Welcome to the official blog of Block Real Estate Services, LLC (BRES). BRES seeks to offer insight and news concerning commercial real estate, financial investments, construction and development of the 212 communities we serve locally and nationally.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tips On Property Management During Foreclosure

The Bella Sera Condominiums
During the foreclosure process, properties can often fall into such disrepair and lack of management, that they are completely unattractive to any prospective buyer. Block Real Estate Services Property Manager, Amy Sanchez, shares insight on how to maintain a property during this difficult period to avoid distress.

In an effort to preserve the Bella Sera Condominiums during a 9-month foreclosure process, BRES entered into a property management agreement with M&I Bank in December of 2010.

Bella Sera is located in Lawrence, Kansas (see a map) and includes 37 luxury condominiums. However, only 13 of these have been sold. The complex has a significant advantage over other distressed properties with all of the amenities it offers, including:  pool, hot tub, steam room and sauna, 24-hour fitness center, underground parking, gated entrances, 2 guest suites, and multiple banquet areas.

I worked with the maintenance personnel, Darrell Vann to tackle this task. This small but efficient BRES staff managed the Homeowners Association, maintenance & upkeep of the property, dues and rent collection and resident communication throughout the foreclosure process.

Rigorous upkeep and maintenance culminated in the Sheriff’s Sale on the property, in August 2011. M&I Bank had the winning bid, and BRES services continued while new owners were sought.

The Bella Sera property does have a happy (and profitable) ending. After the auction in August 2011, many prospective buyers came to Bella Sera. On March 12, 2012, the property was sold to Bella Sera, LLC. This company is made up of private investors from Wichita, KS whose sole investment is in this specific opportunity.  They acquired Bella Sera at the Preserve because they believe it is a unique opportunity to complete a tremendous project that was shut down prematurely when the original developer was forced to file bankruptcy.  The remaining 24 units will be sold by the new management team.  

Property Management is a challenging task and that is even more true with a distressed property.  Budgets are cut, but the services required to maintain the building remain. Here are some tips I learned from dealing with the Bella Sera situation:

  • Priority was given to maintaining the appearance of the building, but cutting back on certain amenities, such as a full time concierge.  
  • Steps were taken to allow the building to run more efficiently: power was cut off to unused portions of the building and the pool was shut down earlier in the season than in years past.
  • Every effort was made to fix a problem before it turned into something greater.  As an example, it was important to make sure that the roof was intact so that water damage did not become an issue. 

Another caveat of property management is tenant/owner relationships.  Communication with the residents was key.  The owners knew that they would have to sacrifice certain amenities to keep the place going. They were willing to do so as long as they knew that one day amenities would return.  It was important to listen to their needs, keep them informed, and allow them to have input on decisions that effected all residents.

Are you in need of professional property management? Trust the experts at Block Real Estate Services, LLC to ensure that distress does not get you down: click to learn more.

Contributing Author:

Amy Sanchez
Property Manager
Block Real Estate Services


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