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Watts Happenings News and Blog

Why We Answer The Phone

Michael Watts - Wednesday, April 04, 2018

I read a really interesting blog article from another property manager in the area today.  The post was titled "Why Don't You Answer the Phone?", and was written in response to troves of negative online reviews they have received over their 10 years in existence as a property manager. 

With explanations like:

"If we could, we would love to give the people who contact us a wonderful experience."

and

"We would need a team (a very large team) of people to answer all the calls . . . and really, we would love to hire that team. The only problem is to have that many people on the payroll would affect what we would need to charge our owners for our services." 

Why a company would not answer the phone and then double down by giving a rather lazy explanation just amazes me.  So this is my response as to why Watts Realty answers the phone

 1. We get thousands of phone calls every month... and it actually takes less time to answer the phones than to respond to an email. A majority of phone calls are handled in 2 minutes or less; and being able to answer them is just basic business sense

 2.  We’d much rather prefer to talk with you over the phone... than read a negative review. .  Most callers just want to know the basic information that we can easily provide to them over the phone, even if it's just to guide them to our website. It’s just easier that way.

3. We put people over profit...  by having enough staff to answer the phones without raising the cost to our clients.  In fact, our entire office staff is trained to answer the phone. It's an integral part of our office culture. Some of our competitors don’t believe this is possible, but it is. We are a family business, therefore we understand the value of jobs and that people need them even if it’s just to answer the phone.

4. Customer Service... self-explanatory!

What is our solution?

The graph to the left (which was also referenced by this management company) clearly shows that 48% still use a phone to contact businesses. And a whopping 80% of customers still prefer to use a phone over email when communicating. Is it really that hard to see those hard numbers and understand that a good business model includes answering the phones?

Our solution? To keep answering the phones and continue to provide the best property management services in Central Alabama as we have for more than a century.  You don’t just have a business for 112 years if you're not doing things the right way.

So in conclusion, if you have questions related to property management services or just need some information on a house we have available for rent, by all means, please call us.

David Watts Named Top Producer for Development at the 45th Annual Commercial Club of Excellence

Michael Watts - Monday, March 19, 2018
Congratulations to David Watts for receiving 1st Place as the Top Producer for Development at the 45th Annual Commercial Club of Excellence sponsored by the Birmingham Commercial Realtors Council!














IREM Lunch Event at Flats On 4th

Michael Watts - Thursday, March 15, 2018


















Here is a candid picture of IREM's lunch event Tuesday at Flats on 4th.
Look at all of Alabama's well known Real Estate Brokers chilling out in
our lounge talking about the current status & future viability of
the multifamily market. Hashtag something clever...

Michel Marcoux Named Top 40 Under 40!

Michael Watts - Friday, February 09, 2018
We are proud of Michel Marcoux! Named a Top 40 Under 40 by Birmingham Business Journal. We are lucky to have the opportunity to work with Michel regarding properties here in Birmingham...but he is also family, our cousin!

Economic Outlook for 2018

Web Admin - Wednesday, November 29, 2017
The following is an exert from Nov/Dec 2017 edition of the Journal of Property Management by Joseph Dobrian...

"The consensus among property management specialists and other real estate services professionals is that 2018 will be another strong year for real estate generally, although the industry seems to have passed the peak of the "up" cycle.  Conceivably, a downturn is lurking, but it's not immediately in view."

That is the consensus from real estate professionals around the nation, as Chip explains how the deep south is looking to 2018.

"The Market looks strong in the Deep South too, for now," Chip Watts, CPM, CCIM, President and Executive CPM for Watts Realty Co., AMO, in Birmingham, Ala., predicts little change for 2018, although he's less sanguine about the long term.

"We'll have a strong 2018 for multifamily," he said. "We're seeing new projects being announced almost monthly.  Office is just a little soft and will continue to be so.  Relocations from suburban to urban buildings are on the rise, and total space requirements are increasing because offices have already gotten as small as they can get."

"Retail is in a transitional time. Some of the major chains are closing units, but single stores are coming back , which indicates to me that we have a strong economy."

The overall news is positive for property managers, he said, and for people who are considering entering the profession.

"Our multifamily market will remain strong, with lots of competition for staff talent through favorable salaries and benefits," he said. "Our commercial markets will be flat because we see a lot of space in transition now.  IN Alabama, you need a real estate license to lease space, but in some other states, you don't, so management companies there might have a larger pool of personnel to choose from."

