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    Allegro Procured a Property Manager for John Carroll University’s Diverse CRE Portfolio


    John Carroll University (JCU), a private university in suburban Cleveland, was seeking a qualified property management company to support its diverse real estate portfolio. 

    The portfolio included 25 office and retail spaces, 191 apartment units, and 20 single family homes. It operated independently of the university’s educational services, but its successful management was still critical to generate revenue for JCU. 

    With limited experience in real estate, the university knew the process of reviewing vendor proposals and conducting interviews would be challenging. It needed the support of a commercial real estate expert. 

    Thus, JCU contacted Allegro to lead the vendor selection process.

    Identifying Client Objectives and Potential In-Market Vendors

    The top objective was a firm who was hiring a property management company highly qualified to provide services addressing lease administration, physical plant management, financial and risk management. Unique to JCU was the requirement to capably maintain the relationship between the university and the community and two city governments. Additionally, it was important for the university to maintain strict health and safety protocols, as students would be living in several of the rental units. 

    One of the first steps in identifying the right property management company for JCU’s diverse real estate portfolio was for Allegro to identify a list of vendors in the Greater Cleveland market

    Once the initial list of vendors was created, Allegro conducted thorough phone interviews with each candidate. The team then worked with JCU to lead the most qualified vendors on complete tours of the university’s properties.

    Developing a Unique Selection Tool to Meet University Criteria

    The ideal property management company would perform four key functions for JCU: lease administration, physical plant management, financial and risk management, and community relations. It was critical that Allegro kept these responsibilities in mind as the team drafted and distributed JCU’s request for proposal (RFP). In it, the university detailed the following key qualifications required to manage its external real estate portfolio:

    • Background and credentials. 
    • Staffing plan.
    • Property management functions. 
      • Leasing function.
      • Physical plant function (maintenance, capital planning, and project management).
      • Financial and risk management.
      • Community and municipal relations.
    • Pricing proposal.

    Once the RFP was developed, Allegro created a scoring matrix to rate each vendor proposal. The matrix including the following criteria:

    • Firm background and credentials.
    • Staffing plan.
    • Evaluation of RFP elements such as student housing, community relations, snow removal, and utility management.   

    Vendors who submitted top scoring proposals were selected as finalists and carefully interviewed with JCU’s goals in mind. 

    Negotiating Contract Terms and Notifying the Selected Property Manager 

    The Allegro team entered contract negotiations with the shortlisted finalists, and the chosen property management company was notified. The new property manager and Allegro then finalized the necessary transaction documentation

    Since the completion of the vendor selection process, JCU has enjoyed a close professional relationship with its property management company. 

    The management team aids the university in a number of real estate management needs, including building maintenance, lease negotiations and buyouts, and acquisitions and dispositions. It also assists in community tasks involving JCU and the city of Cleveland.

    Both organizations continue to work together in supporting the university’s goal of facilitating robust campus life. 

    Need help identifying a developer, architect, engineer, lender, or property manager to support your CRE portfolio? We can help. Contact us to discuss your real estate needs today.