Alison got her start in property management when she was still a college student. “One day I saw a sign in my building for a live-in manager position. It seemed like an easy way to make some extra cash.”
Alison found that she enjoyed getting to know the other tenants in her building and solving their problems, but after college, she initially pursued a career in the field she had majored in, journalism. She recalled, “A tiny little starter home was all I could afford on my income, but I spent a lot of time fixing it up. When I married my husband, Walt, I couldn’t stand the thought of selling it. I’d put so much of myself into that little house! So, we decided that with my experience, we’d rent out both our places and buy a new one just for us.”
A couple of years later, Alison’s newsroom downsized, and the receipt of her severance package coincided with the opportunity to buy a multi-family dwelling. Rather than pursue another job in the field of journalism, Alison decided to see if she could make a career out of property management. Initially, they moved into the apartment building and rented out their shared home.
She said, “It was a lot more work than I expected, even with my background. Still, I could just about handle it until I found out I was pregnant. Walt and I were overjoyed, but we knew there was no way I could juggle new parenthood with managing the properties single-handedly.”
One night, Walt had to phone an emergency dentist and was initially connected with an answering service. He said, “I had no idea whether something like that existed for property management, but it turns out that all kinds of businesses use these services to answer your calls.”
“At first, I was really worried about turning that aspect of my business over to someone else,” Alison said. “I’d always prided myself on offering our tenants a personal touch. But I was amazed at the commitment the answering service showed. The company really did treat our tenants exactly like they were their own customers. They handled the bulk of the calls for several weeks after my daughter’s birth. Now, I only use them after-hours and when we go on vacation, but it’s such a relief after years of being constantly on call to know that everything is taken care of. I went from thinking I would have to switch careers yet again to finding an amazing work-life balance that works for all of us.”
Centratel is an elite national telephone answering service located in Bend, Oregon. Centratel’s Property Management Answering Service assists hundreds of property managers handle overflow calls, capture leads and forward calls. Whether you’re managing rental homes, renting out apartments, managing an HOA or senior living facility, a property management answering service is an ideal solution.