"The challenges for property managers, in the coming year, will continue to be the ability to integrate technology into your marketplace, operate smart systems, and communicate via social media. Alabama will see a strong market in 2018; it's what could happen after that, that concerns us."

You can read more about the economic outlook for 2018 in real estate management here... http://www.jpm-digital.org/jpm/nov_dec_2017?pg=1#pg1



National Franchise Brands Exit 5 Points South Retail Spaces

Michael Watts - Friday, October 27, 2017
Chip gets down to the basics with Brent Godwin of The Birmingham Business Journal regarding several national franchise brands that have recently left the 5 Points South retail spaces looking for new tenants.  Click here for article.

"Are the new apartment buildings filling up?"

Michael Watts - Monday, October 09, 2017

"Are the new apartment buildings filling up?" That's the question Birmingham Business Journal's Brent Godwin set out to answer and Flats on 4th was able to deliver... again!

The article is in the subscriber content of the BBJ's website, so I posted a little bit of the intro to the piece. If you want to read the entire article (and if you're already a BBJ subscriber or don't mind becoming one) here's the link...https://www.bizjournals.com/birmingham/news/2017/10/05/how-one-downtown-apartment-development-is-filling.html

The Faces Behind Commercial Real Estate Growth and the Revitalization of Downtown Birmingham

Web Admin - Friday, September 08, 2017
Over the last few years, Birmingham has experienced a renaissance and redevelopment of downtown in large part due to commercial real estate growth. Commercial real estate, according the Birmingham Association of REALTORS®, contributes $465 billion a year to the U.S. GDP (Gross Domestic Products Index).













The economic impact of this commercial real estate growth, according to the Birmingham Business Alliance, was nearly $587 million in capital investments in Birmingham in 2016 resulting in 2,014 new jobs in the area. The commercial real estate industry stands ready to help businesses meet the needs they have- from retail space and office buildings to vacant land and warehouses.

The Birmingham Association of REALTORS® recently shined the spotlight on six members of the Birmingham Commercial Realtors Council who are doing their part to make Birmingham shine. These powerhouse members garner national and international attention for the Magic City.

For the rest of the article and their description of Chip's and Watts Realty's part in the revitalization effort, check out this link... https://bhamnow.com/index.php/2017/09/01/the-faces-behind-commercial-real-estate-growth-and-the-revitalization-of-downtown-birmingham/

Southside: Shaping The Future

Web Admin - Tuesday, August 08, 2017
Brent Godwin of the Birmingham Business Journal recently interviewed Chip about newly announced projects and some currently active projects slated for the Southside community of downtown Birmingham. The following is an excerpt. To read the entire article click on the link below.  

One of these announced projects is the Vesta development at 2173 Highland Ave South by Harbert Realty and Cortland Partners.  Slated to break ground later this month, Vesta will be a 17-story high rise and a 5-story mid-rise that will consist of roughly 318 upscale apartments, including roughly 6,500 square feet of retail space along with a number of amenities.

"There is definitely an uptick in interest in properties in Southside; however, this is not new... it just happens that the deals are just now closing," says Chip Watts of Watts Realty. "Several developers see Southside as an opportunity for infill projects - if the properties can be purchased at a decent price point. Several deals have been attempted, but only a very few have been successful."

In addition to Vesta, an expected redevelopment of the Southtown public housing site located on University Blvd and butts-up right next to the Lakeview district, has helped spark investors and real estate developers interest to begin buying Southside properties this year.

"It is anticipated that these two projects (Vesta and Southtown) will be catalyst projects that will allow infill projects to flourish," Watts previously told the BBJ. "I believe that developers are just now laying the groundwork for these infill projects to occur."

For the full article, click the link below.  Please be aware that you must be a subscriber to the BBJ in order to view this article.
https://www.bizjournals.com/birmingham/news/2017/08/03/how-thevesta-project-and-others-will-shape.html

Chip Talks with REV Birmingham's CEO David Fleming

Web Admin - Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Last week Chip met with REV Birmingham's CEO David Fleming to talk about the continuing construction and growth of the Downtown/Parkside District.  Check out the link or watch the video.

A Zyp Bike tour of Birmingham's future (Part 2 of 2) from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.


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