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During an emergency, Eli Cohen Real Estate took over the management of this aging 70,000 SF industrial building with seemingly insurmountable problems. We turned it into a stable entity in one year.

Norma Cohen received an emergency call from an out-of-state client asking her to take over the management of an old 70,000 SF industrial building immediately. The person who had managed it for over forty years was critically ill, and the absentee property owner was involved with his own business. He asked Norma to assume complete responsibility for the property.

The property was severely neglected, with unhappy tenants, and repairs that needed to be immediately addressed. Norma and her staff set up an accounting system, gleaning information from almost illegible ledger sheets, bits of paper and old bank statements. They searched for past payroll tax returns. They reconstructed past records, all the while racing to complete the forensic accounting for tax and fiscal deadlines.

Norma then met with tenants, assuring them that she would address their issues. She ordered the most important repairs and investigated the current vendors and contractors for price and quality. She evaluated the leases for the past five years and made recommendations for standardizing the leases; investigated tenant rent payment histories and met with tenants in arrears; worked toward tenant retention, renewed leases, and evicted a problem tenant.

On the financial side, she prepared and attended workers’ compensation audits; researched and prepared documents for a tax appeal; negotiated late fees with the IRS and NJ; and sorted out the morass of insurance policies and premiums which were intertwined with the owner’s other businesses.

At the end of the first year, the property was a functioning entity. Urgent repairs were done, tenants were stabilized, bills were paid promptly, rent was collected, and the grounds were clean. Norma is still the property manager.