Book features Wachtler's property management advice
Philip Wachtler, principal and founder of Wachtler Knopf Equities in Farmingdale, thinks even idiots can be property managers, as long as they follow a few good rules.
Wachtler's advice is featured in "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Success as a Property Manager," by Melissa Prandi and Lisa Iannucci (Alpha Books, $19.95, 2009). Wachtler manages 12 commercial buildings on Long Island totaling 800,000 square feet of space.
His basic advice: Treat all of the space as if it were your home.
"Do you want to be cold?" Wachtler asks. "Would you want your mother to use a filthy bathroom? Do you want to walk through a dirty lobby? Run the buildings as if they were your own house. Listen. Be a sponge and absorb what your tenants want and need . . . and then, do it."
In an interview, Wachtler said his management style has produced results. He said his buildings have a higher occupancy rate than they did when he bought them in 2005. Part of the reason, Wachtler said, is that, "I'm a friend, not just a landlord."
"In this market, you have to give something extra," Wachtler said. "There's a lot of landlords out there. There's a lot of vacancies. It's important to keep people happy."