In 1989, Howard Harris first began as a real estate broker and eventually transitioned into property management. He originally started in business brokerage, successfully selling over 100 businesses in and around the Antelope Valley.
In 2003, he was assisting in the sale of a property management company when the owner offered to sell Harris the company. Harris quickly decided to buy it and came to own his first property management business. As his company grew, Harris managed nearly 70 properties with the aid of his wife, Lori, who was also a full-time nurse. Shortly after reaching approximately 100 properties. Howard and Lori realized they needed a full-time employee to replace Lori, who was still a full-time nurse. This is when the decision was made to expand the family business with their daughter Alissa.
Harris found that his independent property management company was enjoying impressive growth while increasingly presenting him with scaling concerns. Harris, a 15-year property management veteran, decided it was time to partner with a company that would not only grow his client base, but also provide the resources necessary for healthy expansion.
Harris discovered Property Management Inc. through a business opportunity. He had owned his own business, Antelope Valley Property Management, located in Palmdale, CA since 2003, opting to convert his company to a PMI location in 2018. His decision to partner with a franchise was inspired by the Harris’ decision for Lori to leave nursing and join the family business. Howard realized that with the guidance and training of Property Management Inc., he could fulfill his needs by expanding into the world of Homeowner’s Association management.
“I was looking for an opportunity that would allow Lori to be involved with the business,” said Harris. “She’s a full-time nurse, but within the past few years, she’s strongly considered trying something new in life. She managed the books for my previous company and after a taste of the business life, she’s found a new calling, specifically in the Homeowner Association market.”
For Harris, finding a business that would allow for growth—both internal and external—as well as one that guaranteed community involvement was imperative. Harris’s long career in real estate brokerage and property management meant he had a keen eye for spotting the right business to partner with.
Harris’s company was growing in disproportion to the amount of clients he had, and he wanted to expand beyond residential real estate. He looked to franchising, conducting research and networking with clients to learn more about other opportunities to partner with an established brand.
The Harris’s attended the 2018 Property Management Inc. Summit in Las Vegas to learn more about the company. According to Harris, both of them were sold on the brand. The event was a tremendous opportunity for Harris, who was able to connect with Steve Hart, President of Property Management Inc. In their conversation, Harris was drawn to the details and potential for growth that Property Management Inc. has to offer. He decided to move on the franchise opportunity.
“My independent business was well-respected prior to partnering with Property Management Inc. However, being a franchise gives you a sense of peace and comfort,” Harris said. “It’s bringing on a well-established partner who is versed in every facet of business management and works just as hard as you do to ensure your company’s success. Lori and I are proud to say we are Property Management Inc. partners.”
Harris opened his Antelope Valley Property Management Inc. franchise at the beginning of March 2019. His location is situated in Palmdale and he services the Antelope Valley region, including Lancaster and Palmdale.
During the conversion to Property Management Inc. our books balanced to zero, which is rare to transition so smoothly and would not have been possible without the incredible work of Alissa and the franchise team.
Harris stated that while his location is still getting through the transitional stage, his office experience of more than 15 years has already earned him about 200 properties. Since he started working with Property Management Inc., he has been given an incredible chance to grow his business in order to allow the entire family to work in the business should they decide to. Howard and Lori have two other daughters, Lacey and Ellen.
“The Property Management Inc. corporate team is as solid as they come,” said Harris. “The brand is a great concept and one that executes exceptional service. They are community-driven, which I deeply appreciate.”
In fact, Harris attributes much of his growth to local involvement. The Antelope Valley community has already identified his company as one that stands out. His location has been recognized by the community and by Antelope Valley Press as Antelope Valley’s Best Property Management Company for the second year in a row.
Harris is currently involved with the Antelope Valley Fair Association and Lancaster West Rotary, previously serving as President for both organizations. Harris is also on the Board of Directors with Antelope Valley Sheriff Boosters, co-chairing their latest fundraiser “Casino Night” which raised over $200,000 in 2019.
“Most of the people I’m connected with in the community are my friends,” said Harris. “We’re helping each other grow our businesses and sharing our successes. The Antelope Valley region is home to a unique community and I’m happy to service my community with the help of Property Management Inc.”
Harris attributes the brand’s success to the Property Management Inc. team, his incredible family and staff, the owners and tenants with whom he works and the community’s involvement, all of which have helped the business flourish.
“People want a professional who really knows what they are doing,” said Harris. “With Property Management Inc. there is a solid backing for moving forward and educating ourselves on the field even more. We’ve been able to achieve such growth already; 80% of our clients have come to us through referrals alone. It’s evident I’ll continue to grow as a franchise with the increased amount of resources the brand provides.”
Harris is confident that his Property Management Inc. will continue to expand throughout the year. While the business is just beginning, the industry experience Harris brings to the table is critical to securing clients. Currently, his furthest client lives over 1,000 miles away, while his closest client lives next door, meaning there is plenty of opportunity for growth. Harris is eager to explore Homeowners Association management options in the area, as well.
Harris has a goal of doubling his business by the end of 2019. He has set the bar high for himself, with an ultimate goal of managing over 1,000 properties and is confident that the company will continue to grow even more now that there is a solid foundation laid out for him with his Property Management Inc. partnership.
The initial start-up investment for a Property Management Inc. franchise ranges from $21,250 to $106,800 and has a franchise fee ranging from $15,000 to $62,900. To learn more about franchise opportunities with Property Management Inc., visit https://propertymanagementincfranchise.com/.