Apartment complexes are most commonly managed by larger Property Management companies who, in turn, hire individual managers to operate each of the facilities on behalf of their clients (the actual owners). In my time as an apartment manager, I have had the opportunity to work for both types among them were: an individual owner of a small 36 apartment complex; and a 135 unit complex for a media company which was handling dozens of compounds for multiple client/owners.
Generally, the ones run by property management companies are run much more smoothly with tried and true methods in place and already operating; whereas the individual owner may be somewhat more inexperienced as to what policies to set up and what expectations there will be. As in many property management positions .the bigger the media company you work for, the more rigid are the rules and procedures. The smaller the company, the more you are expected to handle things by yourself, and so your time spent working often become excessive.
The main thing to be aware of; however, in apartment complex management is the “type” of media partners complex clientele you have at the property. Do you have younger residents (say, a nearby college with many students); or perhaps many military families (usually near a base); or are they older residents as in a senior living complex? The number and type of issues you have to deal with will be affected by just what kind of media firm clientele you have. It will dictate the frequency of domestic disputes, “party-ing disturbances, maintenance problems, rent collection matters, and the whole range of issues that YOU as Apartment Manager will have to handle.
The most challenging aspect of this type of real estate investing is just finding the properties to buy. There are not as many investors and media companies willing to sell their properties. Talk to a commercial realtor, not the one that sold you the house you in. A commercial real estate license is entirely different from a residential one, and very few realtors have both. Media personnel should identify areas that they are interested in and investigate the rental market in those areas. Informing their realtor that they are interested in investing in residential apartment complexes and, then, sit back and wait. It could take months, if not years, for a deal to come your way. You could do things the old fashioned way and approach the complex manager, but many units are owned by a corporation or are just not interested in selling.
Once media firms start investing in residential apartment complexes, they need to access each apartment for upgrades as renters move out. Hiring an on-site manager or a management company, if they are not interested in being hands-on, but knowing that this will cut into profits and result in more sectional title complexes managing agent fees.