Larlyn Property Management Ltd.

Founded in 1975, Larlyn Property Management Ltd. has seen a great deal of change since its early days in London, Ontario. Nearly 40 years after its creation, Larlyn offers real estate management services across Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta, employing more than 500 people and managing more than $6 billion in real estate assets.

Having grown into one of the largest service-focused fee management companies in Canada, Larlyn serves its markets by combining its national headquarters with regional branches. The company approaches the market in a variety of ways, offering services that include condominium management, residential management, commercial management and developer consulting.

“We have a number of different divisions,” President Michael Holmes says. “Each of our client segments has different expectations and needs.”

The properties managed by Larlyn include everything from luxury, townhouse commercial and high-rise condominiums to affordable housing, commercial and industrial properties, retail and apartment complexes. From single residences to condo communities with thousands of units, Larlyn can offer professional management and real estate services that meet the requirements of any type of property.

Holmes says Larlyn is structured differently than many property management and real estate service companies. Although it has a national headquarters, its regional offices each have a senior management team that is responsible for the local market. The properties are managed regionally and supported by the national office. Each property has its own dedicated team that works to understand their needs while still having access to the benefits that come from Larlyn’s national presence.

Education and Technology

Part of Larlyn’s ability to grow has been related to its efforts to continuously improve. The company invests heavily into human resources and technology that allow it to provide high-quality service.

In terms of education and training for employees, most of the property mangers have ACMO’s Registered Condominium Manager (RCM) designation. Those who do not are working toward it. The company has its own in-house trainers for the designation. Larlyn’s property accountants also work toward professional designations, which Larlyn actively supports. The company provides 100 percent of the cost of professional dues for employees with designations, 100 percent of the cost for educational improvement courses and 50 percent of the cost for non-business related courses. 

Larlyn’s training efforts extend to investments into a virtual training classroom and hosting semi-annual management training sessions in London. All employees receive training on any new services or technologies the company introduces, and new employees go through a full day of orientation training. All of this is indicative of how much Larlyn believes in employee training and development.

“We provide our regional employees with training they couldn’t get on their own, and it allows us to provide better service,” Holmes says.

Technology solutions have also been a key part of Larlyn’s success. They have helped the company streamline workflow, enhance communications, reduce waste and support knowledge transfer. Technology has also helped add to the company’s service offerings.

The company’s intranet website provides information to its employees across Canada. Larlyn has taken feedback from the site’s users to help the company refine and enhance the site so it can share best practices with all regional offices. Larlyn also created a web-based portal for clients, which allows each property to cost-effectively create its own online community.

Various software programs have helped the company to better manage properties. It can provide clients with automatically generated, individualized information and financial reports. This helps clients stay on top of financial, operating and administrative issues, as well as work with property managers to make more informed decisions about the direction of a property. 

Technology also has been put to use to help Larlyn oversee various centralized operations, such as procurement, payroll and IT. In addition, Larlyn uses technology to conduct annual online surveys of clients to get deeper insight into performance and service levels.  

“It would be difficult for an individual property to put technology to use in ways that we have been able to at a national level,” Holmes says. 

Keen Awareness

Larlyn puts much effort into ensuring it understands the needs of its clients and the trends impacting their operations. On the third party side for the management of rental apartments, the private real estate owners, developers or asset managers segment is a smaller and more focused market than the condominium market. However, it is also a fairly savvy market, so Larlyn must understand its clients’ priorities in areas such as return on investment and enhancing property values. 

As for the condo market, it continues to grow in Canada. Cranes are in the sky from Toronto to Calgary to Vancouver and beyond. This presents opportunity for Larlyn’s growth, but it also means the company must be aware of the need to provide support and training to the members of its condo clients’ boards of directors.

Then there are the office buildings, industrial parks and retail properties Larlyn works with. In those areas, Larlyn needs to help the property owners maximize their returns. It also acts as a receivership manager, working with property receivers to help them reposition and resell a property.

The company’s ability to succeed in all of these areas has helped it build a strong reputation. Satisfied clients have asked the company to grow with them, and have referred Larlyn to their peers. Larlyn believes relationships are an important part of its ability to maintain and grow its operations.

“We have a client relations teams that makes sure we are serving clients appropriately and looking for suggestions on ways we can improve,” Holmes says.

Going forward, Larlyn plans to continue to reinvest what it earns back into the company to support its future prosperity. 

“We need to define client expectations and develop our people,” Holmes says. “Finding the right people and training them will be the biggest challenge for us, but also the most important because we believe people make a house a home.” 

Corporate Head Office

Construction Today Magazine

Cringleford Business Centre
Intwood Road
Cringleford, Norwich, UK

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North American Office

Construction Today Magazine

Finelight Media
207 E. Ohio Street Suite 351
Chicago, IL 60611

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