East Lake Management Group, Inc. is a property management company with over 30 years of experience in Chicago and elsewhere in the Midwest. East Lake currently manages properties owned by third parties and the firm itself. The firm is 100% minority owned and controlled, headquartered in Chicago and licensed within the State of Illinois. East Lake’s strength is the depth of its corporate talent. With over 600 employees from various professional and educational backgrounds, East Lake is able to address the full range of property management issues.
East Lake’s management portfolio is comprised of the following categories:
East Lake’s diverse clients have included the private and financial institutions such as Bank One, Illinois Service Federal Bank, Oxford Bank, as well as public and governmental agencies like the City of Chicago, Cook County, IL, the Chicago Housing Authority, US General Services Administration, Catholic Charities of Chicago and other non profit entities.
East Lake has an extensive residential portfolio of market rate, subsidized, mixed use, and family and senior housing under its management. East Lake’s particular expertise is in the management of affordable rental housing: Section 8, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Low Income Housing Trust Fund, public housing, and SROs. East Lake’s management portfolio of over 12,000 units covers the Chicagoland area as well as properties elsewhere in Illinois, Missouri and Indiana. Today, East Lake is one of the largest managers of affordable housing in Chicago.
The cornerstone of East Lake’s management success has been its provision of prompt, professional, high quality services to its clients and tenants. East Lake’s success rests on certain essential elements:
Custodial and Maintenance: East Lake is responsible for the custodial and maintenance programs at each of the properties it manages. East Lake considers preventive maintenance a cornerstone of its management strategy. Site staff—in coordination with corporate senior staff—produces and follows regular maintenance schedules for all properties. East Lake’s personnel are trained to continually inspect their properties and develop procedures for improving maintenance services. East Lake’s properties receive high marks for cleanliness and good physical condition from the state, city, and federal oversight agencies.
East Lake addresses 100% of emergency work orders within 24 hours. There is a 24-hour emergency phone number for residents to call with urgent needs. Staff is on 24-hour call and expected to be on-site immediately for emergency work orders. Most routine work orders are also completed within 24 hours if possible. East Lake completes the turn-around of vacant units as promptly as possible unless capital improvements are required.
East Lake’s maintenance and oversight teams regularly evaluate building systems, health and safety conditions and physical and structural conditions as well as environmental issues. East Lake employs a construction management team that inspects all properties and makes recommendations for capital improvements—both proactive and reactive. This team either independently or with architectural support provides cost estimates, creates specifications, obtains bids, and carries projects to completion.
Marketing and Leasing: East Lake’s site staff handles property leasing. East Lake approaches each property with a strategy specifically designed to appeal to the target market; there is no cookie cutter method for successful leasing. The key to successfully leasing affordable properties is the development of an aggressive, comprehensive marketing plan, coordinated at the corporate level and implemented at the site level. East Lake relies on satisfied residents as its greatest advocates and leasing allies. As a testament to the firm’s capacity in this area, occupancy across the portfolio is well over 90%.
Rent Collection: East Lake believes in mutual accountability and aggressive lease enforcement. Staff provides a well-run, clean and safe living environment and, in exchange, the residents know that prompt and regular rent payment is expected. East Lake is very successful in its rent collections.
Tenant Recertification: East Lake has a team of corporate staff dedicated to tenant reexaminations in addition to the onsite recertification staff at most developments. A delinquent recertification report is generated monthly to ensure 100% compliance. East Lake’s audit protocols include regular inspections by site staff as well as inspections by senior auditors reporting to the corporate office.
Security: Keeping residents safe is a cornerstone of East Lake’s management strategy. Each property has different needs depending on location, building layout, and resident population. The first step is to emphasize to existing residents the importance of lease enforcement. Staff is very aggressive in making sure that residents are good neighbors and mindful of the well-being of other residents.
Risk Management: East Lake is committed to providing a safe work and living environment and makes every reasonable effort to eliminate and/or control all accidents, fires, health hazards and occupational hazards to employees and residents. East Lake expects employees and residents to comply with the safety and health policies, procedures and guidelines and to conduct themselves in a safe manner to eliminate risk to themselves or others.
Financial Management: East Lake’s corporate office is closely involved in the management of all properties from the standpoint of physical condition, leasing, and fiscal control. All financial matters (e.g., accounts payable, accounts receivable, and payroll) and information technology are housed at and controlled by the central office to ensure that the appropriate systems are in place to efficiently run each site. The system of checks and balance lead to prudent fiscal management.
East Lake manages a significant commercial property portfolio which includes 34 properties & 125 individual tenants in varied property types: small to mid-size shopping centers, an office campus and several office and retail buildings, some in mixed-use settings. In-house staff is responsible for all aspects of management, including leasing, tenant design and build out, rent collection, CAM calculations and reconciliation, budgeting, capital repairs and routine maintenance.
East Lake is also part of teams providing management services at Midway Airport concessions area, McFetridge, and Soldier Field.
As a minority owned business enterprise and manager of numerous assisted housing developments within Chicago’s inner city, East Lake is acutely aware of the need to introduce programs permitting residents to overcome social, economic and other barriers and encourage their growth and development. To address that need, East Lake is pro-active in efforts to encourage self-sufficiency and the creation of jobs for inner city youth. This approach is indicative of East Lake’s commitment to responsible supportive services programs and is carried into every new project the firm undertakes.
East Lake also has 20 Resident Service Coordinators (RSC) on staff: at CHA senior properties, at Section 8 senior properties and at multifamily mixed-finance sites. These RSCs are responsible for assessing residents’ needs and desires and identifying resources to enhance their quality of life. The RSCs are responsible for organizing recreational activities at the developments and for life enhancement initiatives (wellness, low cost groceries, Medicaid enrollment, etc.). Their success depends on their ability to leverage resources that are available in the communities in which our housing is located.