Judging from the number of listings out there that are described as “investment opportunities” and the number of formal and informal real estate investment discussion groups, the ranks of small landlords must be growing in the Philadelphia area.
Another reason we suspect this is the case: one of the fastest-growing property management companies on the East Coast has just set up shop here, and all it does is work with the small fry.
That company is Baltimore-based Bay Management Group (BMG), which announced its expansion into Philadelphia Sept. 21. Its office in Society Hill is headed by Dana Anderson, president of its Philadelphia operation.
BMG started out six years ago as a third-party property manager specializing in managing single-family residential properties for small landlords. “If a family wanted to rent out a property but didn’t want the hassle of finding a tenant and collecting the rent, we handled that for them,” said BMG President Patrick Freeze.
“When we started, we found there were a lot of mom-and-pop shops” offering small-property management services, “but nobody doing anything on a large scale — maybe no more than 100 houses.”
Freeze figured there was room for a player in this market who could offer clients better service at lower cost through economies of scale. Several companies based in and around Baltimore were already doing this for large apartment complexes, but becoming another Bozzuto was not what Freeze was looking to do. Instead, BMG went after small property owners aggressively via online marketing.
“By our second year, we had 800 to 900 units under management,” he said. Then calls started coming in from brokers and owners of apartment buildings asking if BMG could provide them with the same services. After a while, the company started managing small apartment buildings of 100 units or…