The Sophisticated Property Manager
By Shawn Gibson | Photography Jeff Buchanan
Phillip Moore launched Carpe Diem Asset and Property Management Inc in 2013. But, he wanted it to be something different, something better and a higher level. It became evident to him that there was a void to fill: a need for a local sophisticated property management company – and Moore believes Carpe Diem is just that.
In order to stay one step ahead, and continue to strive for excellence, by the company’s fifth anniversary, Moore invested a considerable amount of resources into additional training of staff, improved SOP’s, upgraded hardware and software, and a new and improved website. He continues to boast a vibrant social media, print, and radio marketing campaign.
Putting his money where his mouth is, he paid for his assistant to become a Certified Property Manager, and a member of the Canadian Real Estate Institute. Additionally, he enrolled in courses to obtain his Real Property Administrator designation.
“If you are going to be a part of this profession, it is important to have the correct education, and be a part of the associations in this field,” he notes.
Though it’s not just about the education or tools – which anyone can acquire with time and money. It’s about his professional approach to his business. For him, it’s a combination of “exemplary conduct, accountability, a finely-tuned moral compass, and always doing what is right – even if it means losing money.” As part of that work ethos, he will not let more than 24 hours go by without returning a phone call.
“People just want updates. Delays happen all the time, but as long as the lines of communication are open, both landlords and tenants are at ease.”
Unfortunately, he has seen too many other businesses lose sight of these elements, focused too much on the bottom line.
“It’s tough to do, especially when Property Management is somewhat of a thankless job. When you do everything right, very rarely do you receive a thank you. But when something goes wrong, you hear all about it. I think it’s our proactive attitude, and keen focus on customer service, that adds a lot of value, and separate us from the rest.”
Even a look at his office is symbolic of The Sophisticated Property Manager’s attention to detail, and the care he places in pleasing the customer. It’s the hard wood floors, designer kitchen, and a glass curtain wall that rounds out his boardroom.
“I believe dressing well is important, as it is part of the first impression people have of you.” These, and other examples, might go a long way in explaining how by 2018, Carpe Diem oversaw a million and a half square feet of industrial, commercial and multi-residential real estate, throughout the Greater Barrie Area.
Moore says one of the biggest challenges he faces is educating his clients. “Most people think property management is easy, and it’s just a matter of picking up the phone to call a repair man. And I suppose there’s probably property managers out there that operate at that level,” he notes.
Carpe Diem is much more comprehensive. ROI maximization through keeping costs down, while retaining tenants, is challenging. It’s knowing about environmental assessments and hazards, and how to avoid them. It’s preventative maintenance programs, and health and safety compliance issues. Supplier manuals that are audited to insure WSIB clearance certificates and insurance policies are current. It’s using contractors that don’t over promise and underachieve. And it’s especially about the inspection of work performed. “It’s not what you expect, it’s what you inspect!” says Moore firmly.
Risk management is also major these days, and he says that most landlords do not even know how much liability they are responsible for. In some cases, landlords can be held criminally responsible (as can the property manager), so Moore stresses the need for experienced management. There are operating statements, budgeting reports and TMI (taxes, maintenance and insurance) reconciliations that need to be completed and completed properly.
Moore didn’t always work in the ever changing and challenging world of property management. At first glance you probably wouldn’t imagine that Moore’s first career was on the runway. “I don’t actually like talking about it,” says Moore humbly. “I had moved to Hong Kong to pursue a job in corporate finance after university when SARS struck. I was told to return to Canada, but instead took a casting at Elite Model Management, on advice from a friend, and the next thing I knew I had a contract. It was surreal.” Moore sported the likes of Calvin Klein, Armani, Dunhill and Tommy Hilfiger to name a few. He even landed a credited role in the feature film Ultraviolet.
“I never thought my modeling career would do anything for me once I moved home, but as it turns out, I’m now leveraging my international network to begin a new development venture,” Moore says. His plans include the first development just South of Barrie, and expanding internationally from there under a new brand.
With so much on the go, it’s a wonder how Moore manages it all. His hard work ethic probably comes from growing up with two over-achieving parents who grew a small, two person, part-time, corrugated packaging company from their garage in Baxter, to a medium sized business which now employs 250 people. Moore also learned the importance of quality customer service from his parents.
“I try to remind myself of my humble beginnings, of my parents’ customer service skills, of my father’s ability to be fair – even if it meant costing a little extra – all the while trying to mimic my mother’s effortless classiness. It’s a tough balance, especially when you might not always have the answers your clients want to hear.”
For Moore, the focus always has been, and always will be, on striving to be outstanding in his field, and going above and beyond in every possible way.
Phillip Moore is the owner of Carpe Diem Asset & Property Management Inc. He is a licensed Realtor at Sutton Incentive Realty Inc. with a focus on ICI. He is a member of the Committee of Adjustments and a contributor to his favourite charity The Christmas Cheer.