JFK’s presidential portrait is one of my favorites.  He’s standing with arms crossed, looking down. Looking contemplative. The problems of the world racing in his head.

John F Kennedy PortraitI googled why the artist composed such a unique portrait.  It’s a radical departure from the traditional eyes-straight at you, suit jacket, perfect hair and gaze at the artist.  According to Periodic Presidents, Jackie Kennedy commissioned Aaron Shikler to paint the official portrait of her husband, but had a request. She didn’t want him to “look the way everybody else makes him look, with the bags under his eyes and {a} penetrating gaze…” Shikler set to work, producing several sketch options of the late president. When asked about the portrait, Shikler said, “All I wanted to portray was a man who looked like he could think.”

What brought about this strange jump down a rabbit hole and what does it have to do with rental properties?

A bit of stoic reflection, perhaps.  You see, we just finished a lengthy and complicated purchase of another property management company’s book of business.  Which means the portfolio of homes we manage will be expanding rapidly. All of which is a blessing that we were prepared for with the necessary staff and resources, but still a huge undertaking.

After the documents were signed, the excited handshakes exchanged, the owner of the company walked out of our conference room with an almost visible weight lifted off his shoulders. We created a solid exit strategy for him and a smooth transition for his landlord clients, many of them clients of his company for multiple decades. In other words, many clients became his long-time friends.  He knows in his heart that this is the best for everyone….his duty is fulfilled.

The funny thing about the property management business…

It’s extremely different than traditional brokerage. A house sale can close in 30-60 days and, boom, the broker is chasing the next deal. In our world of property management, our client relationships span years, decades in fact.  Our clients entrust us with their assets for long periods of time.  Good profitable times, when things are going smoothly.  Bad unprofitable times, when things don’t go well.  To say that you get to know your landlord clients and they get to know you is an understatement.  When it’s all said and done, this business is about relationships.

Today, Polaris has a new relationship. We have a new “client” in the seller of the property management company we purchased.  And this new client has entrusted to us his hopes and dreams… hopes and dreams which he has been building for 42 years.  Think about how much effort, struggle, perseverance, grit, and focus is needed to build a company and successfully operate it for 42 years, then to entrust it to someone else.  Humbling…. 

Better than ever, I understand Kennedy’s pensive stance.

And better than ever, I understand what our landlords entrust to our company each time they ask us to manage a new rental property.

Thank you.