The Rental Industry Scoop: Eric Mansur's Property Management Disruption
In 2011, Eric Mansur had founded several companies, gone to film school, produced movies, wrote and consulted on scripts, business plans and content strategies. He was living in Marin County, after having produced a horror film in northern California, and was consulting for start-ups and an REO analytics software company. It was then that he heard that a longtime friend’s sister, a 20-year property management veteran, was looking for a way to optimize her apartment rental strategy using video content. The friend asked if Mansur would be interested in helping. Mansur figured a summer back in Los Angeles would be nice, and he was happy to help a business owner with her strategy. More so, in this case, helping a friend.
Mansur arrived in Los Angeles and went to work putting together a small crew to shoot while taking a look at how the videos might best fit into the marketing strategy at SKY Properties, Inc. During the three months of producing the videos for every building in her portfolio, something interesting happened. He was now familiar with every building, many tenants, all of her employees and office staff, strategies, tensions, and business model. Because of his consulting background, Mansur naturally picked up on areas where strategic optimizations might prove useful, small tweaks here and there.
It started with the proposition of a new website to optimize marketing and integrate more digital tools into traditional operations. The two set on a strategy and design for a new website. “What I most enjoy about now finding myself in the property management industry for a chapter of my life,” Mansur says, “is the mix of utilizing all of my creative and technical skills to build strong, positive communities at each apartment building. “
He continued, “Because property management is ultimately about helping people, I truly enjoy it. It is the perfect mix of helping each building owner optimize their business of their buiding, and helping each family find a good home. And I get to help a friend provide great service to everyone involved.”
Mansur counts a 98% portfolio-wide occupancy rate as one of his greatest achievements. His advice? “I stick to the basics,” he says. “Put the customer first with satisfaction in service, quick response in maintenance, and genuine care and kindness in operations.”
Mansur explains, “With marketing and operations, traditional strategies still work, but keep up on available digital tools.” With his company, they’ve decided to integrate the Zillow Rental Premier technology into our website, and were delighted by the rental ads’ syndication to Zillow. Mansur says, “We continue to see strong results using Zillow Rentals to advertise our vacancies, and enjoy how easily it integrates into our website.”
He went on, “There is a ‘disruption’ concept in start-up culture, where new companies form and ‘disrupt’ outdated strategies with newer, faster, more refined and cost-effective tools.” Mansur says that property management industry is ripe for disruption, and he thinks there are more optimal ways of doing things that have been done a certain way for the last fifty years. “Many quality companies offering new digital tools, such as Zillow Rentals, are coming online,” he says. “While we still use traditional methods of advertising, from posters on college campuses to freeway billboards, we dovetail these traditional strategies with a strong digital presence where we can track analytics instantly and rates of success easily.”
Mansur’s colleague always says that each building has its own personality. “That told me early on that it is important to be able to gauge success using analytical data to see what strategies worked at each building,” he says. “Because a certain marketing strategy that has success at one building may completely fail at another, we need to know what is working and what is not as fast as possible. Zillow Rentals has been wonderful towards that endeavor.”