Matthew Maggipinto got his realtor's license while at college at Boston University, identifying a need for college students to find housing once they left the dorm. This catapulted into a career spanning hospitality, construction management, and rental management—all culminating in the creation of RockBridge Property Management.
Since starting RockBridge in 2022, the company has grown to manage over 30 properties with a specialty in helping boutique buildings. Matthew shares his unique approach to building a business—and it turns out it also applies to managing buildings. We sat down with Matthew to learn more.
With the rapid pace of growth at RockBridge Property Management, how have you managed to scale your operations?
Our motto is: better living begins with better management. That's our culture. We believe that by having a process and using technology, that we can make things much easier. For our clients, they always will get someone to service them and always be available to not only get this repairs done, but also take care of the back of office items that are so critical, like bookkeeping and compliance. This has enabled us to grow a lot organically.
How about building your team?
We're just constantly in growth mode. It's also kind of organic—within our networking group or my partner's networks. My partners and I really handle the client face-to-face relationship. But in the background, we have our assistant property managers that aid us in making the phone calls, getting the vendors on site, dealing with the super, or reaching out to the utility company if there's an issue.
RockBridge specializes in overseeing condos, co-ops, and multifamily buildings from the individual unit up to about 40 units. What are some of the unique needs of boutique and smaller buildings?
The issue with a lot of these buildings is that they don't have a lot of a lot of money, right? But at the end of the day, they're running a business. Often owners want to keep costs down, but at the same time it is a business that requires income to provide for the expenses of the building.
The issue that we see a lot of times these buildings is that they find themselves in some precarious financial situations. Unfortunately, now the market is really tough. We try to really help look at their underlying mortgages, seeing if there's an opportunity and really understanding how it's structured. Right now, a lot of people have four, three—maybe even sub-three rates—and if they were to refi now, they'd get hammered. We try to reach out and strategically help the building understand the positions they're in, the climate that we see the market going, and sometimes give a bit of a reality check. It helps hearing that from somebody else.
You've mentioned that at RockBridge, you take the role of a business consultant. What does that look like?
We're working with the buildings to really make plans for the future. Because a lot of buildings think about yesterday and a bill that has to be paid. A lot of them aren't thinking about things like new local law requirements, like Local Law 97 coming out. We love to have the personal touch, and we try to educate as much as possible. My partner and I are having these conversations on a day-to-day basis with the buildings. We're the ones that have to have these conversations with the board because we've built that level of trust. The goal is, in the future, they are in a significantly better position than where they are now, and when people are looking to sell, their apartments will be that much more valuable.
Math can't lie, and that's where we have a lot of expertise in educating our clients.
What role has technology played in growing the business?
It's really helpful, and helps us stay on top of things and be responsive. Our assistant PMs get pinged to get the ball moving, get things scheduled, and that allows me and my partners tofocus on the bigger projects, like talking to mortgage brokers and compliance.
More importantly, it's a collaborative tool that we can share amongst the team and keep everyone on the same page. By the time I see something, the team is likely already on it.
What would you say are your key differentiators in your approach to management?
Our team. We’re a boutique shop that likes to address issues for smaller buildings, as well as assisting individuals of investor apartments. We go the extra mile for all our clients. The most important thing in property management is to make relationships. If you don’t make relationships you won’t get anything done. So we have relationships with real experts in every field to provide an excellent service. This helps buildings become incredible investments not just for the owners but for future buyers.
Now, for a few one word answers.
Would you rather give up email or your phone for a day? Email.
What is your superpower? Communication.
Name one thing you never leave home without. My wedding ring.
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