Columbia Property Management reaches an important milestone this month, ten years in business. This is no small feat when a majority of new small businesses in the U.S. fail.
Survival rates improve for a given business as it ages.
- ~66.67% of businesses with employees survive at least 2 years
- ~50% survive at least 5 years.
- As one would expect, after the first few relatively volatile years, survival rates flatten out.
(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Business Employment Dynamics.)
Being an entrepreneur and starting my own business has been the hardest thing that I’ve done. At the same time, starting my own property management company was a calling.
Big milestones tend to elicit memories of how things used to be. More than ten years ago I had a solid mid-level manager job at a large corporation. It was a good living, but I was ambivalent about the work I was doing. I was feeling unfulfilled. I realized, with time, that one of my passions was residential real estate investment and management. I wanted to learn more about it for my own rental investments while bringing to the local mom and pop property management (PM) industry my process and workflow skills, as well as best practices from the corporate world.
After a stint leading a new PM company co-owned with business partners, I struck out on my own to leverage my drive to develop a new company based on my approach. The goal was to deliver my distinct vision of customer service to both the management of rentals and the way I wanted us to treat people. Our unique caring approach was always there. Yet it took some years and a lot of trial and error to find the right mix of policies, techniques, and staff members to successfully execute it. Today, the program defines how Columbia Property Management (CPM) is different from other small PM companies in the DC area.
An interesting thing happened along the way – we started hearing from people stories about ways we were helping them that they really appreciated. From first-time landlords who did not know where to start or rental owners who managed on their own and needed to delegate that part of their lives, we helped them to realize the benefit of continuing to own and rent out their property. More sophisticated real estate investors find a welcoming team too, as we built our processes and policies based on my devotion to developing a culture to have a critical eye toward investors’ priorities.
I’ve met my fair share of challenges along the way, including the doubt that I would be able to succeed and the many, many times I just wanted to walk away. It was grueling.
A former professional coach used to rib me that I always had an escape plan in the back of my head. Yet those moments eventually passed, and people closest to me kept telling me I am someone who sees his goal and marches toward it no matter what (and no matter how long) until I achieve it.
I did not do this on my own.
Finding like-minded entrepreneurs in mastermind groups, joining trade associations, participating in business development groups, and chambers of commerce helped tremendously. Key clients who believed in me early on and who referred friends and family to CPM helped us build our rental portfolio. Key vendors who were patient with our high standards and constantly pushing for them to do better ended up providing a higher level of service and changing their own practices. They all had a role in shaping this company and helped me to become a better business owner and professional. For all of this, I am extremely grateful.
It is easy to get caught up in the daily grind and minutiae of providing good customer service. When I step back and really consider the situation, one of the unexpected outcomes I am proud of from all of the hard work over the years is the realization of how much economic activity and jobs we’ve created. The many companies and people’s lives that have been enriched by CPM and how the multiplier effect can ripple out into the broader economy provides a meaningful difference.
As we headed into the pandemic we launched our sister company Koti Property Services.
While it was a rough start, last year the company became more independent, reliable, and consistent. And the feedback on maintenance surveys shows the company earns high marks from residents in properties we manage. Koti has branched out and now provides service to homeowners, real estate agents, and other small property management companies.
We seek not just to grow and expand our business. Our business is about serving you and enriching your lives and those of your family with long term wealth creation by owning rental real estate. That is the real game-changer for you. We care greatly about simplifying the experience for property owners and helping each resident living in homes managed by our firm by making sure their dwelling is inviting and well-maintained.
Columbia Property Management exists to fulfill our vision. Our mission is to make owning a rental property in the District of Columbia a painless investment, ensuring that your place is well managed, grows in value over time, and requires minimal attention from you. That’s it!
Like our slogan states, we want you to build equity without all of the headaches.
Build Equity. No Sweat.
Scott Bloom, Owner and Senior Property Manager
Columbia Property Management
Bloom founded Columbia Property Management (CPM) in 2012. CPM’s goal is to provide a powerful, personal level of service to our clients. We focus on smaller landlords, professionally managing their assets, so they can succeed by investing in rental real estate. Scott is an active member in multiple professional organizations including the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) and serves on the property management committee of Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® (GCAAR).