My family has owned small and mid-sized commercial and residential property in Manhattan for over 50 years. We have employed some of the cities largest and well known management firms. As real estate owners, we expected certain basic services: controlled expenses, reasonable profits, maintenance of the property and a genuine concern for the residents. Unfortunately, our experience was that the large “factory” management firms proved to be little more than overpaid "rent collectors".
After years of frustration with the management of our properties, I formed Dermer Management in 1992 to specialize in the management of residential buildings, with a particular focus on small to mid-sized buildings. These buildings require two things: (i) a caring manager that understands the day-to-day issues unique to small and mid-sized buildings and (ii) a systematic approach to revenue, expenses and building environment.
After opening the doors of Dermer Management in 1992, we were quickly awarded 15 properties to manage (all by word of mouth) from Soho to 85th Street, including the tallest residential building on Park Avenue.
Unlike traditional management firms, I did not want to grow our firm into a factory, and lose the personal touch I promoted when I met with our new clients. Over the next 20 years, we only took on a few more buildings through recommendations and learned the business while remaining true to the level of customer service. I am proud to say that this has resulted in Dermer Management never losing a client along the way.
During this time, I watched the traditional managing agent system used at the larger property management firms. The traditional system leaves agents over-worked, under-paid and with very little incentive to go the extra mile for the client. I never believed in this agent system and most of the time it leads to a turnstyle of agents coming and going. I believe in a partner system. A system that will have a partner in Dermer Management responsible for your property with real incentives for them to perform on the highest level.
For years, Adam Berenson and I were close personal friends and business partners in a different venture. We grew up together in Freehold, NJ, shared milestones, family events and always had similar values personally and when it came to business. I knew the same values that I worked so hard to make the core of Dermer Management was something that Adam would carry on instinctively, representing me and the company in the way I require. With the interest to commit to the next phase of growth, I asked Adam to come on board and be partners with me.
This concept of partnership is what enables us to provide a superior level of service. You simply cannot attain that level of consistency and service with a company that employs managing agents who come and go. There are excellent managing agents in our industry - it is just the system that does not allow them to excel. With Adam on board, I am very excited to move into this stage of growth at Dermer Management.