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G.R.O.W. Schenectady Initiative

By Schenectady (NY) Mayor Brian Stratton
March 8, 2010

Cities across the nation are dealing with problems of the upkeep of multi-family residential properties, which can have an extremely important impact on the quality of urban neighborhoods. Schenectady (NY) is no exception. Many landlords are simply unaware of the need for careful and diligent management of their investment properties. Others fall into the trap of poor financial planning and lack of responsiveness to tenants—both of which can lead to poor upkeep and failure to make on-going enhancements to individual units and the building’s exterior.

To protect and improve our neighborhoods, Schenectady has developed a plan to increase the appearance and success of these multi-family properties through a program that will enhance the experience of both the property owners and their building’s inhabitants. This pilot program tht we announced in Schenectady on November 9, 2009, is called the G.R.O.W. (Guidance Responsible Owners Want) Schenectady Initiative. The program is designed to help investment property owners become more responsible landlords through professional guidance, education and training.

The G.R.O.W. Schenectady Initiative, a partnership between the non-profit GROW Initiative, Inc of Latham (NY) and Schenectady, will provide property management evaluation and training for Schenectady investment property owners. The pilot program will help Schenectady property owners prosper through better property management and business practices. Our strategy is to improve the performance of these properties as a means to improved neighborhoods.

The GROW Schenectady Pilot Program, with assistance from the Schenectady Department of Development and the Schenectady Housing Development Fund Corporation, will utilize property evaluations, management audits, one-on-one consulting, and management training workshops to help owners enhance the operational performance of their city investment properties.

Grow Initiative, Inc. President Jesse Holland sees this cooperation as a great asset to the city. “Well managed residential, retail and commercial properties are critical to a city’s economic growth and stability,” Holland said at our announcement. “We are pleased to be working with the city of Schenectady to roll out this growth initiative.” Holland is the creator of The Property Coach™ systemized program of property management and The Property Gauge™ program of investment property evaluation.

Selected small property owners, those who own between four to 20 residential housing units, will participate in The Property Coach™ program of management training workshops. Each of these workshops will address a specific aspect of the Property Coach™ system of property management, and includes performance assessment, operational procedures, fiscal management and property maintenance. The pilot program will provide training workshops for up to ten small property owners.

Selected owners of retail, office and large multifamily properties will participate in The Property Gauge™ program of property evaluation and management audits to assess operational performance issues. The results of the audits will be reviewed with participating property owners in two two-hour consulting sessions. The pilot program targets evaluations and audits for three of each type of property for a combined training for nine different properties.

In January, the G.R.O.W. Schenectady Program held its first Property Coach™ workshop with ten participants. Participants felt they received great information that they could put to use immediately, and are looking forward to the next session to be scheduled in April.

Schenectady recognizes that it has a significant stake in the success of the investment property owners and will use this initiative to help property owners be successful by providing guidance and training to responsible real estate owners who want to grow and succeed in Schenectady.

Mayors interested in finding out more about this new initiative to help enhance the neighborhoods in their city are encouraged to contact the Schenectady Mayor’s office at 518-382-5000.