60 and 65 percent