Kriegman & Smith, Inc., a multifamily real estate investment and property management firm, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. This milestone highlights not only the longevity of the business, but just as importantly the number of properties that have remained under the company’s management for several generations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Founded by Michael Smith and Sam Kriegman in 1972, the firm has grown from one office and two northern New Jersey communities comprising 240 homes to a portfolio of 6,000 apartments and townhomes in two states. The company owns and manages garden apartments, mid-rises, luxury high-rises and townhouse-style duplex apartments at various rental rates. Kriegman & Smith’s portfolio also includes properties it manages for third-party investors, including three affordable housing nonprofits.
Today, the company is run by second-generation co-owner Jeffrey Smith and co-owner Adam Kaplan, who are committed to the firm’s founding principles: dedication to keeping high-quality luxury and affordable workforce housing accessible to tenants—those just starting out in life. residents who remain tenants for decades.
“Kriegman & Smith’s history is not only one of growth through acquisition and third-party partnerships, but also one that demonstrates longevity and stability among its properties as well as its employees. We have always been committed to long-term goals and relationships,” Kaplan said.
A history of long-term relationships
- The company still operates the original buildings in which it started 50 years ago.
- Forty-five percent of Kriegman & Smith’s third-party management clients have been with the company for 10 years or more.
- Since 2015, the portfolio has grown 17% and includes properties from the northernmost to the southernmost counties in New Jersey and extending into central Pennsylvania.
- The company manages over 200 employees in its portfolio.
- One-third of the Kriegman & Smith team has been there for 10 years or more, and half of those employees have been with the firm for more than two decades.
“One of the reasons we’ve retained so many properties and retained so many employees over generations is that our core values have never wavered and are still our guiding principles 50 years later,” Smith said. “We treat every building as our own. That has never changed.
“To that end, we are committed to providing well-maintained properties that have benefited from strong investment in their maintenance and upgrades, with high-quality components designed to serve multiple generations of owners, managers and tenants,” noted Smith.
The company has also invested significantly in its own infrastructure to meet the challenging rental environment.
“We are a small company committed to managing our buildings with the same values that our founders relied on, but like large national firms, we have invested in the latest, most sophisticated property management technologies to optimize operational procedures Kaplan said, referring to its back-end integration with the firm’s website and digital tools for leasing agents, regional managers, field managers and support teams.
The owner’s perspective in third-party property management
Smith attributes part of the company’s success and longevity to the owners’ approach to property management, which has fueled its growth as a niche investor/owner management operator and the expansion of services to those clients.
“Single-generation multifamily property owners come to us because they will get a more personalized service than they would from the bigger players who can’t provide the same high level of attention that we can. These clients know that as a third-generation, family-owned and operated company, we value the owner’s perspective and understand the importance of relationships and responsiveness between stakeholders – from the owners themselves to their leasing teams, superintendents and, of course, residents,” said Smith .
Property owners speak and work directly with Smith and Kaplan without having to go through custodians and a corporate chain of command, and appreciate the flexibility available to them to meet their diverse needs instead of cookie-cutter services.
Lisa D’Alessandro, managing member of Candal Properties LLC, a client of Kriegman & Smith since 2015, which manages their 267-unit Hackensack, NJ luxury high-rise, agrees, “Like Kriegman & Smith, we are family business, and appreciate the hands-on service and approachability of the company’s management team. There are certain formulas you just don’t change, and like us, they treat their staff like family.”
Long-term management of residences for the elderly
Kriegman & Smith also operates numerous low-income senior living communities, some of them 35 years or older.
“We are among a small group of property management companies that manage both market and subsidized properties,” Kaplan said. “We’re very proud of that and we value these properties and our relationship with them.”
Those relationships extended to both the company’s management team and employees getting personally involved, from showing up to flip burgers at barbecues to organizing and coordinating a three-site COVID-19 vaccination drive through a partnership with Walgreen’s . For example, in January 2021, when vaccines were not yet widely available and access to appointments was difficult, the Kriegman & Smith team was able to vaccinate residents and volunteer on-site at all three residences in Union and Nutley as part of the commitment of the company to community service.
Kriegman & Smith officially celebrated its 50th anniversary with an employee event on June 23. More information about the company can be found at www.kriegmanandsmith.com.
(Visited 1 time, 9 visits today)