For property management company, the proof is in the property
June 26, 2015
Building a business isn’t easy.
So Elise St. John operates hers on one simple principle: "Give me a chance and let me show you."
She started St. John’s Property Management about one and a half years ago, setting out to prove to clients she was worth their time and their trust. And slowly, she said, her reputation has grown strong through word of mouth.
The key is treating clients’ properties like they are her own. She checks on homes twice a week in the winter and once a week during the summer and each time sends an email report, including photos, to her clients. It’s all about giving them peace of mind, she said.
"If you put yourself in the position of the homeowner, like if you live in Florida and have a second home in Park City, you’ve got to weed out the people," she said. "You have to make sure your home is in good hands.
"I don’t want my clients sitting there, thinking, ‘OK, are they really walking my property?’ I don’t want them to have any doubt at all. I don’t want them to worry about anything at all because I can handle all of it."
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St. John said she has been in real estate for nearly 25 years. And when she moved to Park City from Dallas four years ago, she saw a need for property management. She hadn’t anticipated starting her own business, but struck at the opportunity.
"We don’t have this down in Texas," she said. "This is a resort town. There are just so many secondary homes here. So why wouldn’t someone who’s in real estate and has the knowledge and background do it?"
The challenge has been turning her knowledge and experience into clients. To that end, she became a member of the Park City Chamber/Bureau, the Heber Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Park City Board of Realtors. She said getting involved as a member of the community has helped her spread the word about her business.
"You have to get out there, introduce yourself to people," St. John said. "Everything here is about word of mouth."
As well as walking clients’ properties regularly, St. John also offers home maintenance, housekeeping and a concierge service that is particularly popular. She likes to say she does things for clients before they even think about them.
"If before they come into town they need me to stock their bar or their kitchen, bring in their dry cleaning, I’ll do it," she said, adding that she began offering her services only in the Park City area but has since expanded to the Heber area, as well. "I’ll do pretty much whatever they want me to do."
But the aspect St. John most enjoys about her work is not simply ensuring people’s properties are kept in top shape. Rather, what she likes most is connecting with people. She said that’s what has kept her in the real estate business for so long.
"It’s a passion," she said. "I mean, I’ve done this for 25 years. It’s what I love, it’s what I know. Anyone in real estate, you just have to love it or you get out."
With that in mind, St. John said she doesn’t want her company to grow too large. She wants to keep the personal relationships she has with clients. As well as enjoying the connections she has with people, it’s also a way to ensure her businesses never loses sight of its ultimate goal — treating customers like she would want to be treated.
"I don’t want clients calling and talking to a different person," she said. "I want it to be a little bit more intimate with my clients. If they want to talk to me, they should be able to. They don’t have to go through five people just to find me."
St. John’s Property Management
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