Perhaps as a result of historically high foreclosure rates, tight credit or a slow residential resale market, an increasing number of homes – and some commercial buildings – are now being offered for rent.
As a result, property management companies are forming to handle the workload
Dominion Property Management, a partnership between 20-year veteran property manager Marcia Barton and real estate finance/development and brokerage specialists René Mondejar and Khale Burkett, has opened an office downtown in the Rutledge building.
As on-site managers for the three-story property, they estimate their residential and commercial portfolios are nearly equal.
“In this market, we’re seeing a definite increase in rental activity as fewer buyers, residential or commercial, can get credit,” Mondejar said.
Barton, who joined the team after working for the Rocky Mountain Land Trust and supervising affordable housing as well as commercial real estate, said the company’s strength is that it is “very local.” She said she has managed everything from skateboard parks to strip centers – and like Mondejar and Burkett, hopes to keep overhead lean.
“We will do our own leasing rather than outsource it to someone else,” Barton said. “That way we can keep our finger on the pulse of a tenant’s credit history, past rental references and employment history, within limits.”
The joint venture fills a niche in the marketplace, Mondejar said.
“You’ve got your nationals, your regionals and your mom-and-pop management companies,” he said. “But there’s been a void for a locally based firm that is sophisticated in its administration processes, but hands-on at the same time. Many owners feel that once they sign up with a (property management) company – especially the larger ones – they get lost in the shuffle.”
Properties in Dominion’s portfolio include the Shadowglen Shopping Center in north central Colorado Springs, an office warehouse complex off Centennial Boulevard, a small medical building and a Fountain single-family home that must be rented while its military owner serves on active duty in Korea. It also manages several downtown office buildings.
“We’d like to expand our commercial management client base,” said Burkett, adding that office and industrial facilities typically turn over less frequently than homes.
A green emphasis – one incorporating money-saving landscaping, lighting, heating and cooling technologies – is another focus.
“Because we’re so hands on, we recommend ways our tenants and owners can keep costs down and help the environment at the same time,” Mondejar said.
Like the Dominion triad, Todd Dorman, owner of Dorman Real Estate Services, saw the growing opportunity created by a slow buyer’s real estate market and decided to purchase McGinnis Property Management from McGinnis & Associates.
Along with its commercial brokerage division, the company manages more than 250 commercial and residential properties and employs four property managers and an accountant. The company has branches in Colorado Springs and Woodland Park.
“We are seeing rental rates hold steady or even slightly increase,” Dorman said. “There is currently a lot of rental activity – caused both by an increase of single-family homes converted into rentals because they haven’t sold and an increase in the number of tenants. … As a result, we have a lot of nicer quality homes – homes that show pride of ownership – in our inventory.”
He said the increase in tenants and homes for rent have created a fairly neutral balance in the single family/small apartment market. However, the real estate market very seldom remains in “neutral,” and the pendulum more often swings to extremes.
“I believe that once the economy starts its upswing, housing demand will far outpace housing supply, especially when combined households start spreading out again,” he said.
Dorman, a 17-year real estate owner and manager, also handles some small commercial properties – less than 50,000 square feet – but said his target for growth will be the Woodland Park/Teller County area, where he manages 57 properties.
A 3,325-square-foot office building at 330 N. Institute St. has been purchased by Aero Properties LLC for $230,000.
The seller, Robert Burry, was represented by Buddy Rutherford of Weichert Commercial Real Estate, and the buyer was represented by Hermann Spielkamp of Grubb & Ellis Quantum Commercial Group.
Don Juan Partners Ltd. has purchased a 3,000-square-foot industrial building at 504 Don Juan St. for $585,000.
Lester Colodny and Tim Leigh of Hoff & Leigh represented the buyer and the seller, Anthony Majors.
A 13,500-square-foot industrial building at 3141 Century Street has been leased to Integrity Manufacturing for its expanding machine shop operation.
The tenant and the landlord, Century Warehouse LLC, were represented by Tim Leigh.
Becky Hurley covers real estate for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.